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Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk is a damn fundraising machine

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Sensing a lack of standout links for Rock M Nation’s links posts, Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk held court with a few members of the local media on Wednesday Some quick takeaways from those conversations:

Fundraising is going really well at the moment.

Okay, he didn’t need to tell anybody about that — has a release about it.

The generosity, loyalty and passion of more than 7,000 donors has allowed the University of Missouri's Tiger Scholarship Fund(TSF) to raise a school-record $50.4 million in support of the institution's 20-sport intercollegiate athletics programs during the 2016-17 fiscal year. With two days left in the fiscal year, the 2016-17 total already stands more than $4.7 million ahead of the previous record of $45.7 million raised in 2011-12, which marked Mizzou's first year of Southeastern Conference membership.

"This has been a historic year for the Tiger Scholarship Fund. We deeply appreciate our generous alumni and friends for stepping forward during this important time in our program's history to help us provide the best possible academic and athletic experience for our 550 student-athletes," said Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk.

"I believe this record-breaking year is a credit to our loyal donors and the outstanding work of the Tiger Scholarship Fund staff," he added. "With the momentum generated from this year's achievements, we believe a strong foundation is in place to ensure future success within our athletics program."

TSF's record-breaking 2016-17 total, which included new pledges and cash gifts, was aided by a school-record 11 gifts of $1 million or more, and was more than double the $21.96 million raised in 2015-16. It also marked just the second time in school history that the TSF surpassed the $40 million threshold in philanthropic support and just the fifth time it topped the $30 million plateau.

More than doubling the previous year? Damn.

“Win it right.”

From the Post-Dispatch:

“I’ve just tried to share the vision of what we could do and that I intend to be here a long time. … I’m not in it for the short term,” he said Wednesday in an interview with select media outlets. “I think people understand that. I think they could see I was telling them what I believe. I do believe that I’m going to work as long as I can and be effective for Mizzou.

“I believe in the (university’s) land-grant mission. I believe in what we’re doing here. And then I’m competitive as hell. And I want to win. I want to win championships but do it in the right way. My motto is, ‘Win it right.’ That’s what I want to do. As I’ve talked to donors and alums they’ve been great. That’s what they want for this place, too.”

No vote on the South end zone project yet (which is at least a smidge odd).

From the Trib:

The project has not yet received a vote of approval from the UM System Board of Curators, who had their annual meeting on June 22-23. The board initially was expected to vote on the project and funding plan then, but it was not on the meeting agenda. Sterk didn’t say why.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “It’s part of the timing with the board and part of it for us, bringing the project forward.”

Sterk said the project remains on schedule, and he didn’t express any concern about getting board approval. The curators have a teleconference scheduled for July 28. Their next in-person meeting is Sept. 28-29.

Football ticket sales are going well compared to expectations.

From PowerMizzou:

Q: I know attendance figured into the basketball decision last year. Football, I know it's not at those levels, but obviously it's down. Where are you at ticket sales wise and how much does that have to improve this year?

Sterk: "I think it will improve. I think we're at already 82% of our revenue goal and that's two months away from the first game. I think we're in really good shape. I'd love to be at a hundred percent right now and then moving above, but I think it will be important for us to start off right and show some progress. [...]

Q: That goal that you're at 82% of, do you base that on a certain number of tickets per game?

Sterk: "We set a revenue goal budget wise so that's 82% of the budget. I know it's over 21,000 season tickets already."

Q: Have you adjusted that down in recent years?

Sterk: "It's the same as last year."

Q: Season tickets are over 21,000?

Sterk: "Yeah, and students are up like double already. I think they're at 2400 and last year at this time they were at 1200."

Expectations for 2017: bowl.

From the Trib:

“I think to get to six wins is progress,” Sterk said. “I think that’s at a minimum of what you would want, what our alums want. As a team, they’ll be disappointed with that, but I think that’s moving forward – being bowl eligible, go to a great bowl and get back into that. I think that’s really important for us.”

The 2024 home game against Boston College (which I had already forgotten about) will likely be in Kansas City.

From the KC Star:

“I have not gotten anywhere,” Sterk said, “as far as Kansas or Kansas State on football there in Kansas City.”

The Boston College game is something of a makeup game for Arrowhead Stadium after the last game in Kansas City — against BYU in November 2015 — failed to meet revenue expectations in the wake of a brief boycott by Tigers players earlier in the week that threatened to cancel the game.

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