New Southeast Missouri State Athletic Director Brady Barke sent an open letter to fans and alumni of the Redhawks to share in the success the athletic program has achieved.

Dear Redhawk Fans,

I have recently completed my first several months as your Director of Athletics and the 2016-17 academic year is well underway. I am appreciative of the support that you all have shown me and continue to be excited about the future of Southeast Missouri State University Athletics!

So far this year we have celebrated a number of great accomplishments, including a women’s soccer win over SEC foe Tennessee and our football program’s third win over a nationally-ranked team in the Coach Tuke era. We also welcomed Andy Sawyers, our new head baseball coach, who will look to build upon the storied success of our baseball program.

Our achievements haven’t been limited to the field. In all, 128 of our student-athletes were recognized on the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll for boasting a grade point average of 3.25 or higher. This included student-athletes from every one of our sports programs. Also, earlier this week, we hosted our second-ever Redhawks BRIDGE Program event, which provided excellent life skills programming to prepare our student-athletes for success in life after athletics.

This summer, we completed construction on a new locker room facility for our women’s tennis program. Through a partnership with the City of Cape Girardeau, we are currently working on the installation of artificial turf and other major improvements to Capaha Field, which are scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2016. In order to remain competitive, we must continue to address needed facility improvements and build for tomorrow, today.

On-campus and in the community, I sense a tremendous amount of energy and excitement towards SEMO Athletics. I am thankful to President Vargas and other members of the University administration for their support of Athletics and am appreciative of every one of our Redhawks Club members who are helping us provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes.

To be successful, we must be able to attract and retain outstanding coaches and staff, recruit quality student-athletes, and provide the facilities and resources necessary to compete for OVC championships and NCAA tournament berths. We have made tremendous strides, but still have a lot of opportunity for continued enhancement.

In the coming months, we will be working hard to develop a plan for the future. In doing so, we will identify not only our future needs, but also begin to develop plans for securing the resources necessary to address those needs. Achieving our goals will require a commitment from everyone. Together, we will take SEMO Athletics to new heights!

Go Redhawks!

Brady Barke
Director of Athletics