Western needs strong leadership

Commentary Sports

The Missouri Western sports program has reached a point in time where things are either going to keep pace with the steadily improving landscape that Mark Linder set, or they will falter in a series of bad choices that would make all of the successes at Missouri Western in the last 10 years null and void starting with the hiring of a new athletic director.

The process of picking the right athletic director has to be the cornerstone of a program set up to instill pride in both the students and alumni. A bad or hurried choice in this department would only regress hard work put forth to make the sports program what it is today.

By no means is Missouri Western a power house in the three major sports (football, basketball, baseball) but the school has been slowly reaching a point where that could be a possibility in the next few years. Western has gotten to the point of respectability with Linder in charge, but the sports program still needs a strong leader to live up to the motto “Graduating Champions.” It would be a big step backward to throw any random person into the position. This decision could erase all of the tiny steps Missouri Western has taken over the years without doing some major research beforehand about the candidates.

The Max Experience is helping to build brand new facilities and get all of the sports teams on campus so it draws more interest from the casual student dorm life. The programs are getting upgraded as we speak from the new gym floor taking place right now, to the football turf that the school got last summer and a whole number of projects still yet to be done.

These upgrades alone should make Missouri Western attractive to many people who are looking for the opportunity to show their leadership abilities at a collegiate level.

It all starts at the top. A program has to have some sort of stabilizing force at the top. This has to be a person who makes good decisions on who to hire, and if need be, who to fire, in order to build a winning tradition of their own here at Missouri Western, not just to be in the shadows of something Linder started.

The easy alternative isn’t always the right one. People want to see winners, not mediocrity. Students want to have pride in their school, cheer against the enemy from up north, getpainted up for games and enjoy the team’s successes with the players and coaches.

If making the school better isn’t a priority then by all means, hire the person that will make the easy adjustment or the person that is most convenient to hire. But if you want the best for your school, students and faculty, then find the hidden gem even if it takes a bit longer to do. Find the best person for the
job and don’t give the job away until you do.

I know Mark Linder left at a rough time, but not everything works out the way it’s supposed to and sometimes you have to roll with the punches and see what happens.

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