Mike Alden leaves behind reshaped Mizzou legacy
COLUMBIA - Mike Alden, University of Missouri Chancellor Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, and MU College of Education Dean Dan Clay all plan to meet with media and fans at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning to discuss Alden's resignation as the university's athletic director. The resignation is effective on Aug. 31.
Alden, who was recently inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, is the second longest tenured athletic director in the history of the University of Missouri. He will leave behind a legacy of reshaping Mizzou athletics.
That legacy arguably started with hiring current head football coach Gary Pinkel in 2000. Since then, Pinkel has become the winningest coach in program history. He's led Missouri football to five conference divisional titles and ten bowl game appearances. The program has also become an NFL pipeline under Pinkel, producing 27 NFL draft picks.
Another hallmark of that legacy is Missouri's move to the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have had great success since moving to the SEC, including a conference volleyball championship and back-to-back SEC East division football championships. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Mizzou also experienced an increase in revenue when leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.
Speaking of money, under Alden, Missouri's athletic budget has grown tremendously from $13.7 million to $85 million. He's overseen about $265 million in athletic facility enhancements, highlighted by the opening of Mizzou Arena in 2004, which underwent renovation in 2014, and the expansion of Faurot Field.
Alden is also known as a successful fundraiser for Missouri athletics, being recognized as one of the top fundraising athletic directors in the country.
Missouri athletics has seen some controversy during Alden's tenure as athletic director. In 2014, an independent counsel revealed Missouri did not act properly when dealing with former MU swimmer Sasha Menu Courey's alleged sexual assault. One of the conclusions the counsel made in the report was Missouri did not have proper Title IX protocols.
Missouri basketball has seen five head coaches since Alden became athletic director: Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder, Mike Anderson, Frank Haith, and Kim Anderson. Alden did not hire Stewart but did hire the other four. Snyder's tenure had controversy, including when the NCAA named him in 17 allegations, leading to the program being placed on probation for three years and Snyder resigning as head coach.
After Mike Anderson left Missouri for Arkansas, Alden hired Haith, who faced his own allegations from the NCAA concerning his time as the head coach at the University of Miami. Haith would be suspended five games for this in 2013. Haith left Missouri in 2014 to become the head coach at the University of Tulsa, which led to the hiring of current basketball head coach Kim Anderson.
Under Alden's watch, Missouri athletics did have multiple legal incidents involving student-athletes. These include, but are not limited to, the cases of Derrick Washington, Michael Dixon, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Zach Price. KOMU 8 News also reported in 2014 that at that time, Missouri and Georgia led the SEC in student-athlete arrests since Missouri officially became a part of the conference on July 1, 2012.
After his term ends on Aug. 31, Alden will be a part of the MU College of Education as an instructor.