By Coach Andy Mac
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nearly a week into its national search for the school's next athletics director, Mizzou has started backchannel efforts to size up the AD market.
As we wrote last week, MU wants to swing big for a sitting Power 5 AD with Southeastern Conference experience, but based on calls being made, MU is monitoring other candidates who don’t fit that profile exactly.
Here’s a name that’s surfaced in some early discussions: East Carolina’s Jon Gilbert. He’s been at ECU for nearly three years after spending two years as Southern Miss’ AD. Before that, Gilbert, 52, worked at two SEC programs for more than two decades combined: 17 years at Alabama and six years at Tennessee as executive senior associate AD. Top-tier candidate? Backup option? Stay tuned.
After the first week of action, North Texas' Wren Baker is another AD outside of the Power 5 who remains worth watching in this search.
read more: https://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/as-mizzou-search-continues-where-do-power-5-schools-find-their-ad/article_a93aca12-6c66-58bf-b270-0de595da971a.html
Mean Green Nation,
It is a great time to be a part of North Texas Athletics! Momentum is at an all-time high and we have so much to be thankful for as we reflect on the past year and prepare for the future.
I am so proud of our coaches, support staff, and student-athletes who continue to raise the bar of excellence as we deliver on our mission despite dealing with the challenges of a global pandemic. In 2020-21 we saw a number of outstanding successes in the competitive arena, in the classroom, and in the community. A few notable accomplishments include:
Achieved the 2nd highest overall winning percentage in the past 40 years Claimed Conference USA Championships in softball, women’s golf and men’s basketball Earned our first NCAA men’s basketball tournament win Secured Conference USA individual championships from Audrey Tan (women’s golf), Vicente Marzilio (men’s golf), and Zion Hill (men’s javelin) Posted a perfect score in the Academic Performance Rate in five sports Delivered a record Graduation Success Rate of 86% Construction progress continues on key athletic facilities that will enable us to further develop our student-athletes physically, academically, and socially. We are near the end of construction on our state-of-the-art golf practice facility made possible by a lead gift from Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer and support from numerous donors. Be on the lookout for details on a formal dedication of this great facility.
The Lovelace and McNatt Families Practice Facility has been open for a full season, and I am amazed at how we’ve been able to utilize it to improve the experience of every UNT student-athlete. On bad and extreme weather days, the facility is abuzz with activity from daylight until dark.
We recently completed work with architects to determine programming needs for an expanded Athletic Center. As outlined in the Light the Tower Facility Master Plan, we have a critical need to expand this facility in order to better serve our student-athletes in the areas of sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and academic support. We are also increasing the scope to make improvements to the facilities used by our softball and volleyball programs in the Mean Green Village. We look forward to sharing details of our updated facility plans in the coming months.
Despite a chaotic year with many disruptions, Mean Green momentum remains strong and we want to thank you for the important part you play in our trajectory as an institution. Your financial support and attendance at games are vital to our continued success. We look forward to full stadiums and the return of the full game day experience, including tailgating, this fall. We can’t wait to see Apogee rocking.
Finally, we launched the UNiTe Initiative, a 5-year strategic initiative to grow our donor base exponentially. To learn more about the UNiTe Initiative and to join the Mean Green Scholarship Fund, please visit http://meangreenscholarshipfund.com today. For as little as $25, you can become a member and support the scholarship and academic endeavors of our 400 student-athletes.
On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, thank you for helping us Build Champions and Prepare Leaders.
North Texas, We Love!
Vice President and Director of Athletics
Baker was hired by the University of North Texas as vice president and athletics director in July 2016.
Before that, he served as deputy athletics director of external affairs from 2013-15 as well as deputy athletics director at Missouri beginning in 2015.
During his time in Memphis, Baker helped the Tigers secure the largest gift in the university's history, finished with a record fundraising year, and set a new mark for suite sales and multimedia rights revenue.
Since Baker's hiring, the North Texas football team has reached a bowl game in all but one season.
Read more: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/sports/2019/05/15/memphis-athletics-director-candidates/3668804002/
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