Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Alnutt wants student athletes to have first-class experience

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Athletic director Mark Alnutt started his job over the summer and worked to promote Southeast athletics around the Cape Girardeau and St. Louis areas. -Submitted Photo

Mark Alnutt took over as the director of athletics over the summer and began working to promote Southeast Athletics and improve the experience of student athletes.

Alnutt was announced as the new director of athletics during an April 19 press conference at the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. Senior associate director of athletics Cindy Gannon had served as the interim director of athletics while a national search was conducted for the replacement of John Shafer, who retired in June 2011.

Alnutt worked at the University of Missouri. He was the director of football operations for six years, an associate director of athletics for three years and was promoted to senior associate director of athletics before being hired by Southeast.

"I want to make sure that they have a first-class experience, and I think another part of my job is just bringing more recognition, more exposure, you know, branding and marketing, to our department," Alnutt said. "Not only the best chances from our community in Cape Girardeau, but also from a regional standpoint, too. We want to make sure we're known and what we're all about."

Alnutt's job officially started on May 21. He spent the summer traveling to different events like the Ohio Valley Conference football media day in Nashville, Tenn. He also met with coaches and played in the T.E.A.M. Southeast Football Golf Tournament at Kimbeland Country Club on July 30.

"When I was hired, I felt like it was the perfect time, and I started the job right after school ended so there's no competitions, school's essentially out," Alnutt said. "It just gave me the opportunity to just go out and visit with a lot of groups, locally, here in the area, but also regionally, you know go out and speak to a lot of groups and tell them what we have to offer, our brand and our vision for Southeast athletics."

Alnutt has met regularly with Southeast alumni in St. Louis. He said that there are nearly 20,000 alumni in the St. Louis area and that he tries to travel there one or two times a month for meetings with alumni.

"That gives me a huge opportunity and also a resource for me to be as visible as I can in the St. Louis area," Alnutt said. "I think part of it is being able to tell my story, the vision I have for Southeast, you know, getting folks on board and being proud of their alma mater."

Alnutt has a Twitter account @Alnutt 41 and tweets about what coaches, teams or organizations he is with, and also keeps the public up to date with when team's first practices and games will be.

"It's a new medium," Alnutt said. "It's a popular medium, obviously, with prospective student athletes and students in general. So for me, you know I mentioned earlier about that exposure, that branding, one of the things I do when I tweet is I want to make people aware of what's going on with Southeast athletics. I think that's important to spread the word. I enjoy doing it, and I'm hopeful to see it getting more popular as we move forward."

Many Southeast coaches and staff have shown their support for Alnutt on Twitter.

"I had a GREAT meeting with our Director of Athletics @Alnutt41 this morning. The SUPPORT he has for our basketball PROGRAM is appreciated," women's basketball coach Ty Margenthaler tweeted on July 17.

Alnutt's family recently joined him in Cape Girardeau. Alnutt and his wife Kate have four children: Jaren, Kinleigh, Mason and Aidan.

"She was excited about the move and being able to come down here," Alnutt said about his wife. "I'm fortunate enough that our four kids, they're at the age where they're able to move and not have a significant impact. They're not in high school, they're not in junior high yet. They had friends up there, but it was not a situation where they were strongly rooted in the Columbia area. So everyone's excited and they're down here now, and they're glad to be down here."