JOPLIN, Mo. – Jared Bruggeman has been named interim executive director of the Joplin Sports Authority (JSA). Bruggeman, who started June 9, will become JSA’s fifth executive director.
Bruggeman comes from Missouri Southern State University, a NCAA Division II Institution that included 15 varsity sport programs, where he served as director of athletics from June 11, 2009 – May 31, 2021. While at Southern, Bruggeman oversaw the department’s second place finish in the 2021 MIAA Commissioner’s Cup in 2021. In his time at Southern, Bruggeman has helped to see an increase in fundraising, as well as a re-structuring in the Lionbacker Booster Club.
The school has seen one of the most productive runs in the men’s basketball program’s history as the team has went 197-98 in his tenure. The team has had trips to four NCAA Tournaments, as well as racking up four 22-plus win seasons and an MIAA Championship in 2011, mixed in with the 2014 MIAA Tournament Championship. In 2011-12, the men’s basketball team went 26-5, and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The team followed that up with a 25-6 record in 13-14 and won the MIAA Tournament en route to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. In 2018-19, the Lions finished the season 25-8 and advanced to the program’s second-ever Sweet 16.
The student-athletes at Missouri Southern posted a cumulative grade point average (GPA) above a 3.00 for the fifth-straight semester in 2020. It was the second year in a row the Lions have finished the year with a cumulative 3.16 department GPA. Fourteen of the 17 sports and activities the department sponsors reported a 3.00 team GPA or higher, with the remaining sports at 2.75 or higher. The volleyball team had the highest team GPA at 3.58, while the men’s golf program had the highest GPA for men’s programs at 3.32. The numbers don’t stop there as 199 student-athletes had a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better with 105 of them posting a 3.50 cumulative GPA or higher. Nine student-athletes maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA, while the department graduated 97 student-athletes in 2019-20.
Bruggeman previously served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Northern Arizona University for four years, working as the school’s compliance director, as well as overseeing the men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country programs and equipment room. He was also in charge of overall athletic game management and facilities.
Prior to NAU, Bruggeman served as an Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student Life at the University of North Dakota for four years. He also oversaw facilities and game management, as well as marketing and ticketing. He was the student- athlete Academic Coordinator as well as Director of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and during his time as Assistant AD, North Dakota was awarded seven NCAA postgraduate scholarships, two NCAA Division II Degree Completion Awards and the NCAA Walter Byers Post Graduate Scholarship.
Bruggeman also served as an assistant track and field and cross-country coach at UND from 1998-01. He assisted in the daily operations of both men’s and women’s programs and played a major role in the recruitment of student-athletes. Bruggeman was also a volunteer assistant volleyball coach. A three-time graduate of UND, Bruggeman was an All-American in the indoor 800 meters.
Prior to his career in collegiate athletics, Bruggeman was a high school science teacher. He taught at Stephen Hempstead High School in Dubuque, Iowa and Red River High School in Grand Forks, N.D. Bruggeman also served as track and field and cross-country coach at both schools.
“I am extremely excited to be able to serve in the role as the interim executive director of the Joplin Sports Authority,” Bruggeman said. “Having served on the JSA board for many years, we feel that the learning curve should be greatly reduced while we continue to grow and advance the JSA, the city of Joplin and the entire region economically as well as providing opportunities for additional activities. I want to thank the board for allowing this wonderful opportunity for me to continue to work with our excellent staff and the sporting community of Joplin and the entire region.”
“We are excited to have Jared Bruggeman serving as the interim Executive Director of the JSA
Chairman. “Jared’s experience as AD at MSSU along with his service on the JSA board makes him a great choice,” said Dan McCreary, JSA Board.
Bruggeman earned a Bachelor of Science in natural science and a Bachelor of Science in education with an emphasis in physics from the University of North Dakota in 1994. He went on to earn a Master of Education in educational leadership from UND.