BOLIVAR, Mo. -- Southwest Baptist University named Mike Pitts as director of athletics at a ceremony Tuesday at the Meyer Sports Center. Pitts had served as the interim co-director of athletics for the past year.
Pitts will officially take over as director of athletics immediately. He also has worked for the university as assistant athletics director for operations and prior to that, as media relations director.
"I am really pleased that Mike is our new director of athletics," said SBU President Dr. Pat Taylor. "He has served for almost four years in different capacities with athletics. He has provided good leadership over that time and will continue to do so. He has a tremendous love for Bearcat athletics and is an outstanding people person. He's a good communicator with coaches and student-athletes as well as with the general public. His finance background, especially in these challenging economic times, will be an integral part in athletics management."
Pitts was promoted to assistant director of athletics for operations in 2008, and promoted again to interim co-director of athletics in 2009.
"I am very grateful to serve SBU in this capacity," said Pitts. "I’d like to thank Dr. Taylor and the SBU Board of Trustees for the opportunity to work with our great coaches, to give our student-athletes a great atmosphere to develop athletically, academically, relationally, and spiritually."
Under Pitts’ leadership, SBU’s corporate sponsors have more than doubled. Pitts leads the athletic development committee and has secured funds for the Athletics Hall of Fame display, which is scheduled for completion this summer. He, along with Dr. Renae Myles, started the SBU Athletics Purple Club, which is the ‘all sports’ booster club of the SBU Bearcats.
Pitts and Myles shared the responsibilities of directing athletics over the past year. In that time, the athletics department released a new website, held another successful Honors Night for seniors and Athletics Hall of Fame, and saw the development of a new family of logos for Bearcat athletics.
Pitts has been involved with SBU athletics since 1983. That year, as SBU launched their football program, he was the head statistician for the Bearcats. He worked for Dr. Rex Brown, who was SBU’s director of athletics from 1969 through 1997. And although Pitts’ career has taken a few unusual twists, his love for the Bearcats has never wavered.
Pitts is a 1985 graduate of SBU, with a major in economics. Proving that you’re never too old to learn, Pitts will receive his MBA from SBU in the summer of 2010. In addition to his involvement with SBU athletics, Pitts also leads ‘Wednesday Night at the Esquire,’ a ministry of First Baptist Church, where Pitts is a member.
After his graduation in 1985, Pitts moved to Kansas City, to become a trading floor manager at the Kansas City Board of Trade for nearly nine years. Pitts moved to Princeton, New Jersey in 1994, as the founding pastor of Princeton Bible Church. In fall 2006, Pitts and his family moved back to Missouri, when he accepted the position of sports information director (media relations director) for the Bearcats.
“It’s like we never left,” said Pitts. “While we lived in Jersey, we came back to Bolivar several times each year. We would always catch a couple of basketball games over the holidays. The internet was a great invention, because it was easier to keep up with how SBU’s teams were doing.”
Mike has been married to Rhonda since 1991. Rhonda is a Bolivar native, and the couple has two sons: Jack (who loves to play basketball and the piano) and Brock (who loves to play baseball, football, and hockey).
Director of Athletic Media Relations
Southwest Baptist University