Bottom of the pack

Bottom of the pack

Bottom of the pack

Brennan Stebbins

In an athletics conference dominated by perennial national powers in nearly every sport, Missouri Southern is near the bottom of the food chain when it comes to coaching staff salaries in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

According to compliance data filed in 2007, Southern ranked ninth in head coaching salaries for both men’s and women’s teams, averaging $40,303 for a men’s team head coach and $30,079 for a women’s team head coach.

“I’m aware of our salary situation and I was aware of it when I took the job,” Missouri Southern Head Football Coach Bart Tatum said. “Am I happy to be ninth in the league? No, but I knew about the situation when I took the job and it’s our job to work with what we’ve got.”

Assistant coaches for men’s teams made an average of $12,515, which ranked tenth in the MIAA. Assistant coaches for women’s teams at Southern brought in an average of $9,489, ranking eighth in the conference.

“I haven’t seen all those numbers,” University President Bruce Speck said. “I’m not surprised that in some ways we’re in the lower tier, but I think the real issue is to make any comparisons you have to look at the comparisons and see if they align.”

Speck noted several things to be taken into account when comparing MSSU with the rest of the MIAA, including a higher funding rate for higher education in Kansas than Missouri.

“That has a huge impact in terms of the kinds of resources you have,” he said.

Speck also said private schools in the conference and some institution foundations helping pay coaching salaries are other variables that should be taken into account.

“Overall I think that if indeed those comparisons are accurate then certainly to be competitive it would be important for us to have competitive salaries,” he said.

While data for other MIAA schools is not yet available for fiscal year 2009, Missouri Southern’s head coaching salaries have increased from 2006-2007. Men’s teams head coaching salaries increased by $616, and now average $40, 919. Head coaching salaries for women’s teams posted an even bigger increase, jumping to an average of $34,455. Assistant coaching salaries for men’s teams rose to an average of $14,972, while salaries for women’s team assistants increased to $16,439.

Revenue has increased, but still lags behind rivals

Missouri Southern ranked ninth in the MIAA in both revenue and expenses, according to the 2007 compliance data, with grand total revenues and grand total expenses each totaling $3,708,970.

According to the FY 2009 data, grand total revenues and grand total expenses have both increased to $4,877,369. Men’s teams at Southern have posted an increase in revenue from $1,601,780 in 2006-2007 to $2,128,697, while women’s teams have increased revenue from $1,021,889 to $1,293,179.

Expenses have increased, as well, with men’s teams increasing by more than $500,000, and women’s teams close to $300,000.

For revenue to continue to increase, Director of Athletics Sallie Beard is counting on one word.

“Win,” she said. “We need to win. We need to produce in the athletics department by winning and when we win we will see our revenues increase.”

If revenue were to increase for the athletics department, Beard has a good idea how it would be spent.

“I’m sure our coaches would certainly want to enhance as much as they could the scholarship fund,” she said, because scholarships go directly into the hands of the student and that would be our number one priority to make sure we could recruit head to head, at least financially, against anybody that we chose.”

Beard also mentioned the strategic plan for developing 120 acres east of Newman Road, including a support building at the football stadium, a new baseball field and improved parking.

Tatum is working to bring in extra revenue through fundraising.

“Fundraising is hard work and it requires adequate staffing and I’m going to tell you right now our staff wears a lot of different hats,” he said. “All coaches teach, some even have administrative duties, and our administrative staff is fairly thin. There’s x amount of work that has to be done day in day out before you think about any of the auxiliary stuff like fundraising.

“Naturally, it’s a lot easier to fundraise the better your athletic teams are. Having said that, it’s easier to have better teams when you’re funded properly.”

Tatum said the football team solicits sponsors from players’ hometowns, and the players do community service work to earn donations.

MIAA Numbers 2006-07 MIAA grand total revenue (rounded to the nearest hundred thousand dollars)

1. Nebraska-Omaha $8.3 million2. Central Missouri $6.1 million3. Pittsburg $5.9 million4. Northwest Missouri $5.1 million5. Missouri Western $4.3 million6. Fort Hays $4.1 million 7. Southwest Baptist $4.1 million 8. Truman $4 million9. Missouri Southern $3.7 million10. Emporia $3.6 million11. Washburn $2.9 million

2006-07 MIAA grand total expenses (rounded to the nearest hundred thousand dollars)

1. Nebraska-Omaha $8.2 million2. Central Missouri $6.13. Pittsburg $5.2 million4. Northwest Missouri $5.1 million5. Missouri Western $4.2 million6. Southwest Baptist $4.1 million7. Truman $4 million8. Fort Hays $3.9 million9. Missouri Southern $3.7 million10. Emporia $3.4 million11. Washburn $2.9 million