It was an introduction, a homecoming and an apology.
Missouri basketball head coach Kim Anderson, head football coach Barry Odom and athletic director Mack Rhoades attracted a crowd of about 300 to the Sedalia Country Club for the Mizzou Tiger Scholarship Fund Caravan.
Rhoades, in his second year as AD at Missouri, opened his statement Wednesday with humility. The basketball team won 10 games last season, and football program finished next-to-last in the SEC East with a 5-7 overall record.
The football team also garnered national attention after nearly boycotting a game to protest campus racism last November. Rhoades took his position in March.
“I’m sorry,” Rhoades said to the crowd. “It’s been a tough year. When I came on board a year ago, this was my first caravan. I met a lot of you here, you were terrific, and I didn’t have one grey hair. Now I have, like, 200 grey hairs.”
Rhoades said the caravan travels with extra staff to Sedalia, and that its stop in here is one of its biggest. Anderson, a Sedalia native, is a likely draw. He hugged as many or more at the Sedalia Country Club as he shook hands with.
“This is unbelievable,” Anderson said to the country club. “Every time I come here I get kind of emotional – just seeing all of the people, all of my friends, all the people that support not only me but our athletic department.”
Anderson graduated from Smith-Cotton and played basketball for Mizzou under head coach Norm Stewart. Odom, in his first year as head coach at Mizzou, is also alum. He played linebacker for the Tigers from 1996-1999, coached at Rock Bridge High School, Memphis University and was Mizzou’s defensive coordinator last season before Gary Pinkel resigned.
Odom shared his personal story of attending Mizzou for football. He said his collegiate career was supported by booster programs like TSF.
“When I came to Missouri, I was given a chance,” Odom said. “I was awarded an opportunity because of guys like you … Some way, somehow, this room helped pay for my scholarship, and that changed my life. I don’t forget about that.
Odom concluded his introduction with a call for support.
“I’m OK with saying ‘I need your help,’” Odom said. “We are going to do everything right. We’re going to have some bumps along the way, that’s going to happen. But I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we have the platform to be successful on the field and in the classroom and in the community. We’ll do everything we can to represent you the right way. I’m damn happy to be the head football coach at the University of Missouri.”
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2