Mizzou athletic administrator named new Southeast Missouri State athletic director

Friday, April 20, 2012
Mark Alnutt speaks after being introduced as the new director of athletics at Southeast Missouri State University during a news conference in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center Thursday, April 19. Alnutt was most recently the senior associate athletics director at the University of Missouri. Alnutt takes over from Cindy Gannon who has been serving as interim director of athletics since John Shafer retired last June. (Adam Vogler)

A former Missouri football player who has spent the last 14 years at the state's flagship university is Southeast Missouri State's new athletic director.

Mark Alnutt, a 39-year-old native of Kansas City, Mo., was introduced Thursday afternoon during a news conference on the Southeast campus.

"It's very exciting for me and my family," Alnutt said. "It's a thrill and an honor to be the next director of athletics at Southeast Missouri State University."

Alnutt, who according to a news release will begin his duties at Southeast "on or about May 21," agreed to a five-year deal, but the contract numbers have not been finalized.

Alnutt most recently served as senior associate athletics director for administration at Missouri. He also spent six years as Missouri's director of football operations, adding an assistant athletic director title before the 2005-2006 season. He has been in administration with the university since then.

"Mark brings with him a tremendous breadth of experience and the caliber of credentials to move our program forward and into the future," Southeast president Ken Dobbins said. "All of us are looking forward to having Mark join us at Southeast."

Alnutt, who played linebacker and tight end for Missouri from 1993 to 1995 after originally joining the program as a walk-on, is Southeast's first African-American athletic director.

Alnutt said he strives for a well-rounded athletic program that maintains high academic standards and prepares students for life after athletics.

"What I stand for is that the student-athlete is a student first and foremost," he said. "Academics is the key for all our student-athletes. The journey of the student-athlete, to me, has to be a first-class experience. We need to make sure they grow as men and women. They need to be prepared for a life after athletics."

Alnutt said he believes Southeast has been doing some good things athletically but can achieve considerably more.

"Athletically, you can spotlight certain things in the department," he said. "What I want to see is more team success across the board. When we achieve at a high level, we're going to do it the right way."

Alnutt and his wife, Kate, who was at the news conference, have four children: Jaren, 10, Kinleigh, 7, Mason, 5, and Aidan, 10 months.

Alnutt replaces Cindy Gannon, Southeast's associate director of athletics/senior woman administrator, who has served as the interim athletic director since June, when John Shafer retired.

Shafer served as athletic director for about 2 1/2 years.

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