Alnutt makes it happen for the football Tigers

Mark Alnutt, a former Mizzou linebacker in the early 1990s still looks the part. He begs to differ, saying that he would "find it harder to compete today, because the athletes at Mizzou are so much bigger, stronger, and faster coming into the program." On the verge of camp opening, we sat down with MU's Director of Football Operations for a conversation.

 

AFTER YOUR PLAYING CAREER, HOW DID YOU END UP BACK AT MIZZOU?

"I was hired in March of 1998.  I graduated, went back up to Kansas City for a little bit, then came back down here to pursue a master's degree.  I got down here, had a good relationship with the whole staff, put a bug in the ear of Mike McQue.  I told him I was interested (in working in his department).  It all worked out, got interviewed by him and coach (Larry Smith) and got hired on … at that time it was an administrative/video G.A.  After working with Mike a lot, I decided that's what I wanted to do, in terms of an athletic administrator.  I then worked under Curtis Jones (Jr.) for a year, and then when he went to Nike, it was late in the year, they were looking for a person to fill the spot, Coach Smith thought I was the logical choice for it.  I had been around the program, knew what was going on, and they hired me on.

I've enjoyed it.  Going in to my third season as Director, my fifth season on the (MU) staff." 

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ASPIRATIONS TO GET BACK ON THE FIELD AS A COACH?

"No aspirations whatsoever (to get back into coaching).  My aspirations right now, for the short term is to get better at what I do, look at becoming an associate AD, with a long range goal to become an A.D."

 

AS DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN JOB DUTIES?

"I'm in a unique position in terms of what I do with the football program, because it encompasses so much.  Basically, as a joke, anytime anyone asks me what I do with the football program I say I do everything but coach, and that's really it.  I have a hand in the team travel.  I'm making sure the hotels, the buses, the flight; everything is in order for our guys.  Once they get there, at the hotel, meetings and meals have to be precise.  During the season that is really my number one function; right there, to make sure that goes smoothly. "

 

"Along with that on a day-to-day basis, I oversee the budget with Coach Pinkel.  I make sure everything is correctly billed to this office.  In this day and age of compliance, it's a major factor, and I'm the main liaison between the compliance office and the football office.  That entails not only rules and regulations, but aspects in terms of financial aid for our players.  They've completed all their paperwork to get Pell grants, or whatever.  This time of year making sure that all incoming student athletes have completed their paperwork for admittance into MU, and also have been cleared by the clearinghouse."

 

"Along with that there are a lot of different departments, not only within the athletic department, but also on campus that I interface with a lot just to make sure that everything is operating smoothly."

 

DO YOU WORK SPECIFICALLY WITH THE NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE?

"Every prospective athlete, in order to play by the NCAA in any sport, has to be cleared by the clearinghouse.  My main function is I work with the recruiting coordinator (David Yost), and also the assistant coaches, to make sure they've done their clearinghouse paperwork, and that they've submitted it.  I also follow up with their high school make sure they've seen the final transcript.  Also, the SAT has sent scores to the student and to the school.  I make sure the SAT score is posted on the transcript.  I work side-by-side with David Yost on that, in terms of just checking the computer and verifying with the compliance people.  Any problems that arise from that just make sure that it's all set.  Whatever it is we communicate that to the coach that recruited the kid, or the kid himself in terms of what he needs to do in order to become certified."

 

HOW MANY PROBLEMS (WITH GRADES) DO YOU SEE IN A YEAR?

"We are not out there recruiting kids that are going to be questionable.  We don't want a situation which happened a couple of years ago, where five, six, seven, however many kids didn't make it.  …You're going to have a kid that is considered close, and hopefully you'll see that kid as a partial qualifier, his GPA was high enough, but he didn't make his test score, but he's able to still come out, practice with the team and everything like that, but not actually compete."

 

MIZZOU GETS ONE OF THOSE PER YEAR?

"Yea, yea, the university gets 4 (partial qualifiers) a year, 2 male, 2 female.  We usually get one of those a year.  It's a possibility (that football could get both quali


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