Missouri Southern names Rob Mallory next Athletic Director

Mallory comes to Joplin from Division II Kentucky Wesleyan.

Missouri Southern has named Rob Mallory its 6th Athletic Director in school history. Mallory comes to Joplin from Kentucky Wesleyan and will begin serving as AD on July 1st.

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Joplin, Mo. – Rob Mallory has been named director of athletics for Missouri Southern State University. Mallory, who will start on July 1, will become Missouri Southern’s sixth athletics director.

Mallory comes from Kentucky Wesleyan, a NCAA Division II Institution that includes 21 varsity sport programs, where he served as vice president of intercollegiate athletics. He was promoted to this position in January 2021 after serving as director of athletics since May of 2015. Prior to that, he served as associate director of athletics at NCAA Division II Quincy University (Illinois) July 2010 through June 2015 where he directed a comprehensive compliance program as the senior compliance officer. Mallory spent three years from 2007-10 at NCAA Division I University of Evansville (Indiana) as the director of marketing and ticket services.

“MSSU has a proud history of success in competition, in the classroom, and in the community,” said Mallory. “I am honored to be chosen to now lead those efforts as its next director of athletics. I want to thank Dr. Van Galen and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity.”

During Mallory’s last five years at Kentucky Wesleyan, he oversaw an overall increase in revenue for his department through the development and streamlining of athletic giving with the Panther Athletic Fund. Updates and renovation plans for all athletic facilities at Kentucky Wesleyan were started with his oversight.

Kentucky Wesleyan athletic programs expanded during his tenure with the addition of four new programs. The Panthers have also flourished in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, winning five conference titles and making six appearances in the NCAA Tournament. In the classroom, 16 programs (of 19) maintain a cumulative GPA above 3.0, while one third of all student-athletes earned Academic All-Conference honors for the 2019-20 academic year.

In 2019, Mallory was appointed to the NCAA Division II National Football Committee for a four-year term, which followed three-year terms serving on the NCAA Division II Regional Advisory Committee for football and baseball.

“I am excited to welcome Rob Mallory to Missouri Southern and Lion Athletics,” said Dr. Dean Van Galen, MSSU president. “Rob brings to MSSU extensive experience and a record of success as an athletics administrator at the NCAA Division II level. He is a thoughtful, principled and collaborative leader who will advance athletes and positively contribute to the university’s future.”
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Julie Wengert, served as chair of the search committee. Other committee members included Director of Athletic Internal Operations Karesa Burr, Head Baseball Coach Bryce Darnell, Dean of the Plaster College of Business and Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Jeff Zimmerman, Lionbacker Steering Committee President Alan Cook, Director of Annual Giving Elisa Bryant, Volleyball Head Coach Kalie Mader, Softball student-athlete Abby Atkin and men’s basketball student-athlete Christian Bundy. Missouri Southern received 90 official applications and dozens more inquiries about the position.

“We were extremely pleased with the candidate pool,” said Wengert. “Dr. Kurt Patburg, senior vice president of Athletics Staffing Consultants, supported our committee on the front end of this process, which helped us build both a diverse and quality candidate pool of applicants.”

“It was important to establish a diverse search committee with representation from key areas of campus who work directly with the department of athletics. Each member brought a unique and passionate perspective to the table, which produced rich discussion throughout the process. The committee devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to this process, thoroughly vetting all of the candidates and bringing in a strong group of finalists for on-campus interviews.”

Mallory said he and his family are excited about the move to Joplin.

“I look forward to working with the entire campus community to build an even brighter future for Lions athletics,” he said.

Mallory graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.B.A. in management information systems and served as the head football manager in 2001. He earned a master’s degree in sport administration from Xavier University in 2007.

He and his wife, Holly, have two children, Lilly and Mitchell.

Mallory will be formally introduced at an upcoming press conference. Details will be released at a later time.