Mizzou's Rob Drass Steps Down as Gymnastics Coach
COLUMBIA -- After 14 years at the University of Missouri, Rob Drass has resigned his position as head gymnastics coach effective immediately, and will pursue other career opportunities. A national search will begin immediately to find his replacement, as announced today by Mizzou Athletics, with no timetable set. Assistant Coach Jennifer Green has been named interim head coach until the next coach has been identified.
Drass served as head coach at Mizzou for 14 seasons (2000-13), and compiled an overall dual-meet record of 146-115, while leading the Tigers to 11 consecutive NCAA Regional appearances from 2002-12. His 2010 squad turned in the best season in program history, as it reached the NCAA Championship Finals for the first time in school history. The Tigers hosted the NCAA Regionals that year and came away with the program's first Regional title, winning at the Hearnes Center with a team score of 196.500. Mizzou went on to finish 12th in the championships - the highest final ranking in program history.
Since then, the following three seasons saw MU go 6-9 in 2011, 9-6 in 2012 and 3-11 in 2013, including a combined conference dual record of 1-11 in those three years. The 2013 squad suffered multiple injuries which impacted the season, and their 3-11 overall record included an 0-7 mark in Southeastern Conference competition. The team did not qualify for NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2001.
"I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish here at Mizzou, and I leave feeling good that the program is in a better place than what it was when we came in," said Drass. "While I will miss Mizzou, I feel now is the right time to turn it over to someone else. I'll always think of Mizzou as a special place, and am very grateful for the opportunities I've had here, and I hope to see the gymnastics program achieve great things going forward," he said.
"We will miss Rob and will always be appreciative for the hard work he and his staff and student-athletes put in over the years to represent Mizzou," said Associate Athletic Director Colleen Lamond, who has administrative oversight duties for gymnastics. "There's no question that our program made many significant strides under his direction, but now we will turn our focus toward a new direction and new leadership for our student-athletes. We have the resources at Mizzou to be competitive within the SEC and on the national stage, so we're excited about the future," she said.
"We are certainly very respectful for Rob and the achievements of his program here," said Director of Athletics Mike Alden. "Our student-athletes had some outstanding achievements both on and off the mat under Rob, and Mizzou will always be grateful for those. Moving forward, we have increased our investment into our gymnastics program, and with our new facilities and our new conference home, our expectations are raised. We are very excited about the future for our gymnastics program, and look forward to recruiting some dynamic new leadership to move us forward," he said.