Wright, Gorillas hit the stage at MIAA football media day

Pitt State is picked to finish 7th in the MIAA coaches' poll.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas hit the stage on Tuesday morning at MIAA football media day in Kansas City.

Pitt State is about five weeks away from hitting the road to face Central Missouri in their season opener.

“It’s a big challenge,” head coach Brian Wright says of facing the Mules in week 1, “I think we’re going to find out really quickly where we stand in this conference.”

The Gorillas are heading into their first full MIAA schedule under head coach Brian Wright – who was hired in December 2019.

“I’m even more impressed with the league than I was when I got here,” Wright says, “I knew it was good football and I knew there were a lot of great players and great coaches in this league. I think it’s a very competitive league, and one that there’s no weekends off.”

Pitt State played four games last fall, after COVID-19 erased the conference schedule.

“Even though we weren’t fighting for a national championship or conference championship, we still got to learn from this new coaching staff,” says linebacker Morgan Selemaea, “I think the players trust the coaches a lot after those four games and we’re excited about the upcoming season.”

In addition to erasing last year’s schedule, COVID-19 left some graduating seniors with a difficult choice: to move on – or to return for one more year.

“It’s been a rollercoaster for sure,” says defensive lineman Kaden Roy (Webb City HS), who decided to return this off-season, “I just love the University so much, and this football team and what we stand for. I couldn’t handle the thought of looking back 20 years down the road wondering what if I would have stayed…what could we have done? I decided to take it into my own hands and find out myself.”

The Gorillas were picked 6th in the MIAA media poll and 7th in the MIAA coaches poll released Tuesday.

However, the team knows there are high expectations every season at Pittsburg State, and they’re ready to fight to meet those expectations this fall.

“That’s why I chose to come to Pittsburg State, because of those expectations, because of that tradition and that history,” Wright adds, “because of people like Zac Dickey up here who paved the way before us and really created a monster here. It’s fun to be part of that monster, it really is. That’s what the people what, and more importantly, that’s what these players want. That’s what these guys came to Pittsburg State to do. It’s fun to be around a football team that’s hungry every day to win.”

Pitt State’s season opener will be on September 2nd, on the road against Central Missouri.