A whirlwind 15-month stretch is coming to an end for Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades.
Rhoades will be leaving the Tigers to fill the same position at Baylor, which has been searching for a new athletic director since Ian McCaw resigned in late May.
The 50-year-old officially began his post in April 2015, and soon endured one of the roughest academic calendars in recent memory: The football team suspended operations and threatened to boycott a game vs. BYU in support of hunger-striking student, while the basketball team was forced to assign harsh self-punishments in the wake of a past regime’s wrongdoings.
“The past year has taught me a great deal about who I am as a person and as a leader,” Rhoades said in a press release. “I am very grateful to the people I’ve worked with and come to know throughout the state of Missouri. The experience has helped galvanized a commitment to my core values and to the values I want to infuse into an athletics program.
“I look forward to the opportunity to join Baylor University at this important time in its history. I am excited to support and develop programs of the highest caliber, in facilities that are second to none, alongside coaches who are among the best in the industry, all grounded in a Christian tradition and committed to academic excellence.”
Losing seasons for both squads didn’t help matters, and the softball team added another layer of controversy by playing its games in protest of Rhoades and the administration this spring.
“Baylor University is very pleased to welcome Mack Rhoades as Baylor University’s Vice President and Director of Athletics,” interim president David Garland said. “He is a charismatic leader who pays careful attention to details and cultivates solidarity among the coaches and staff. He intends to build champions on the field and on the court and to mold student-athletes into champions in their lives after sports. Most importantly, he is committed to and excited by Baylor’s Christian mission and vision.”
Missouri needs a stable hand to guide a Tigers department that lost previous athletic director Mike Alden to a resignation in January 2015.
PowerMizzou.com‘s Gabe DeArmond was the first to report the news.
— Baylor Athletics (@BaylorAthletics) July 13, 2016