Director of Athletics focuses on key initiatives to support athletes, community


Courtesy of MSSU Athletics

Director of Athletics Rob Mallory speaks at the 2022 All-Athlete Banquet.

Rob Mallory discovered his passion for mentoring students. Mallory started his career working at the division one level, but did not feel the same connection with the student athletes. 

Mallory was hired as the sixth Director of Athletics for Missouri Southern in April 2021. Mallory came from Kentucky Wesleyan where he served as the vice president of intercollegiate athletics. His focus are two significant initiatives currently within the athletics department: mental health and community engagement. 

“It’s my ‘why’ because we have an opportunity to impact and transform the lives of young men and women through sports,” Mallory said. “To go along that journey with them, that’s what really motivates me.”

The athletic department has launched a partnership with Talk Space. Student athletes now have access to counseling with licensed therapists online at any time.  

“Student-athletes have a very unique experience and schedule,” Mallory said. “If a student starts to feel that anxiety or that weight when they’re on the bus or they’re in the hotel or late at night when they get done with practice, they have access to those services from an app on their phone.” 

It is not just going to be about the competitive piece, it is about developing our student athletes and making it a transformative time.

— Rob Mallory

From a community service standpoint, Mallory is encouraging teams to be more involved. 

“If we want our community to support us, we need to go and support them as well,” Mallory said. “Right now we are already over 1,500 hours of community service.” 

During his time at Missouri Southern, Mallory hopes to continue to foster the mentorship of the student-athletes and push for the importance of their welfare. 

“That is something we want to be able to hang out hat on,” Mallory said. “If you come to Missouri Southern, it is not just going to be about the competitive piece, it is about developing our student athletes and making it a transformative time.” 

According to junior Jordan Smith, wide receiver on the football team, Mallory provides support. 

“He makes sure that everything on his end is taken care of so we don’t have to worry about nothing but playing the game we love,” Smith said. “I love the brotherhood we have created as a team.” 

In addition to his role at Missouri Southern, Mallory has also been appointed the chair of the MIAA Championship and Officiating Committee. As the committee chair, Mallory supervises the committee in preparation for MIAA championships and the organization of MIAA officiating. 

“I think that it is important for athletics directors to be involved in conference business and to serve the conference when called upon,” Mallory said. 

Mallory says he is thrilled about the success Missouri Southern has had over the fall semester and is excited for the direction of the athletics department. 

“This is really the first year since the pandemic that it feels more normal,” Mallory said. “This is a really interesting time to be involved in collegiate sports because a lot of things are changing.”