MU Chancellor Brady Deaton announced the extension of Athletic Director Mike Alden’s contract by two years through June 2019 on Thursday morning.
“Mike has provided important leadership during a time of transition of conferences,” Deaton said in a news release of Alden, who has been at the helm of Missouri’s conversion from the Big 12 Conference to the lucrative Southeastern Conference. “His record of integrity is stellar and his national leadership in the NCAA reflects recognition of his orientation to the success of the student athlete. The academic, competitive and financial strength of our Athletic Department is due to Mike’s leadership, and the university is proud of his contributions. We want to see a stable pathway as we look to the future. This contract extension is one way to reinforce our commitment to excellence in athletics and to the academic mission of our university.”
With the Tigers becoming the 14th members of the SEC, Alden has most recently been at the center of the national spotlight. In a news conference over the summer that became a statement to MU’s commitment to reach a higher standard in a new league, Alden announced a facility upgrade master plan worth up to $200 million. The project has been jumpstarted by the anonymous $30 million donation from the Kansas City Sports Trust.
“I can tell you that it's a proud moment when you can hold your head high and say, ‘We’re doing it right at Missouri,’” Deaton said at the announcement. “We’re doing it right in every way.”
Days later on the morning of July 1, the official day of the school’s SEC adoption, Alden hosted fans and media at a ceremonial flag raise outside the North entrance of Mizzou Arena.
“I want you to think back to 1839, when the University of Missouri was founded,” he said. “You think over the course of well over 100 years, student athletes and coaches, and staff, and chancellors, and faculty members, and staff members, wherever they might be, all worked together to be able to see Mizzou move forward. Today gives us another opportunity to recognize another moment in time in history to be able to move forward.”
Since Alden took office in 1998, Missouri’s dot on the country's radar has steadily grown more prominent.
In football, the Tigers have competed in seven straight bowl games, a school record. The program finished No. 4 in the final AP Top 25 poll in 2008, a school best. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics later named Alden Director of the Year. The team’s 48 wins in the last five season ranks ninth among all automatic BCS qualifiers.
Following last year’s scrutinized hiring of Frank Haith, who came from Miami without a winning conference record, the men’s basketball team recorded a school-best 30-2 record and received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Missouri softball has made three trips to the Women’s College World Series in the past four seasons.
Athletes have maintained the highest Academic Progress Rates in their conference for six of the last seven years.
The specifics of Alden’s two-year extension, as laid out by a news release, do not increase his base salary of $301,917, performance incentives, or any other form of income. Under his current salary, Alden can earn up to a total of $777,967.
“I want to thank Chancellor Deaton and our leadership at Mizzou for their continued confidence and support of our efforts in Tiger Athletics,” Alden said in the release. “This extension is greatly appreciated, and I believe it reflects the efforts of so many people working together for academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive excellence. We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead as we enter the SEC.”