Coach Pinkel and ZOUNation Magazine teamed up with Academy Sports + Outdoors in Columbia on Wednesday to provide more than 30 Douglass High School students with a private shopping spree. Coach Pinkel spoke to the crowd of students before presenting each high schooler with a $100 Academy Sports gift card to shop for t-shirts, cold weather gear, hats, polos, shoes, novelty items and more. The students were rewarded for excelling in the One Step Forward “Transformation High” program.







MizzouMade is more than a simple phrase celebrating the efforts of past and present Mizzou student-athletes on the field. It’s a phrase that goes beyond the sidelines and embodies a culture of producing not only talented athletes, but also outstanding and prepared men and women.

Mizzou student-athletes have developed a tradition of academic excellence, resulting in an unprecedented graduation rate and countless successful careers. Head coach Gary Pinkel has captained a football program that boasts a top-5 academic progress rate in the nation since 2007 and top-3 in the Southeastern Conference each year since Mizzou joined the league in 2012. Mizzou football student-athletes work hard on the field, and they’re expected to work just as hard in the classroom. The program has graduated 97 percent of its seniors in the past five years and won’t be satisfied until 100 percent of student-athletes walk back through the columns with a diploma in hand. With that in mind, Mizzou is one step closer to that goal of 100-percent heading into the 2015-16 academic year.

The 2015 Mizzou football team will carry the tradition of academic excellence forward as every senior on scholarship is set to graduate by spring of 2016.

Ten of the 19 seniors have already earned bachelor’s degrees, including Cortland BrowningCorbin BerkstresserTaylor ChappellClayton EchardClarence GreenMitch Hall, Tyler HuntWesley LeftwichConnor McGovern and Brad McNulty. Six seniors – Evan BoehmKentrell BrothersRussell Hansbrough, DeAndre MckenzieNick Monaghan and Ian Simon – are scheduled to graduate this coming December. The remaining seniors, a group that includes Andrew Baggett, Kenya Dennisand walk-on Trei Walton, are all on pace to graduate in either the spring or fall of 2016.

Green, a standout linebacker during Mizzou’s back-to-back SEC East championships, effectively balanced life on the gridiron with his academic pursuits. He received a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management last May and plans to own his own hotel in his home state of Texas in the coming years. Green says graduating was possible through the services provided by Mizzou’s Total Person Program (TPP).

“The Total Person Program helped all of us out a lot by organizing tutors,” Green said. “Their whole focus is on us. They help us figure out what degree is best for us and help us achieve our goals. Graduating means so much to me. It represents the next steps of life and makes you feel like you’ve really succeeded.”

The Total Person Program is a service provided by the athletic department to aid student-athletes academically. By offering quality assistance to ensure excellence in the classroom, TPP can develop complete student-athletes who can handle the juggling responsibilities of college athletics and leave Mizzou poised for long and enriching careers.

“When all of us (coaches, academic staff, administrators) are working together to ensure that our student-athletes have the best experience in the classroom and on the field, our student-athletes work harder to become successful in all areas of their life,” said Tami Chievous, Associate AD for Academic Services. “They know that we care about their success and it is important to the Mizzou Family that they graduate from here.”

TPP strives to make an impact with Mizzou student-athletes immediately and the abundance of services are offered until each student-athlete graduates. The importance of academic achievement and graduation are stressed to recruits from the get-go. Once they arrive on campus, each member of the football team (and all Mizzou athletic programs) are assigned an academic mentor and several tutors to help them adjust to college.

At the conclusion of freshman year, the coaching staff works in coordination with TPP to individualize a plan that is specifically tailored toward the need of each and every student-athlete. Then, a team effort that includes commitment from staff, coaches and the student-athletes paves a path toward graduation. If a student-athlete leaves to play professionally, TPP continues to provide services to help them finish their goal and earn a degree.

“At Mizzou we are very proud of our academic accomplishments and we speak to both our current and former student-athletes about it daily,” Chievous said. “We are committed to our student-athletes graduating, which is why we continue to assist and reach out to former student-athletes who did not graduate. In the most recent period, we improved our exhausted eligibility graduation rate to 100 percent, meaning every athlete at Mizzou who did not leave early to pursue professional opportunities or other reasons, earned their degrees.”

The dedicated system of support that TPP has created is paying off for the Mizzou Football program and Mizzou Athletics as a whole. That is evident in Pinkel’s outstanding 2015 senior class, which has set a model standard of success for the underclassmen to uphold. Pinkel’s staff, with the help of the Total Person Program, will continue to produce #MizzouMade college graduates year in and year out as Mizzou builds on its reputation of excellence on an off the field.

Mizzou Football Rookie Defensive Lineman Nate Howard shares his thoughts on fall classes, DLineZOU, and being Mizzou Made with his “big brother” Charles Harris after the second fall camp scrimmage in The ZOU on Thursday, August 20, 2015 in Columbia, Mo.

“Each one of you had to sacrifice for this family. Each one of you had to go out and earn it. It was never going to be given to us.

It’s that passion of a Missouri Tiger that causes our fans to fill The ZOU. That enthusiasm you bring to the games is what brings this state together on a Saturday.” – Gary Pinkel

Season tickets for the 2015 season in The ZOU are on sale now.


COLUMBIA, Mo. – As the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rates (APR) on Wednesday, May 27, Mizzou once again found itself ranked among the SEC’s best as it continues to ‘Prepare Champions For Life.’ Mizzou posted four conference-best marks while ranking tied for second in average program APR among all 14 SEC schools. The average APR for Mizzou’s 20 varsity sports was 987, trailing only Vanderbilt (992).

Mizzou’s men’s indoor (988) and outdoor track (988) programs and women’s swimming and diving (1,000) all led the SEC while the Tigers’ wrestling team (986) led the Mid-American Conference. Mizzou’s softball program ranked second in the SEC with its 994 mark and Gary Pinkel’s football squad ranked third among SEC schools at 976. Of Mizzou’s 20 varsity sports, 12 ranked among the top five in their respective leagues as well.

In addition, Mizzou graduated 84 student-athletes in 2014-15, including 57 in the spring. Of Mizzou’s 20 varsity sport programs, 11 had grade-point-averages (GPAs) above 3.00 in the fall. Collectively, Mizzou’s combined GPA among all 20 programs was 2.97 in the fall and 2.95 in the spring semester. Ten of Mizzou’s programs were better than 3.00 in the spring as well.

Individually, 207 student-athletes earned spots on their respective Dean’s Lists in the fall semester while 51 percent earned GPAs of 3.00 or better. That number grew to 54 percent in spring.

Average Program APR by School

1. Vanderbilt – 992

2. Mizzou – 987

Alabama – 987

Kentucky – 987

5. Florida – 983

6. Auburn – 981

South Carolina – 981

8. Tennessee – 980

9. LSU – 979

10. Ole Miss – 977

11. Arkansas – 974

12. Texas A&M – 972

13. Georgia – 970

14. Mississippi State – 968

Mizzou has placed a premium in ‘preparing champions for life’ and the Total Person Program at Mizzou does not limit that success to strictly academics as life skills are a big part of the program.

Summer classes begin Monday, June 8, 2015.

Five MizzouMade football student-athletes will participate in the University of Missouri’s graduation ceremonies throughout the weekend of Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17.

Mizzou’s student-athlete graduation success rate has been on the rise in the recent years. In the 2012-2013 year, and NCAA Academic Report announced Mizzou’s GSR for all sports at 84 percent ranking Mizoou third in the SEC. The overall graduation rates surpass national and state averages with a 69.4 percent average graduation rate compared to the national average of 57.7 percent and state average of 55.2 percent.

These MizzouMade football student-athletes will become University of Missouri Alums as they walk across the stage May 15-17, 2015:

Clayton Echard (Tight End – Eureka, Mo.) – Health Professions

Clarence Green (Linebacker – Clute, Texas) – Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Connor McGovern (Offensive Lineman – Fargo, N.D.) – Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Adam Franklin (Offensive Lineman – Raytown, Mo.) – Arts and Sciences

David Johnson (Cornerback – Spring, Texas) – Arts and Sciences

Follow Mizzou Football social media accounts on Snapchat (MizzouMade), Twitter (@MizzouFootball) and Instagram (@MizzouFootball) for updates throughout graduation weekend.

weekend marked the culmination of four years of hard work for a number of Mizzou Football student-athletes as 11 seniors walked across the graduation stage to collect their diplomas.

Graduation is a special time for all students, and it is especially meaningful to the members of the Mizzou Football family. The Tigers come from all walks of life, and many of them are first-generation college students. Pinkel stresses the importance of education to every incoming football player and ensures that they are on track to earn a degree from the University of Missouri.

“When I first got here, Coach Pinkel told me that to come here, I have to be a student first,” said defensive end Markus Golden. “I came here and I did that, and for me to get here right now today from junior college to being able to call myself a University of Missouri graduate is the best day of my life, and I’m happy I’m able to do this for my family back home.”

Mizzou has the highest academic progress rate among SEC football programs, and as a whole, the university is second in the league in APR. Nationally, Mizzou Football ranks in the top five in APR among BCS Automatic Qualifying Universities.

Here are the players who became University of Missouri Alums over the weekend:


  • Corbin Berkstresser (Quarterback – Lee’s Summit, Missouri) – Business
  • Taylor Chappell (Offensive lineman – Canadian, Texas) – Health Professions
  • Alex Demczak (Quarterback – Springfield, Illinois) – Arts & Sciences
  • Markus Golden (Defensive Lineman – St. Louis, Missouri) – Arts & Sciences
  • Tyler Hunt (Running back – Westran, Missouri) – Arts & Sciences
  • Wesley Leftwich (Wide receiver – Columbia, Missouri) – Environmental Sciences
  • Denzel Martin (Linebacker – Ladue, Missouri) – Arts & Sciences
  • Gavin Otte (Wide receiver – Rolla, Missouri) – Environmental Sciences
  • Bud Sasser (Wide receiver – Denton, Texas) – Arts & Sciences
  • Jordan Wade (Running back – Lee’s Summit, Missouri) – Arts & Sciences
  • Braylon Webb (Safety – Gilmer, Texas) – Natural Resources







Senior defensive lineman Matt Hoch has been chosen as a semi-finalist for The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s 2014 William V. Campbell Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the 16 best student-athletes in college football.

The Harlan, Iowa native earned his degree in middle school education, boasting a 3.97 grade point average.

Nominees for the William V. Campbell Trophy must be a senior or graduate student playing out their final year of eligibility and carry at least a 3.2 grade point average. They must also be a first-team player or substantial contributor to the team, in addition to exhibiting stout leadership.

Last season was certainly a productive one for Hoch, as he was a CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American and earned Mizzou Football’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well. He’s also received conference academic recognition in each of the last three years.

This year, Hoch is enrolled in Mizzou’s prestigious Positive Coaching program as a graduate student. He would like to coach in the future, in addition to his teaching aspirations.

The scholar-athlete winners, who will be announced on Oct. 30, will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and vie as finalists for the Campbell Trophy. They will also head to New York City for the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which will highlight their accomplishments in front of the biggest names in all of sports.

ESPN’s College GameDay will turn its attention to Mizzou as Hoch and the rest of the team face the South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1) at 6 p.m. on September 27. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.

Senior offensive lineman Mitch Morse is much more than just a productive football player on the field. Thanks to his exceptional performance in the classroom and volunteer work in the community, Morse is a candidate for the NCAA 2014 Senior CLASS Award.

The Austin, Texas, native earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management here at Mizzou last May on the strength of a 3.61 grade point average. This year he is a graduate student in the university’s distinguished Positive Coaching program.

Morse’s volunteering resumé is broad and impressive, including the likes of the Children’s Hospital here in Columbia; the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri; and Mizzou’s Men4Men program, which works to develop young men in regards to how to conduct themselves in social and personal situations.

Morse’s accomplishments on the football field cannot be overlooked either. The Mizzou co-captain was named Most Improved Offensive Lineman in 2012 and has made 28 starts in the last three years. He started all 14 games in 2013 at right tackle before moving over to fill the vacancy at left tackle left by now-Seattle Seahawk offensive lineman Justin Britt.

A Division I senior’s eligibility for the award is based on a player’s proficiency in four critical areas the NCAA holds in high esteem: the community, classroom, character, and competition.

The NCAA will narrow its 30 candidates to a final list of 10 midway through the season, and those making the cut will be placed on the official ballot. Media, coaches, and fans across the nation will be able to vote for the player they feel is most deserving of the award. A winner will be declared during bowl season early next year.

Look for Morse at left tackle in Mizzou’s upcoming matchup with Indiana on September 20. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network.

With Mizzou’s season opener just 9 days away, Head Coach Gary Pinkel had a few words of wisdom to pass along to the incoming freshmen on Thursday at the Campus Picnic and Spirit Rally.

“I encourage you to make sure you put everything into this and get committed to a lot of different things here,” Pinkel told the sizable crowd at the MizzouRec.

Pinkel also touched upon the importance of staying focused on the things that really matter, like getting your work done and going to class.

“Make sure you keep your priorities right; make sure you do not procrastinate,” Pinkel said. “I’m just telling you stuff that my players do when they get into trouble with this.”

Pinkel also advised the students to do the one thing that brought them here.

“How about this one: Make sure you go to class,” Pinkel said. “That’d be a good idea, huh?”

Pinkel also said that the students should use their heads, and their best judgment as well when it comes to making decisions that will reflect positively upon their lives.

“People try to ask you to get in part and do things,” Pinkel said. “And the bottom line is when you analyze it, do the right thing,”

Pinkel stressed that not only is being a Mizzou Football player rigorous, but being a fan is as well.

“When you get in the ZOU you don’t sit around like this….you’re up and you’re going,” Pinkel said. “And you’ll see all of the other [students] and you’ll understand that when they train you in what it’s like to be a Missouri Tiger fan.”

Pinkel also reminded the freshmen that they will be Mizzou Tigers for life.

“This isn’t a four-year deal,” Pinkel said. “It’s so much bigger than all that.”

Mizzou’s class of 2018 painted the Rock M Hill at Faurot Field on August 22 in preparation for Mizzou Football’s season opener on August 30 against South Dakota State. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and Tiger Network radio affiliates.