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Mizzou Links: The End of an Era

Mizzou Football Links for Thursday, August 24

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Rock M Nation slack channel, reacting in real time

I saw this come across our Rock M slack channel, and then twitter afterward, and I audibly gasped. I didn’t know what to do. Truly shocking information. You guys... Matter is leaving the Post-Dispatch. I am flummoxed. Discombobulated. Disoriented. All the words.

A thread (or part of it, anyway)

The folks mentioned above who, as J-Schoolers, have served as campus correspondents and have gone on to do great things. Let’s review: Anne covers the Royals for Christina is now covering Clemson for the Greenville News after covering Arkansas for a few years out of college. Bennett is the Colorado Avalanche writer for The Denver Post and also covered the Nuggs’ championship after writing about Auburn for the Montgomery Advisor out of JSchool. Max is an editor for the KC Star. Calum now works for the Trib (in Dave’s old post!). And Eli is perhaps the most incredible get of them all. He is truly phenomenal, having covered everything, from Higher Ed to the hazing scandals that plague Mizzou’s Greek system for the Missourian to serving as a Washington correspondent. He was a frequent caller to the dean’s office during his time on the beat, and we’re finally rid of him (JK). I sincerely hope this program continues in Dave’s absence as it has helped produce a great number of sports journos. #JSchoolBestSchool

Gather ‘round, friends, it’s story time.

Dave and I met way back in 2011 when I was just a bebe, masquerading for a couple seasons as the men’s and women’s head swim coach at Hickman and Rock Bridge High Schools. Matter was on the Mizzou beat (and HS sports beat) at the Columbia Tribune at the time, a post he would leave in 2013. There wasn’t much coverage of Olympic sports in those days, as Hickman’s unparalleled dominance in MSHSAA women’s swimming had died out (more on that later). You see, long ago, Hickman was a juggernaut, and between 1990-99, the women’s team won three championships, had countless individual champions, and finished 2nd an additional 7 times. Just craziness. They were terrifyingly good and just bigger and better than anyone else, as witnessed by me and my Hazelwood Central teammates at the time. I had nightmares of the Bohon sisters. Those Kewpies were scary. So when the former head coach was let go after the season in 2011 —he’d been the coach there longer than I’d been on this earth— I got offered the job. I had a men’s team title (2009) and several more years of top 3-4 performances for both teams in my 6 years at the helm, to go with coaching numerous state champions and All-Americans at Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, North Carolina. (Readers, I bring this up only because it was a big deal when JH was let go and I was hired— they interviewed me for a TV spot, for god’s sake. It was an intense position, and full of way too much scrutiny for my liking.) A St. Louis native, I jumped at the chance to return “home” and get to watch my Missouri sports teams in person— they were not readily available for viewing back then, and while I loved my NC teams dearly and I still talk to many of them to this day, it was time to go and return to my roots to take over what had historically been a very, very (very) good program.

So in the spring of 2012, as my Rock Bridge girls team, full of swimmers who rejoined the high school swimming ranks after a years-long fracture led to many club swimmers skipping the season altogether, we prepared for the Bruins’ first real quest (of many in the years following with others at the helm) state swimming championships. And that’s when we meet this story’s hero — Dave Matter, superwriter. He was tasked to meet up with this newbie coach and chat high school swimming, of which I am 100% certain was not his topic of choice. But he was awesome, so nice and so damn good at his job, able to capture snippets from a bunch of high school girls who were not used to being asked to talk to the media. Hell, instead of canceling one of our meetings, Dave even showed up one day to conduct interviews with barely a voice. Nevertheless, he persisted, as deadlines wait for no man.

Fast forward to the present. I’ve since been out of the coaching world for over a decade now (omg), but we still remain friendly and I’m always willing to share info with him and help in any way I can. I have continued to devour his work for the Post-Dispatch, as well as his Mizzou-themed books, and often think about how Dave approaches things — like a WWDMD?!? — as I venture into my own quasi-sportswriting side hustle. I am sad to see this come to an end, though Matter’s said it is not the last we’ll see of him in CoMo or with Mizzou. Like so many others at the Post before him (I miss you every day, Bryan Burwell, and even Joe Strauss, that curmudgeon) I appreciate good sports writing, and Dave is a master class, a consummate professional, and a great mentor for so many young aspiring sports journos out there. In short, he really IS the Mizzou beat.

Witness. The quote tweets on this are just... *chef’s kiss.* He’s made such a difference in the lives of so many J School folks, as well as others who just admired his moxie.

In honor of this, I asked some of our writers to share what being around a figure like Matter has meant to them.

Quentin Corpuel:

“For over two decades, Dave has set a fantastic example for aspiring sports journalists. I haven’t even known him for a full calendar year, but it didn’t take me very long to tell how good he was at his job. I wish him the best on whatever his future entails.”

Brandon Haynes:

“I learned quite a lot watching Dave Matter work these past one-plus years. First of which is how to interview and get the most out of a source that you’re talking to. Watching him has raised my confidence level in knowing how to interview and what to say at a given time. Additionally, Dave’s writing has proved as an inspiration to me. He has a unique way of telling stories, specifically features. As someone who desires to be a storyteller, Dave is the epitome of that craft and it’s been a pleasure being able to be in the same realm as him these past two years. I know that Dave’s talents will guide him to success wherever he goes, and I hope students of the future look back to him for inspiration on how to cover a beat and write about collegiate athletics.”

Jaden Lewis:

“Growing up in Columbia, I of course have paid close attention to Mizzou athletics. Once I discovered that I could keep up with coverage of MU sports on social media at a young age, Dave Matter was one of the most reliable sources that kept me up to date. I was fortunate enough to be able to observe just how good he is at this profession, and also he is an absolute great person as well. It’s going to be odd without him being on the Mizzou beat this year, but I wish him the absolute best. “

“One thing for sure, he helped inspire a kid from Columbia to pursue sports journalism and I know a lot of fans, and people including me, around the state of Missouri are going to miss his coverage.”

Parker Gillam:

“It’s been a privilege to observe how Dave goes about his day-to-day work and the way he carries himself in the box/at pressers. I’ve only been able to glimpse but two of the many years he’s been on the Mizzou beat, but I’ve learned so much from him during that time. It’s tough to see one of the leaders of this field leave the beat, but I’d imagine Dave will be just fine wherever he ends up.”

We’ll miss you, Dave. Truly the end of an era. Also, poor Gabe...

On to the Links!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:


Mandel predicts — spoiler alert — that Mizzou will finish 4th in the East, tied with the Wildcats, and behind UGA, Tennessee, and the [shudders] Other Columbia team.

  • This is cool. I can’t recall a time when this many have been in the running, but my football knowledge isn’t always to date
  • Great listen from Mizzou Radio and the Inside Mizzou Athletics podcast:
  • Something to Prove. I love Mizzou’s secondary, which coincidentally, we are covering this week (I think?)
  • Memories...


  • From Kobe (on Kobe Day)— I actually wore my Kobe shirt on Wednesday not even thinking about it being Kobe Day. He’s always with us:
  • Jordan Clarkson is representing Team Philippines

Other Mizzou Sports


It took just 15 minutes for sophomore Kylee Simmons to tally her first goal of the season and put Mizzou up 2-0 against SEMO on Aug. 17. She followed that performance with two goals at Creighton on Aug. 20 to help the team to a 3-1 win. She currently tops the SEC in multiple categories, including points (6), points per game (3.00), goals (3) and goals per game (1.5).

Five freshmen made their first career starts in the opening week of action: Brianna Buels, Olivia Chianelli, Ana DiMaria, Kate Phillips and Shania Spriggs versus SEMO & Creighton. Spriggs totaled a goal and assist vs. SEMO, while Chianelli tallier her first gol against SEMO, assisted by Buels. Phillips had her first start in goal and had a career shutout. In this contest, the Redhawks did not register a shot.

  • First week fits for Mizzou Gymnastics. Best dressed on campus? I mean... I admire the shoe game. I’ve had my eyes on Joci’s university gold Jordan 1 Lows for a while now.
  • Let’s check in on Mizzou Softball’s core value pyramid, shall we?

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