Mark Alnutt walked into the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex on Thursday and knew right away that this is where he wants to be.
Alnutt, the senior associate athletic director for administration at Missouri, was the fourth and final man to make a pitch for the Athletic Director position currently available at Missouri Western. Alnutt spoke about why he wants to be at Western during his presentation in the GISC.
“This is a tremendous facility,” Alnutt said. “I’ve told many people that we would die for a facility like this in Columbia, Mo. This is something we need to take advantage of.”
The facility, as well as the community, are two of the reasons Alnutt stated to make him want to be at Western.
“One thing that attracted me here to this position is: This is a great community to raise a family,” Alnutt said.
Alnutt is the only candidate out of the final four that has never had a director of athletics job. This doesn’t matter to Alnutt; he said he has worked hard his whole life and has been put up against the odds plenty of times.
He was a former walk-on for the Missouri Tigers football team. Alnutt eventually played well enough to be put on scholarship and graduated at Missouri shortly after. He stated that competitiveness is all too important when dealing with college students, but not just the drive to succeed at their sport, but also the will to graduate. He said that’s what makes a student a champion.
“It’s a tremendous honor to represent [Western],” Alnutt said. “There’s going to be a lot of victories, and when I say victories I’m not just talking about games. I’m talking about victories in the classroom.”
Alnutt did not shy away from questions about the Kansas City Chiefs summer camp. He has negotiated with the Chiefs before, as he was one of the key partners in the Missouri-Kansas fall rivalry game being played at Arrowhead Stadium for the past four seasons.
“My next step is to be able to stay in communication with them and make sure this camp stays here for a long time and it benefits both parties.”
The Missouri alum made a bold statement before taking questions from the media and boosters at the presentation.
“I guarantee we’ll make it the full 10 years,” said Alnutt, when referring to the Chiefs and Western’s partnership in the summer camp. The camp currently has three years left in its contract, and after that point either side can separate at any point for the following five summers.
Alnutt said he is sure about the Chiefs because relationships are what matter, and he has a strong relationship with many of the Chiefs’ personnel.
Besides handling money at Missouri, he is also the chairman of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee. He said he understands rivalries, and another draw to Western is that the MIAA reminds him of the Big XII, in the sense that it is a strong conference.