New football coach prepares for season

New head football coach Bart Tatum takes questions at a press conference held Dec. 13, 2005 in the Billingsly Student Center.

New head football coach Bart Tatum takes questions at a press conference held Dec. 13, 2005 in the Billingsly Student Center.

Paul McMillan

Missouri Southern’s new head football coach, Bart Tatum, is excited and ready for the 2006 season.

Tatum, formally at Northwest Missouri State University, has hired a new coaching staff to prepare for the 2006 campaign.

“On a professional level, this is something that I have prepared for for a long time,” Tatum said at the Dec. 13 press conference announcing Tatum as coach. “And I’ve thought about it since I was an undergraduate.”

Once Tatum was hired, four of the five coaching positions were filled within seven to 10 days of his hiring, and the fifth coming a few weeks later.

Currently, Tatum has the Lions are focusing mainly on strength and conditioning, getting ready for spring practice.

“We have a lot of ground to cover,” Tatum said.

The recruiting season is about to wind down, as Feb. 1 marks National Signing Day. The recruiting season starts in December and ends in February.

When the National Signing Day comes, every coach in the staff will be involved, preparing for spring ball.

Along with the strength and conditioning, the coaches and players will discuss spring practices.

At NWMSU, Tatum was the offensive line coach, quarterback coach, offensive coordinator and the assistant head coach. Tatum coached at NWMSU for 12 years.

“While he was there he played an integral role in what Northwest has enviably accomplished,” said Sallie Beard, athletics director at the Dec. 13 press conference. “That being two national championships, seven MIAA championships, seven NCAA Division-II playoff appearances in nine years.”

Tatum said he is excited for the upcoming season and is ready to get things started.

Tatum named Daryl Daye from Nichols (La.) State as defensive coordinator, Brian Ward, Lions’ staff member last season, and John Tatum as other defensive coaches. Matt Karleskint and Casey Meile will serve as co-offensive coordinators, and Matt Plunkett will round out the offensive coaching staff.

T.J. Gerlach, senior editor, contributed to this article.