Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk spoke to both the Post-Dispatch and KC Star on Wednesday. I’ll say this: he has the ability to deliver AD speak in what feels like a very candid, engaging manner.
Asked if he was concerned that Odom had lost his team, Sterk said, “No, because I see them in the locker room and in meetings. (But) somehow they lost focus between practices during the week and then the game.”
“Yeah, it’s a challenge,” he added. “I think they’ve got a lot to do. But I think the kids are behind him, and the coaches are together and they’ll develop a good game plan and I expect a heck of a lot better game this Saturday.”
Even if “how?” is a legitimate question.
Q: Your track record suggests you favor end-of-year evaluations when it comes to reviewing a coach's performance. Is that a set standard?
A: "I don't think it's fair to the coaches, or the players. So, that's something that you evaluate at the end of the year. That's not unusual for me, and most people are that way. You've got not only coaches themselves, but the families of coaches. There are a lot of people connected to the program, about 60-70 people who are impacted by that. I take that very, very seriously. You want to protect those coaches, families, kids. And the student athletes. And it's unfair to judge after three games. In 2014, we got beat 34-0 by Georgia. Then won the East division. There are things that can happen. You can make really positive moves. So you don't want to judge anything too early."
Last Saturday’s dispiriting 35-3 loss to Purdue at home represented a new low point. Sterk didn’t sugarcoat the fiasco, but for the record he refused to write off the season.
“We have nine games left. It’s important for us to focus on each of those games and move forward,” Sterk said. “(I’m) disappointed from the standpoint of we had momentum at the end of last year, two out of three, beating a couple of bowl teams down the stretch and having 10 of 11 offensive starters back.
“For us to be successful, we’ve got to score points. From the first three weeks, we need a big jump in the rest of the nine games.”
All three pieces are very much worth reading in full. He talks about fan engagement, the success of the athletic department as a whole (16 of 20 sports making the postseason), the challenges of having a smaller fan base than other SEC schools, etc. Do give them your clicks.
More Football Links:
- Corey Fatony: L-E-G-E-N-D.
- Brad Smith: hall-of-famer.
- Gus Malzahn is unsure what to expect from Mizzou’s defense. Welcome to the club, Coach.
- Yep, scoring on Auburn is going to be a challenge.
- Nate Anderson made it to Mizzou via quite the twisty road.
- Busy weekend coming up in the Mizzou universe: Mizzou Soccer goes to Mississippi State on Thursday and hosts Texas A&M on Sunday, Mizzou Tennis hosts the Mizzou Invite, and Mizzou Volleyball, after giving No. 10 Kentucky a fight, heads to Texas A&M.
- Here are some volleyball highlights from last night, by the way:
HIGHLIGHTS: Mizzou kept it close in the conference opener against Kentucky, but fall 3-1 in Columbia pic.twitter.com/xJYazfBit1— Mizzou Network (@MizzouNetwork) September 21, 2017
- Sisters Macy and Savannah Trujillo, both of Mizzou Soccer, play together to honor their mother.
- We know the TV and tip times for the Mizzou Women’s Basketball SEC schedule now.
- Mizzou Softball has opened fall practice.
- The official enrollment numbers are in. The freshman class is small but a hair bigger than expected, and overall enrollment has crept back to 2008-09 levels. Hey, that was a pretty fun year for the basketball team, at least...
- NEW PAPN! Yes, I talked about Mizzou. No, you won’t particularly enjoy it.