By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics, Josh Looney, will be leaving the school to accept a similar post at the University of North Alabama.
Looney began his career at Missouri Western on August 1st of 2017, when he was named the eighth Director of Athletics at the St. Joseph school. He won promotion as Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics in July 2019. Looney is also serving as the Interim Vice President of University Advancement and Executive Director of the MWSU Foundation during the 2020-21 academic year.
Looney will begin his new duties at North Alabama in Florence on September 1st. North Alabama recently moved from NCAA Division II competition to Division I.
“I am extremely grateful to Josh for all that he has done for Missouri Western,” Missouri Western President Elizabeth Kennedy said in a written statement released by the university. “His positive attitude, his work ethic, his creative problem-solving - these characteristics have been tremendous assets and inspiration not only to the Department of Athletics but to the University as a whole. He leaves behind a solid foundation for his successor to build on and take us to even greater heights. While we will miss Josh, we’re excited about the journey ahead for him and know that he will continue to accomplish great things.”
Missouri Western has enjoyed success during his tenure guiding Griffon sports.
The university reports that academically, Griffon student-athletes have set new records for departmental GPA for seven consecutive semesters. In the community, Missouri Western has been recognized with three consecutive NCAA Awards of Excellence for its community contributions.
Eleven different Griffon teams made NCAA Division II postseason appearances during his tenure.
Several facility improvements have taken place under Looney’s watch, including a full renovation of the MWSU Fieldhouse, the Bill Snyder Pavilion at Spratt Memorial Stadium, and locker room renovations for several teams.
Looney, who formerly worked for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been instrumental in keeping the Chiefs at Missouri Western for their training camp. He negotiated a new multi-year agreement with the NLF team in 2020. The Chiefs open their 11th training camp at Missouri Western this week.
“My family and I are so grateful for our time at Missouri Western and in the St. Joseph community,” Looney said in a written statement. “Our daughters have had the incredible opportunity to grow up around Griffon student-athletes, and they go to bed most nights with stories about Max Griffon and 'No Boo-Cats.' Griffon coaches and student-athletes have accomplished much during the past four years, spanning many different areas, but the success we've had has always been the result of 'Griffs Supporting Griffs.' It's what makes this place special. Our family will continue to cheer and support all of the successes that are ahead at MWSU...the best is yet to come. Thank you and Griff Up!”
Missouri Western says the University will begin the search for Looney’s successor immediately.
Looney succeed another former Missouri Western Athletic Director at North Alabama: Mark Linder. Lender was Missouri Western AD for four years before taking over in Florence in 2007. Lender stepped down at UNA earlier this year.