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Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk steps down

Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Missouri Tigers logo on the retaining wall before the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Missouri Tigers logo on the retaining wall before the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Missouri and Jim Sterk “mutually agreed” that the athletics director will resign from his post.

Per the Monday announcement, Sterk, who was two weeks from the fifth anniversary of taking the job, will remain in his role until a replacement can be hired.

“We are grateful for the dedicated leadership Jim has provided over the last five years to position Mizzou for even greater success,” Tigers president Mun Choi said in a statement. “We recognize his many contributions and appreciate his continued role as we search for the next leader of Mizzou Athletics.

“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.”

The surprising move comes at a time of potential upheaval around college sports, especially with the Southeastern Conference flirting with adding a pair of Big 12 powers, Oklahoma and Texas, to its ranks.

Sterk was the 20th athletics director in school history and hired the current head coaches for football (Eli Drinkwitz) and men’s basketball (Cuonzo Martin) at the university. Sterk previously had sports administration experience at San Diego State, Washington State and Portland.

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“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. “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.”

According to the university, the Tigers had 18 teams make the postseason in the 2020-21 athletic season, a school record.

–Field Level Media