Drury's Atwell Resigns As AD

By Dan Lucy | dlucy@kolr10.com

Published 07/15 2014 05:56PM

Updated 07/15 2014 06:32PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo--Drury is looking for a new athletics director.

This after Pat Atwell submitted his resignation.

The move opens up a position to guide an athletic department that's made it a habit of not only winning games, but also championships.

After seven successful years as Drury's Athletics Director, Pat Atwell submitted his resignation Tuesday.

Atwell saying that he wants to explore other opportunities.

Atwell did not want to go on camera and in a news release said: "We won multiple conference, regional and national championships with a group of student athletes who consistently carried a GPA in the 3.30 to 3.40 range and represented our University and Division two in a first class manner.  I will cherish those memories.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have led this athletic department and am now looking forward to new endeavors." 

The move comes when the Drury campus is quiet, the athletes and coaches on summer break.

Lady Panthers coach Molly Miller was at the O'Reilly Center and says Atwell will be missed.

"He's really the face of Drury.  As an athletic director on and off the floor it really defines successes," said Miller.  "I was a player here too when he was the AD.  I was a freshman, and in my sophomore year he came in.  And it was nice to kind of be new at Drury and learn together.  We both really have a lot of pride for this school."   

In his seven years, Drury won 13 national championships, 12 of those in swimming.

The 2012-13 Drury Panther basketball team won the D2 national championship and the Panthers won the Great Lakes Valley Conference all-sports trophy for the 2009-10 athletic year.

"We really wish Pat Atwell the best.  He had a great run of seven years with us here at lot of success 13 national championships and a team award for all sports," said Scott Puryear, Drury Associate AD of Communications. 

Drury opened the O'Reilly Family Event Center during Atwell's tenure, but there were also some rocky times.

Lady Panther womens basketball coaches Steve Harold and Steve Huber resigned unexpectedly.

Atwell told KOLR 10 sports that he does not have a new job lined up and he's leaving Drury on good terms and it's time for a new chapter.

Drury for its part will begin looking for Atwell's successor.

Puryear: "Drury's reputation is tremendous coast to coast.  We've been in the top 35 in the Learfield Cup, all sports for 17 years in a row.  People know that we're about winning, we're about student athletes and graduating our players.l  Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?"  

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