University of Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden announced Thursday that he will step down from his position, effective Aug. 31.
Alden has served as athletic director for 17 years, the longest tenure for an MU athletic director since Don Faurot five decades ago, and he led the department through a period of seismic change as it moved from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference.
Alden made his announcement in a letter addressed to fans, saying he would remain with MU as a teacher in the College of Education.
“After several months of contemplation, I have decided that it is time for a change, both for me and for the University that I so dearly love,” Alden said in the letter. “I have informed Chancellor (Bowen) Loftin of my decision to step down.”
In addition to MU’s move to the SEC, Alden’s tenure also included the construction of Mizzou Arena, built in 2004 at a cost of $75 million, and a $45 million round of renovations to Memorial Stadium completed in 2014.
The move to the SEC has been a boon to the athletic department so far. In its first two seasons in the conference, MU’s football team received $20.7 million and $20.9 million, respectively, in TV payouts from the league. That total is expected to increase this year, thanks to the launch of the SEC Network.
According to the NCAA, Missouri was one of only 20 Football Bowl Subdivision athletic departments with greater revenues than expenses in 2013. The athletic department’s annual budget has increased from $13.7 million to $85 million during Alden’s time at the helm, according to the Columbia Missourian.
Loftin said in a statement that he’s happy Alden will remain with the university, and that the athletic department has already started looking for the athletic director’s successor.
“Mike has transformed our athletics program into one of the nation’s best, with world-class student-athletes, coaches, staff, facilities, affiliations and financial resources,” Loftin said. “Though I am saddened that Mike will no longer be a member of our leadership team and leading our Department of Athletics, I am truly happy for him as he embarks on a new challenge here at Mizzou. Mike will always be a part of our family.”