Missouri athletic director Alden to step down after 17 years

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is stepping down after a 17-year tenure marked by several high-profile coaching hires and the school’s move from the Big 12 Conference to the SEC.

Alden plans to leave in August but will remain at Mizzou as an instructor in its education school and an administrator in a new global service-learning program. The school announced the move on Thursday and plans a Friday news conference.

The Illinois native hired little-known Toledo football coach Gary Pinkel in 2000. Pinkel has since become the school’s winningest football coach and led Missouri to two consecutive East Division titles in the Southeastern Conference.

He had less success with men’s basketball, hiring four head coaches since Norm Stewart’s contentious retirement early in Alden’s tenure.