COLUMBIA − Mizzou Athletics Director Jim Sterk has stepped down, according to news release from the MU News Bureau.
The University of Missouri and Sterk mutually agreed he would step down once a new leader is found. The news release did not include reasons for his departure. He had two years left on his contract.
“We are grateful for the dedicated leadership Jim has provided over the last five years to position Mizzou for even greater success,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said. “We recognize his many contributions and appreciate his continued role as we search for the next leader of Mizzou Athletics.
A national search for an athletic director will begin immediately.
“We now begin a national search for a visionary athletics director who will develop a strategic plan for Mizzou to achieve exceptional success in the SEC and to navigate a bold path in the rapidly evolving world of collegiate athletics," Choi continued in the news release.
Sterk was the 20th athletic director for MU, following Mack Rhoades and Mike Alden. Sterk was hired in 2016, after leaving his athletic director position at San Diego State.
The news release praised Sterk for his time at MU.
"Sterk has led during a time of progress in new facilities, fundraising and increased academic and athletic success," it said.
MU opened a $98 million football facility in 2019. It's also scheduled to break ground on an indoor practice facility this fall.
During Sterk's tenure, MU broke the Tiger Scholarship Fund's productivity record in raising $55.5 million during FY21, to surpass the previous mark of $50.4 million set in FY17 by more than $5 million.
Over the last 5 years, 18 of MU's 20 programs made at least one postseason appearance. That period also produced seven individual NCAA championships and 11 conference team titles.
For nine consecutive semesters, MU athletes have posted 3.00 grade-point average or better.
“I am grateful for the hard work of our amazing staff, coaches and student-athletes, as well as the generous support of our alumni and friends during my tenure as athletics director,” Sterk said in the news release. “I believe that Mizzou Athletics is well positioned for future success, and I wish our coaches and student-athletes well in their continued quest for academic and athletic excellence. MIZ.”