COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the fifth time in 16 years, Missouri has a new men’s basketball coach. The UM system board met in a closed executive session on Tuesday morning and approved the contract of newly hired coach Dennis Gates, the university announced 30 minutes later.
Gates, 42, will be officially introduced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. He replaces Cuonzo Martin, who was fired earlier this month after the Tigers’ 11-21 season. Contract terms for Gates’ deal were not immediately available. Martin had a seven-year contract with an average salary of $3 million per year. Mizzou owes Martin a $6 million buyout.
“After a comprehensive and effective national search, during which we had the privilege of speaking with an impressive group of coaches, it became clear that Coach Gates was what we needed in the next leader of our basketball program. -ball,” Missouri Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois said. said in a published statement. “He’s smart, motivated and focused on winning. He is a proven recruiter, an excellent talent assessor, an innovative teacher of the game and has a unique enthusiasm and passion for his work and for his student-athletes who bring people in. He shares our vision of where Mizzou basketball can and will go. It is our privilege to welcome Coach Gates, his wife Jocelyn and their family to Mizzou.
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“I’ve been blessed throughout my career to work in exceptional institutions with incredible people, and after doing my research and speaking with Desiree and President (Mun) Choi, it’s clear that Missouri is a tremendous opportunity with unlimited potential,” Gates mentioned. “We will build a program that all Mizzou fans will be proud of, for the way we play, the way our student-athletes represent the University of Missouri, and how our togetherness and work ethic will lead to victories over the ground. I would like to thank President Choi, the Board of Directors and Desiree for this exceptional opportunity.
“The Board of Conservatives supports this decision and we welcome Coach Gates and his family,” added Board Chairman Darryl Chatman. and this applies to research and academics, as well as athletics. We look forward to all that Coach Gates brings to the field and to our student-athletes.
“Desiree Reed-Francois is focused on a results-oriented championship culture that supports our student-athletes,” Choi said. “We all agree that Coach Gates is part of this vision and will take Mizzou basketball to new heights. We are thrilled to welcome Coach Gates to the Tiger family of students, staff, faculty, alumni students and friends.
Gates spent the last three seasons as head coach at Cleveland State, where after an 11-win first season, he won the Horizon League regular-season championship each of the next two years, including an appearance at NCAA tournament in 2021. The Chicago native spent the previous eight years as an assistant at Florida State and has also coached in California (his alma mater), Marquette, Nevada, northern Illinois and with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Before Tuesday’s public board meeting went into closed session, curator Maurice Graham asked fellow board members if they were reading Tuesday’s report on Gates. Conservative Greg Hoberock, after making it clear he was not getting the Post-Dispatch, said he understood public sentiment on Gates was “50-50”, but added that the board decides. who is hired, not the fans. Board Chairman Darryl Chatman countered that the board does take fan opinions into consideration. Chatman then quickly waved the meeting into a closed executive session.