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After 4 seasons on the staff, and 2 as a head coach, Pat Callaham has stepped down as the Missouri State Head Coach. Citing personal and professional reasons, Callaham made the team aware of his difficult decision after the Bears’ final game of the season, on Saturday.
Callaham first came to Missouri State in 2009 as an assistant to then Head Coach Austin Holman. In 2009, the Bears went 12-3 (.800) winning their first ever Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference Division II title and gaining a bid to play in the MCLA National Championships in Denver, CO.
In 2010, the Bears went 11-6 (.647) again winning the GRLC title and gaining a bid to play at the MCLA National Championships in Denver, CO.
Callaham’s first year as the Head Coach came in 2011. During the regular season, the Bears were 6-6 (.500) and narrowly missed a bid to the GRLC tournament due to a three way tie for first place. In 2011, Missouri State averaged 11.4 goals per game, 8.6 goals against per game, and fielded 2 All-Americans.
In 2012, Missouri State went 6-8 (.428) and received a spot in the GRLC Conference Tournament. Missouri State made it to the GRLC semi-finals before losing to reigning GRLC Champion Missouri Baptist. In 2012, the Bears averaged 9.0 goals per game, 10.6 goals against per game, and fielded 7 All-Conference players.
Callaham told the team, “This is the hardest decision of my life… but life’s caught up to me and I’ve gotta follow it.”
One of the lasting legacies Callaham will have with the team is the way he built up the recruiting process. Dustin Rich, an assistant coach who was a senior on the team when Callaham came to Springfield, remembers how impressed he was to see Callaham’s office.
“I looked up and saw a board with names and high schools, and I said, ‘what’s that?’ Prior to that, there was no recruiting at Missouri State, kids just showed up and played. Now we’re at the point where a large portion of our kids would not be at this school if they had not been recruited.”
Missouri State wishes Coach Callaham the best in his journey and thanks him for his years of hard work with the team.