2012 in review: June a month of transition

Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Typically the slowest month of the year for college sports fans, this June was filled with endless anticipation as a new door opened onto Mizzou's future while a 100-year old door closed.

The tail end of the diamond sports season kicked off the slow march towards July with Mizzou losing in the Tucson regional, beating New Mexico State but losing to host Arizona and to the University of Louisville. But it was sweet leaving the Big 12 with a conference championship. Nothing like hoarding some trophies on the way out the door.

Mizzou was tapped by the SEC to host the 2013 conference championships in track and field, so that was a good thing. There was also a fancy shingdig in the ATL to welcome us and Texas A&M to the conference.

In other track and field news, six Tigers received All-America honors from the Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

As part of the school-wide rebranding effort, a new court was laid down for the volleyball team at the Hearnes Center.

Mizzou inked wrestling coach Brian Smith to a new contract, as the program (at the time) was still searching for a new home.

In basketball, assistant coach Ernie Nestor left the program to take a similar job at the United State Naval Academy. He was replaced by former DePaul and Virginia head coach Dave Leitao.

Kim English was drafted by the Detroit Pistons, and Marcus Denmon was selected by the San Antonio Spurs.

Nationally, the biggest football headline was the actual death of the BCS, as the conference commissioners agreed to move forward with a playoff-ish type system. Many details were still to be worked out at the time, such as who would get to broadcast it, and what it would, you know, actually look like, but still. Huzzahs and kudos all around at this time.

In new conference news, it was decided that Arkansas was going to be our permanent rival, and that the conference was going to play an eight-game league schedule, with six games occurring within division, one game against the permanent cross-divisional rival, and one other game to rotate. As with most things nowadays, this was somewhat controversial, but it is the way that the 14-team SEC will operate. At least until the league inevitably expands to 16 and it all gets changed in three years anyway.

On the football homefront, the master plan was unveiled at the end of the month, and it did feature a plan for stadium expansion and how to fund such a project. Sometimes money just appears and it makes you smile.

Facilities upgrades are also on tap for baseball, softball, tennis and golf facilities.

And then...we waited for the calendar to flip from June 30 to July 1. A new era began that day.

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