Drury Athletics

Drury to add shotgun shooting to competitive athletics lineup next year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — Drury University will introduce shooting sports to its lineup of non-NCAA sports next year. Coed shotgun shooting will become the school’s fifth non-NCAA sport starting in fall 2017.

The shotgun team will compete in skeet, trap and clay. Shotgun shooting will primarily be a spring sport, though some competitions will take place in the fall as well. Scholarships are available. Prospective students interested in learning more about the shotgun team can contact the Drury Admissions Office at (417) 873-7205 and druryad@drury.edu, or visit www.drury.edu/admission.

Ruck shooting

Bass Pro Shops will offer support for the new program by allowing the Drury team practice time at its Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy facility at Big Cedar Lodge.

Tom Ruck will serve as head coach for Drury’s shooting sports program. Ruck is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and has more than 40 years experience as an instructor and competitor. He was a member of USA Shooting’s international skeet shooting team and been a medalist at the state, regional and national level in several disciplines of shooting competitions.

“The opportunity to start at the ground-floor and build this program is one of the things that made this an attractive opportunity,” said Ruck. “With the support of Drury’s athletics department, it has the chance to be very successful. I’ve always enjoyed working with young people and I’m looking forward to teaching people the things that have taken me 40 years to learn in this sport.”

Ruck has earned multiple All-American honors in skeet shooting, and sporting clays and is a certified instructor with the National Sporting Clays Association, the National Skeet Shooting Association and FITACS, the international form of sporting clays. Ruck has spent his professional career in the printing industry and is currently the president of Office Systems, Inc., in the St. Louis area.

Tom Ruck

Tom Ruck

Shotgun joins other recent additions of non-NCAA programs at Drury such as bass fishing, bowling, triathlon and stunt. Non-NCAA sports allow students to participate in a wider variety of intercollegiate competition beyond mainline athletics. The expansion continues Drury’s tradition of providing a wide range of outlets for students’ interests beyond the classroom, and will give current and incoming students even more options to consider.

“We’re excited to continue to expand our competitive athletics offerings at Drury,” said Director of Athletics Mark Fisher. “The Ozarks has a rich tradition of outdoor sports like hunting and fishing. This is a great fit for Drury and for our culture here in southwest Missouri and across the Midwest.”

Shooting sports at the collegiate level are growing in popularity. Similar schools in Missouri with shooting programs include Lindenwood University, Missouri S&T, the University of Central Missouri, and Columbia College – though not all of those programs are under their school’s athletics department umbrella, as will be the case at Drury.

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Drury forms panel to outline best practices for combating hazing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 23, 2016 — Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd announced today that he has tasked swimming and diving head coach Brian Reynolds, along with Athletic Director Mark Fisher and Dean of Students Tijuana Julian, to create and lead a task force that will examine the issue of college hazing with the goal of creating best practices that can be applied at Drury, and nationwide.

As a part of that process, Reynolds will step away from daily coaching duties for a time in order to help focus on building the necessary foundation for the group’s process and procedures. The group will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The news was discussed at a news conference held this afternoon. The following are statements from the conference.

 

Statement from President Cloyd:

“Throughout my career, I have been deeply concerned any time I have been made aware of any individual being adversely affected by their experiences at an institution of higher education. It represents the exact opposite of what we as educators promote as our very mission. Institutions of higher education have always aspired to be a places that serve to advance society by educating, shaping and maturing each individual, one person at a time, to help build them up to their highest potential.

“Universities also by their nature are places where all sorts of issues are open to robust debate, varying thoughts, opposing positions, varied opinions, even arguments on subjects are heard, but let me assure you that on an issue as important as hazing, the only discussion has to be about how to eliminate it. Not minimize it. Not nostalgically idealize it, not secretly sanctify it, but to ELIMINATE it.

“Since my arrival this summer, I have had extensive discussions with AD Mark Fisher and more recently with Swim Coach Brian Reynolds and our Dean of Students Dr. Tijuana Julian and I have issued to them a firm challenge and directive to put in place a program that meets or perhaps sets news standards for assuring that the practice of hazing will not be part of any activity at the institution.

“You all know that since the incident reports of this summer regarding 2015, the policies were strengthened to include a more severe set of punishments including a clear use of expulsion from the team when determined appropriate. This fall the team also brought in a nationally recognized speaker/educator to address the entire program. But at the end of the day, Coach Reynolds and I and AD Fisher all agree that more is needed.

“He has agreed to step back from his day-to-day coaching responsibilities to devote his full attention to this matter and develop the foundational components of this program. In my discussions with Coach Reynolds over the past few weeks, I have asked him about, and he has shared with me the specifics of the steps he has taken each year to educate and instruct his team members as a group, their captains and co-captains, and the coaching staff, informing them all clearly that hazing in any form is prohibited. I am further convinced that Coach Reynolds has devoted a good portion of his career working to learn and incorporate into his practices strong instructional and educational efforts to discourage and prevent this egregious behavior.

“And once we have formalized what we consider to be our best approach to accomplishing this objective, the policies, procedures and behavioral practices will be enacted with authority given from the office of the president and with the support of our governing board of trustees to ensure that everyone understands and abides by them.

“I read this weekend the editorial in the Springfield News-Leader challenging Drury University to do more in this area and my response is that we were and are in the process of doing more. I appreciate that the SNL shares our understanding that this is not a simple issue. And that, at times, what one might think would be a sufficient set of rules and instructions to instill a sense of proper behavior, requires vigilance and a deep commitment of purpose in order to keep adverse events from occurring over time as new groups of students come into a program.

“I have challenged my team to complete this task over the next weeks and I will be sharing details of our progress within our university community and with you in the media.”

 

Statement from Coach Brian Reynolds:

“What we have been challenged to do is develop a comprehensive program for ensuring that the behavior is completely eliminated from the Drury University swim program, athletics in general and campus wide.

“In discussions with Dr. Cloyd, who took over as president this past summer, and AD Fisher, we all agree that a more definitive program is in order – one structured to ensure that hazing in all forms is formally and clearly defined and eliminated from the campus

“I have shared with Dr. Cloyd and AD Fisher my desire to focus my attention on this matter in support of the university, our athletic programs and specifically the swim program so that this type of incident does not happen ever again.

“I have devoted my entire life to building up young adult athletes in the highest standards of competitive integrity and personal responsibility. I have devoted specific time and effort each year to instruct my teams on the issue of hazing and to instill in them that it has no place in our program.

“Many of you know me, and you know my personal commitment to this program and to young people. The last thing I would ever condone is activity that could harm or inflict damage either physically or emotionally on any of our student athletes.

“I plan to commit my full-time attention to this matter over the coming weeks and to apply all of my efforts to establishing a set of components that will leave no room for this type of activity to ever occur again.

“The foundation will be laid in time. We will take the necessary time needed to examine the issues as they relate to the Drury community. We do play a role on the national stage in more than one of our sports programs and I want this program to clearly demonstrate our commitment to taking this issue seriously.

“Everyone who assumes the mantle of coach takes by the nature of the job responsibility. I have spoken to students throughout my entire career on this subject. To conclude that this behavior is somehow condoned or ignored is simply not true.

“Every fall I counsel my entire team, and then in separate meetings, my captains and co-captians about this.

“Because of my 33 years of experience in NCAA athletics, my love of athletics, and thousands of student-athletes I’ve worked with, I feel a deep responsibility to help Drury University address this issue and create a national model in combating this kind of behavior. Of all the things I’ve done to this point in my career, I cannot think of a single action or goal that is more important than this one.

“This kind of behavior is out of character for the student-athletes that I know. But unfortunately, it has happened. It must be addressed.”

 

Statement from Athletic Director Mark Fisher:

“As I said last week, I have made it clear to our coaches and student-athletes that we will not tolerate such behavior. I am glad coach Reynolds has accepted Dr. Cloyd’s challenge to address this issue on a broader scale moving forward. I’m happy to work side by side with Coach Reynolds and Dr. Julian in the leadership of that process.

“Coach Reynolds has asked to step away from day-to-day coaching duties for a period of time in order to lay the groundwork for that process. In the meantime, assistant coach Doug Schranck will take over day-to-day duties as the team prepares for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships and the NCAA-II nationals.”

 

Statement from Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Dr. Tijuana Julian:

“We have a number of task forces on campus to address various issues and this group will further that approach. It will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Some of the other issues that groups are tasked with addressing include Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equity, Bystander Intervention Training and overall campus safety. I led the effort to strengthen our policies on hazing this year, and I’m looking forward to the work ahead of us as we dive deeper into the issue and continue to strengthen our stance on the issue.”

Drury Athletics taps Ed Beach to lead media relations and marketing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 3, 2016 — Drury University’s Athletics Department has named Ed Beach its new Assistant Athletic Director-Media Relations/Marketing. Beach begins his duties at Drury on June 14. He will oversee all sports information, media relations and athletics marketing duties for Drury’s tradition-rich NCAA D-II programs.

Beach earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Drury and is currently the Director of Communications at the Evangel University Athletics Department, where he as worked since 2002. Prior to that, Beach spent seven years in sports broadcasting media relations and sponsorship sales for professional minor league baseball, basketball and hockey teams in the Midwest. He has also been a radio sports reporter and has extensive experience broadcasting play-by-play at all levels of competition.

ed_beach_3 (1)

“We are excited to have Ed on the Drury Athletics team,” said Mark Fisher, Director of Athletics at Drury. “His deep experience and familiarity with Drury will be great assets for all of our teams, coaches and student-athletes.”

“I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity,” said Beach. “I grew up on this campus watching Drury teams compete and this institution prepared me for the professional world as I earned college degrees here. My predecessors in this role established a high standard of excellence and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining and building on what they accomplished.”

Beach graduated from Drury in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in communication and English. He earned a master’s degree in communication from Drury in 2005. He made his broadcast debut at age 17 and made his professional sports broadcast debut at age 23. Beach’s professional broadcasting career included stints with minor league baseball affiliates of the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays.

While at Evangel, Beach handled all play-by-play duties for EU football, basketball and women’s basketball games, and oversaw marketing budgets, all printed and online content and developed promotional partnerships. He also negotiated the school’s first ever multi-year broadcast agreement.

Beach has been a board member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame since 2009 and is currently the board’s president-elect. He is also an executive committee member of the Springfield Quarterback and Tipoff Clubs.

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Drury hires Mark Fisher as next Director of Athletics

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 19, 2014 — Drury University has selected Mark Fisher to become its next Director of Athletics. Fisher will begin his duties at Drury on July 1, 2015. Fisher is currently the Director of Athletics for Springfield Public Schools, where he has been AD since 2003.

“We are delighted to bring Mark on board,” said Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “I like both the leadership and management qualities he brings to the table. He has a breadth of experience dealing with a wide array sports and administrations during his career. Mark has deep local and statewide connections at both the collegiate and high school levels, and a proven track record in fundraising and managing high-profile events.”

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher

“I want to thank Dr. Manuel and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to serve at Drury University, where academics and athletics stand for excellence,” Fisher said. “Drury has a great group of coaches and I’m excited to be able to assist them in continuing the outstanding tradition of DU athletics, and helping student athletes fulfill their goals through their academic and athletic experiences.”

Fisher’s 12-year career with SPS includes success both on and off the field. In addition to overseeing all athletic activities for Missouri’s largest public school district, he also spearheaded a $3.5 million campaign for stadium improvements and implemented systems to continually evaluate the progress of student athletes and coaches. Fisher is the director of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, one of the highest profile high school basketball tournaments in the nation. A former Missouri Basketball Coach of the Year, he has mentored 18 former players or assistant coaches to careers as head basketball coaches.

Beginning Jan. 5, 2015, former DU athletic director Edsel Matthews will return to campus to serve as interim AD until Fisher’s full-time arrival in July. Scott Puryear, associate athletic director for marketing and communications, has served as the interim AD for the past five months.

“I want to thank Scott for his hard work in these dual roles during the past few months,” Dr. Manuel said. “We are thrilled that Edsel can step in and fill the gap next year so Scott can return to his AAD post and lay the promotional groundwork for our slate of home basketball games and, we hope, another deep postseason run by both teams.”

Matthews was Drury’s AD from 2002 to 2010, then served in an athletics fundraising role for two years before retiring in 2012. He will return to many familiar faces in the coaching ranks and across campus.

“I’m pleased to come back and help in any way that I can,” Matthews said. “I’m certainly thrilled that Mark Fisher will take over. He’s a great hire who will do a great job. I’ll work very closely with Mark in the interim and try to set the table as best I can for what he and the University want to accomplish.”

Media Contact: Scott Puryear, Associate Director of Athletics for Marketing & Communications; (417) 873-4097 or spuryear@drury.edu.

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Community to celebrate Drury’s National Championship teams with a parade through Springfield on Friday, April 19 at 4 p.m.

WHO: The Drury University NCAA Division II National Champion men’s basketball team, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.

WHAT: A community parade and celebration to honor the championship teams. The swim teams won their titles on March 9 in Birmingham, Alabama. The basketball team won the national championship on April 7 in Atlanta, Georgia.

WHEN: Friday, April 19. Parade begins at 4 p.m. Proclamations, autograph sessions with designer posters, and an Andy’s Frozen Custard celebration will follow.

WHERE: Beginning at South and Elm, the parade will travel north on South Avenue to Park Central Square. From there, the parade will travel north on Boonville Avenue, turn east on Central Street, and then turn north on Drury Lane. The parade will culminate in the Findlay Student Center Fountain Circle.

WHY: Drury earned its ninth straight men’s swimming and diving title, and the men’s and women’s teams have won dual championships in four of the last five seasons. Overall, the men’s team has 11 championships, while the women have nine. The Drury Men’s Basketball Team won the school’s first ever NCAA Division II Basketball Championship with its win over Metropolitan State University of Denver. 30 days, 3 national championships, 1 university.

Media Contact: Mark Miller, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886,
 E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu

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