The band will be sticking together for the foreseeable future. Eli Drinkwitz announced early Thursday afternoon that both Offensive Coordinator Kirby Moore and Defensive Coordinator Blake Baker had signed contract extensions keeping them in Columbia.
Drinkwitz said that he was “confident they’ll both call plays in the bowl.” The contracts guarantee their stints with Mizzou will extend beyond the Cotton Bowl matchup against No. 8 Ohio State on Dec. 29. The details of both extensions have yet to be released.
Baker joined Mizzou for the 2022 season from LSU after Steve Wilks left to return to the NFL. In a single-season after MU’s defense was one of the worst in all of college football, he helped transform the unit into the strength of the team in 2022. The momentum carried into this season where Missouri’s star-studded defense has held opponents to around 22 points per game with talented players such as Darius Robinson, Ennis Rakestraw Jr, Kris Abrams-Draine, and Ty’Ron Hopper.
Mizzou’s offense took a major step forward in 2023 becoming an explosive and exciting unit to watch thanks to Moore. The 31-year-old play caller and brother of Los Angeles Chargers OC Kellen Moore came from Fresno State and transformed the Tiger offense from 86th in scoring to 25th in the nation. He helped elevate the play of quarterback Brady Cook, who tossed for 3,189 yards, and 28 total touchdowns while Cody Schrader became one of the biggest success stories in college football finishing eighth in the Heisman Voting. Luther Burden III also took a big step forward, becoming Mizzou’s first 1,000 yard receiver since 2017.
Continuity is key in football and Mizzou will have it moving forward into the 2024 season. With a new look SEC, an expanded College Football Playoff, returning offensive firepower and a defense supplemented by the portal, the idea of playoffs or bust is reality for the Tigers. Retaining both coordinators will go a long way into helping achieve that goal.