Missouri hires Memphis’ Laird Veatch as athletic director

Missouri announced Tuesday that it hired Memphis athletic director Laird Veatch to the same role.

Veatch had been Memphis’ athletic director since October 2019. He previously worked at Missouri from 1997-2002 including the final three years as assistant athletic director for development. He also was general manager of Mizzou Sports Properties from 2003-06 and as regional vice president for Learfield Sports in Missouri from 2006-10.

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“The opportunity to return to the University of Missouri and to Columbia is truly incredible for me and my family,” Veatch stated in a release. “I am grateful to President (Mun) Choi, the Board of Curators and the members of the search committee for believing in me and in the future of Mizzou Athletics. Mizzou has always had a passionate and dedicated fan base including broad support throughout the state, and together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That includes winning SEC and NCAA championships while providing our student-athletes with a tremendous experience. I am honored and humbled to serve the university and to do my part to elevate Mizzou Athletics to unprecedented heights.”

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Veatch will assume his duties May 1, according to a release.

Veatch will bring more than 25 years of experience in college athletics in the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences. He has also worked at Texas from 1995-97, Iowa State from 2002-03, Kansas State from 2010-17 and Florida from 2017-19 in athletics administrative positions, and Veatch played college football with the Wildcats.

“AD Veatch is a proven leader with the vision we need to achieve our championship goals,” Choi stated in a release. “I want to thank Curator (Bob) Blitz and the search committee for identifying the right leader to build upon the incredible momentum of Mizzou Athletics. I also want to thank interim director Marcy Girton for her service and commitment to Mizzou Athletics.”

According to a release, Veatch “oversaw multiple facility projects and renovations, including an indoor football facility, a new tennis center, an Olympic sports weight room and nutrition center,” as well as the Name, Image and Likeness program which led to Missouri becoming one of the first schools to hire an NIL director.

Veatch also had a role at Memphis to unveil “an integrated academic program and athletics facilities master plan,” and the school “launched a $220 million renovation to revitalize and modernize Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium as the home of Memphis Football.”

The UM Board of Curators “will meet Wednesday to approve the contract,” according to a release.

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“Laird Veatch’s energy and leadership skills will serve him well in his new position as director of athletics at Missouri,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated in a release. “His previous experience at Missouri provides him with insight into the Mizzou campus, and he will also benefit from his experience in the SEC as a senior member of the Florida staff. We welcome Laird, Brandy and their family back to the SEC.”

Missouri is coming off the 2023 season which saw the Tigers go 11-2, beat Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl and reach No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings.