It’s official: Mizzou hires Dennis Gates as basketball coach | Mizzou Sports News

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For the fifth time in 16 years, Missouri has a new men’s basketball coach. The UM System Board of Curators went into closed executive session Tuesday morning and approved the contract for newly hired coach Dennis Gates, the university announced 30 minutes later.

Gates, 42, will be formally introduced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. He replaces Cuonzo Martin, who was fired this month following 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 buyout of $6 million.

“After a comprehensive and efficient national search, during which we had the privilege of speaking with an impressive group of coaches, it became clear Coach Gates was what we needed in the next leader of our basketball program,” Missouri athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a released statement. “He’s smart, driven and focused on winning. He’s a proven recruiter, a strong evaluator of talent, an innovative teacher of the game and has a unique enthusiasm and passion for his work and for his student athletes that draws 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 have been so fortunate throughout my career to work at some outstanding institutions with incredible people, and after doing my research and speaking with Desiree and President (Mun) Choi, it is clear that Missouri is a tremendous opportunity with unlimited potential,” Gates said. “We will build a program that all Mizzou fans will be proud of, for how we play, how our student-athletes represent the University of Missouri and how our togetherness and work ethic will lead to on-court victories. I want to thank President Choi, the Board of Curators and Desiree for an outstanding opportunity.”

“The Board of Curators supports this decision and we offer a warm welcome to Coach Gates and his family,” Board Chairman Darryl Chatman added. “As a board, we support setting higher expectations and making progress in all that we do as a university, and that applies to research and academics, as well as athletics. We look forward to all that Coach Gates will bring to the court and to our student-athletes.”

“Desiree Reed-Francois is focused on a results-driven, championship culture that supports our student-athletes,” Choi said. “We all agree Coach Gates fits into that vision and will take Mizzou basketball to new heights. We’re excited to welcome Coach Gates into the Tiger family of students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends.”

Gates spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Cleveland State, where after an 11-win debut season he won the Horizon League regular-season championship each of the next two years, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021. the previous eight years as an assistant at Florida State and also has coached at 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 the other Board members if they read Tuesday’s Post-Dispatch feature story on Gates. Curator Greg Hoberock, after making it clear he does not get the Post-Dispatch, said he understands the public sentiment on Gates was “50-50,” but added the Board decides who gets hired, not the fans. Board chairman Darryl Chatman retorted that the Board does indeed take the fans’ opinions into consideration. Chatman then quickly moved for the meeting to go into closed executive session.

How Dennis Gates' rise from Chicago prep guard to Cal freshman captain leads him to Mizzou

When he first arrived on a college campus, Dennis Gates wanted nothing more than to be a team leader. At 42, he’ll get to lead Missouri’s program, pending the UM Board’s approval Tuesday.

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