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Missouri introduces Mack Rhoades as athletic director

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At 2:00 p.m. CT, Missouri will hold a press conference introducing Mack Rhoades as just its 16th athletic director since 1897. (There have been 20 American presidents since 1897, by the way.)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As we get ready to watch the press conference, here's what others are saying about the hire.

MUTIGERS.COM: Mack B. Rhoades IV Named Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

"Mack Rhoades brings a wealth of experience as a Division I athletic director to Mizzou, and he has demonstrated a commitment to our core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive excellence," Loftin said. "I am delighted to welcome a leader with a track record of enhancing the student-athlete experience and a proven record in fundraising and facility development. We found the right fit at the right time to take Mizzou Athletics to even greater heights."

At the University of Houston, Rhoades rejuvenated the athletics program across the board, including enhancements in the student athlete experience, academics, facilities, fundraising and competitiveness. During the 2013-14 academic year, 10 of the 17 sports programs competed in NCAA postseason competition. The football team has participated in bowl games in four of the last six seasons, including the 2011 season when the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 6 in the BCS standings and competed in two consecutive bowl games in 2013 and 2014. In almost every academic measurement, including GPA and APR, Houston reached record levels; Rhoades created the Cougar Pride Leadership Academy to provide life-long leadership skills for student-athletes.

"The University of Missouri is a world-class institution, and I am honored to serve as its next director of athletics," Rhoades said. "Success begins with great people and I look forward to working with our talented student-athletes, coaches and staff to keep the athletics program among the nation's elite. Amy and the girls and I are extremely excited to become members of the Mizzou family, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Chancellor Loftin and President Wolfe. I look forward to traveling the state to meet the fans who are the heartbeat of the Tigers."

Post-Dispatch (Gordon): Deflated basketball is Rhoades' top concern
Post-Dispatch (Bernie): MU's pick for athletics director is the aggressive type
Post-Dispatch: New Mizzou AD specializes in fundraising, facilities
Post-Dispatch: Alden: New AD will do "amazing things" at Mizzou

The last several years, Alden said he confided in only a few people about his decision to step down, including football coach Gary Pinkel.

Alden said that anyone who thinks differently about his decision to step down is "absolutley off base."

More Alden on Rhoades: "For us at Missouri to recruit he — and I don't want to discount this — his wife Amy and their family to come be part of our family at Mizzou is tremendous. He’s unbelievably hard working. He’s focused. He’s a guy who has great speaking ability, great fundraising ability. He understands the breadth of college athletics. I really believe he respects and understands the culture we’ve tried to develop here at Mizzou.

"Understanding all that, with his family and focus and doing things the right way, he has an opportunity to take us to even greater heights as we go forward. He has a lot of characteristics that are going to bode very well not only for athletics but our university."

The Missourian: Missouri officially hires Rhoades as next athletics director
The Missourian: COMO YOU KNOW: Mack Rhoades
The Missourian: New Missouri athletics director Mack Rhoades focused on long-term

"He’s a star," [former Houston basketball coach James] Dickey said. "(Missouri) made a great selection. I knew that when I was with him that there was no way Houston would be able to keep him."

Dickey said Rhoades is a hands-off boss. He never felt Rhoades micro-managed coaches but was "very available" if needed.

"He’s not a Jerry Jones-type guy," Khan Jr. said, referring to the Dallas Cowboys' owner, who's often viewed as a meddler. "He’s not going to get into the middle of everything."

Both Khan Jr. and Dickey acknowledged the job Rhoades is inheriting in Missouri is different from the one he holds at Houston. Missouri is established in the Southeastern Conference and has not had a problem raising funds for upgrades to Memorial Stadium or the construction of a new tennis complex.

But Dickey saw that as a plus. Rhoades, Dickey said, will merely have more resources at his disposal in Columbia.

PowerMizzou.com - The Rhoades Report
PowerMizzou.com - Insider Report on Mack Rhoades
PowerMizzou.com - Bob Stull on Mack Rhoades

PM.com: I guess it's been about 20 years since you were at Mizzou. The athletic department and the situation that Mack is walking into versus what things were like when you were here, how different are they? And what do you think about where that athletic department sits now versus where it was when you were here?

BS: "There's no comparison. First of all, my son lives in Columbia. My son's the head golf pro at Old Hawthorne. I'm back there five or six times a year. We go back all the time. I come and it's like I never left. I'm there all the time. I don't know if you know Gary Pinkel played for me. My first full-time job was at Kent State, he was a player and then when I was the offensive coordinator at Washington, he was the receivers coach for like seven years. I've known him since college. So we're really close friends...I'm there all the time. There's a dramatic difference. Mike's done a nice job, I think. When I was there, we didn't have, really, much of anything, quite frankly. I mean, we didn't have the financial support that you have right now. It's a dramatic difference. When I first got there in Columbia, you know the locker rooms that they have at the end of the stadium, the south end right now, those didn't exist. The locker rooms we went into were like 1950's. We didn't even have air conditioning. They were like cinder block. After the first year or so we built the locker room there. Then over across the street where the offices are, the weight room was only three thousand square feet and we had no meeting rooms, we had none of that stuff. After the third year, I went out and raised the money, we built on, the weight room became ten thousand (square feet), we had meeting rooms and the like, but nothing like they have now. The way they operate, too. We couldn't get kids into school in those times. It's a different ballgame. Everything was different at the time. But I tell you, they've done a really nice job. When Gary took the job, I said, there's some things that you need to do if you want to be competitive in that league. With what we were facing, that wasn't gonna happen. They made some changes and he addressed all those when he came in. I think they've really come a long way. I think they've done a wonderful job. I think Mike, through his tenure, obviously facilities have dramatically changed, everything's completely changed. Gary's done a wonderful job with the football program and I think Kim Anderson will do the same. He had a little bit of a tough situation coming in, but the whole physical plan has changed there. It's great. They've done a wonderful job. I think it's a really good place. I think they will continue to grow and Mack will help them do it, I think."

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