By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western State University's senior associate director of athletics for external affairs Brett Esely has accepted an offer from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau to become the director of development/director of the St. Joseph Sports Commission.
After more than two decades of service with the University, Esely will step away in November and officially join the CVB on January 3.
"This is definitely a bittersweet decision," Esely said in a statement Thursday. "I love Missouri Western, I'm proud of what Griffon Athletics has accomplished, and I know there are bigger and better things ahead. But working with the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau gives me an opportunity to do something I'm passionate about while staying in the community where I grew up."
Esely started as a student assistant men's basketball coach for MWSU in July 2000. He moved into administration in 2003, overseeing NCAA compliance and ticketing before taking on the external affairs role in 2007.
He oversees the athletic department's marketing, advertising, public relations, corporate partnerships and event management. Esely has led event operations for Chiefs Summer Training Camp, helped run many MIAA conference and NCAA championship events and has served as public address announcer and color commentator on Griffon radio broadcasts.
"Brett has been an integral part of Griffon Athletics for more than two decades and has helped elevate our department to what it is today," said Missouri Western president Elizabeth Kennedy. "While we are saddened to lose his daily presence and expertise, I am pleased that he will remain in St. Joseph, working with us and other partners to enhance our community."
Esely led a record-setting Gold Coat Drive in the middle of a pandemic in 2020-21 and conducted four straight record-setting Charity Golf Classics. He helped revive the St. Joseph Sports Commission in recent years, including efforts to create the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame, which conducted its inaugural induction ceremony on Sept. 19.
"Through all of these responsibilities, Brett has maintained his focus on creating a first-class experience for our student-athletes, coaches, donors and fans and certainly been one of our program's biggest supporters," said Missouri Western interim athletic director Theresa Grosbach. "This is an incredible opportunity for Brett to make a daily impact on the community of St. Joseph in an entirely new way, while maintaining a connection to sports and Griffon Athletics."