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Mack Rhoades Named Baylor Athletic Director: Latest Details, Comments

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2016

Missouri Athletics Director Mack Rhoades addresses the media Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. Football will resume at Missouri following the resignation of University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe after several members of the team, pointing to Wolfe’s inaction in handling of racial tensions at the school, announced over the weekend that they would not play until the president was gone. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Following the resignation of Ian McCaw as athletic director, Baylor University announced it came to terms with University of Missouri AD Mack Rhoades on Wednesday to fill the same position. 

Gabe DeArmond of Rivals.com was the first to report the move, and ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach later provided confirmation.

Interim president David Garland spoke about the decision in the school's announcement:

"Baylor University is very pleased to welcome Mack Rhoades as Baylor University's Vice President and Director of Athletics. He is a charismatic leader who pays careful attention to details and cultivates solidarity among the coaches and staff. He intends to build champions on the field and on the court and to mold student-athletes into champions in their lives after sports. Most importantly, he is committed to and excited by Baylor's Christian mission and vision."

McCaw stepped down from his post at Baylor on May 30 due to the sexual assault scandal that also led to the ousting of head football coach Art Briles.

Rhoades served as Mizzou's athletic director for just 14 months following a six-year tenure at Houston. He was also Akron's AD from 2006 to 2009. He spoke about his decision in Baylor's news release:

"The past year has taught me a great deal about who I am as a person and as a leader. I am very grateful to the people I've worked with and come to know throughout the state of Missouri. The experience has helped galvanize a commitment to my core values and to the values I want to infuse into an athletics program. I look forward to the opportunity to join Baylor University at this important time in its history. I am excited to support and develop programs of the highest caliber, in facilities that are second to none, alongside coaches who are among the best in the industry, all grounded in a Christian tradition and committed to academic excellence."

Bret McMurphy of ESPN reported Wren Baker will be the interim athletic director at Missouri.

The University of Arizona and Indiana University alumnus' decision to make the leap from Missouri to Baylor comes as somewhat of a surprise considering the controversy surrounding Baylor's athletics programs currently.

Brandon Kiley of 101 ESPN in St. Louis was among those taken aback by the move:

Brandon Kiley @BKSportsTalk

I expected Mack Rhoades to be gone within the next year or two... Certainly didn't see it coming this soon, or for THAT situation. #Mizzou

The 50-year-old native of Tucson, Arizona, will leave the prestigious SEC in favor of the Big 12, but he will take the reins of a football program that has developed into a perennial powerhouse.

Baylor has won 10 or more games in four of the past five seasons, and although it has lost out on several high-profile recruits due to the scandal, it remains seemingly closer to championship contention than Missouri.

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