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GOOD NEWS: Sul Ross athletics director, coach steps down - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: Sul Ross athletics director, coach steps down

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Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:53 am

ALPINE Sul Ross State University athletics director and head baseball coach Bobby Mesker has stepped down from his AD position. Mesker will remain on staff as head baseball coach. President Bill Kibler will assume the role of interim athletics director while a national search for a full time AD is conducted. “After five years as the part-time athletics director, I realized that my passion for coaching baseball still runs deep,” Mesker said. “I am excited that we have the opportunity to search for a full time athletics director which gives me the chance to focus on advancing our baseball program.”

Mesker took over as interim athletics director in 2013 before being named to the position in 2015. At the time, the university was going through a shift in leadership. The athletics department was set to be placed on NCAA probation in the 2014-15 season for lack of NCAA sports sponsorship potentially leading to suspension of athletics.

“I learned a lot about the importance of NCAA sports sponsorship very early in my tenure,” Mesker said.

“Being placed on NCAA suspension would have more negative harm to the stability of the university and the athletics department than most could imagine,” he said.

Through Mesker’s leadership along with new President Bill Kibler and Former Vice President of External Affairs Butch Worley, the athletics program worked its way through the probationary period and successfully achieved full status. Since then the department stabilized the NCAA sport sponsorship concerns.

Under Mesker’s helm, the department added men’s soccer in 2018 after the addition of women’s soccer in 2015.

During his tenure, Mesker

also led committees to hire new coaches and staff which enhanced the athletics program.

These hires include two American Southwest Conference Coach of the Years in John Pearce (Football) and Clif Carroll (Men’s Basketball). Carroll’s teams have won two ASC West titles including a conference championship in 2017-18.

In May of 2018, Mesker brought head athletics trainer Billy Ray Laxton on board while also creating the position of a fulltime assistant athletics trainer. Laxton was also named Associate Athletics Director for Athletics Training earlier this summer.

“Student-athlete health care is important and athletic trainers are in high demand,” Mesker said. “But having the administration’s support in hiring Billy Ray and providing an assistant trainer has positively changed how we are able care for our studentathletes.”

The sports information department also saw vast improvements under Mesker’s leadership. Sul Ross Athletics was the recipient of the 2018 ASC Sports Information Department of the Year Award.

In 2018, Mesker oversaw the implementation of a strength and conditioning coach, a first of its kind.

“Hiring the staff I have worked with over the last six years has been gratifying” Mesker said. “I knew hiring the right people would be key as we transitioned and I’m proud to say we got that right.”

Mesker also worked with Kibler to promote Sandra Chambers from Assistant Athletics Director to Associate AD after working with her for numerous years

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