The Spring Time

Let me start by apologizing for the delay in blogs.  Spring is a crazy, busy time of year in college athletics.  Currently, we have six sports playing on campus.  It was eight until the basketball season ended.  It is the most fun and action-filled time of the year, but it is overwhelming at times. 

I absolutely love spring.  We have students graduating, trees budding out, and flowers blooming.  Everyone is eager to be outside running, playing and doing whatever they can do outdoors.  I’ve learned that in the Midwest you also have the opportunity to get reacquainted with your neighbors.  Those cold and windy days don’t allow for much neighborly visiting.  So let me wish all of my readers a happy spring. 

Since I haven’t blogged in several weeks, I will touch upon several different subjects.  So bear with me as I skip around.

Coach Steinmeyer retires
There are few people as friendly and folksy as Gene Steinmeyer.  He will be missed around the office every day.  The good news is that he plans to remain in Maryville and be a superfan of the Bearcats.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know Gene the past year.  He has left an indelible mark on our women’s basketball program and his influence is felt throughout our department.  I absolutely wish Gene all the best in his retirement.

Conference championship and Coach of the Year
The 2011-12 men’s basketball team completed a remarkable year with an NCAA tournament loss to Washburn in the Division II south Regional.  The Bearcats fought and competed in the game but couldn’t catch a break the last five minutes.  It certainly doesn’t diminish the best season since 2007-08.  I can’t begin to tell the Bearcat Nation how proud I am of the players and coaches.  We have a great group of quality young men.  We will miss seniors Jake Peterson, Kyle Haake and Jake Reinders tremendously, but the future is very bright with all the returners we have coming back.  I’d also like to congratulate our coaching staff.  Coaches Ben McCollum, Austin Meyer, Andy Peterson and Thomas Brock did an outstanding job.  Coach McCollum’s performance is being recognized by many outside Maryville as his peers voted him MIAA Conference Coach of the Year and he has been nominated for two national coach of the year awards.  

Spring Sports
Our spring sports are underway.  Baseball and softball have taken advantage of the great weather to get outside more for practice.  Our track and field teams are also in the midst of their season and women’s golf has several tournaments in April.  Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams are underway as well and legendary coach Mark Rosewell should win his 900th match in the coming days.  What a tremendous honor for a long-time Bearcat.  As this remarkable achievement nears, we will let you know celebration plans.

I encourage all of our fans to check our teams’ schedules at and get out to see them compete this spring.  I know all of our student-athletes and coaches would appreciate your support.

Spring is indeed my favorite time of year.  Much is happening on campus and around The ‘Ville.  It is a time to enjoy the many wonders of nature and time to enjoy being a Bearcat!


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Wren Baker

About Wren Baker

Wren Baker was named Director of Athletics at Northwest Missouri State University in December 2010. Baker provides leadership to fifteen Northwest athletic programs. Prior to coming to Northwest, Baker was the first Athletic Director in Rogers State University history and led the development of one of Oklahoma's most successful collegiate athletic programs. Before entering administration Baker served as an assistant in the Oklahoma State University men’s basketball program 2001 to 2005. Baker received his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2001 before earning his masters degree in education leadership from Oklahoma State University in 2003.