Wednesday night, folks from all over North and Central Missouri journeyed to Mendon’s Northwestern High School for the 20th Annual Mizzou Tiger Caravan. This event, held by Fred Carpenter, benefits the Tiger Scholarship Fund.
At this year’s event, Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden talked about the recent $8.3 million gift that Don and Audrey Walsworth of Marceline recently made to the University of Missouri. Also, Assistant Football Coach Andy Hill, formerly of Trenton and Brookfield, returned to his old stomping grounds as well. Finally, we visited with Head Basketball Coaches Frank Haith and Robin Pingeton about their seasons, and the future of Tiger Basketball.
A Generous Gift
Recently, Don and Audrey Walsworth made an $8.3 million donation to the University of Missouri, as announced at a special press conference. From a release by the University: “Through their generous gift, the Walsworth family will support Athletic Department facility improvements and expansions, including renovations to Memorial Stadium and a new clubhouse for the men’s and women’s golf teams at The Club at Old Hawthorne. The new clubhouse will house coaches’ offices, team locker rooms, indoor heated hitting bays, and the latest in swing instruction technology.”
“It is a significant benefit and a transformational type of gift that can help not only the athletic programs, but the entire University of Missouri,” said MU Athletic Director Mike Alden. “Don and Audrey, and their family have been so generous, not only to Mizzou, but to so many entities around the state, and certainly locally in Brookfield, Marceline and those areas as well. When you see those gifts, the financial aspect is significant, transformational. But the message that sends—not just throughout the state, but nationally— is something that even elevates that gift to a higher level. We are just so appreciative of Don and Audrey and all that they continue to do for Mizzou.”
“The University has been very good to us over the years, including our children and grandchildren,” Walsworth said. “This gift is indicative of the fantastic leadership of the University and the Athletic Department, including the outstanding coaches and staff. We are so pleased with the organization and administration. We love the move to the SEC and how far athletics has advanced to achieve national prominence in so many different sports. Our gift is also for the student athletes, as we believe their education should come first—an ideal I know our family shares with the University.”
Through their lives, the Walsworth’s have donated nearly $14 Million to the University of Missouri, where both of their children played on the golf teams.
Hill Comes Home
For Andy Hill, coming back to the Tiger Caravan in Mendon allows him to return to the two area places he called home, Trenton and Brookfield. Hill was an all-everything athlete for the Trenton Bulldogs, and was a financial consultant in Brookfield. But the call to his true home at MU was too strong for the former resident.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s really special to coach at your alma mater,” said Hill. “When you have family, you have an attachment to Mizzou. My father went to Mizzou, my wife went to Mizzou, both of her parents went to Mizzou. We have a tradition here, and it is really special to represent the University of Missouri.”
Hill also addressed his tenure at Mizzou, and the change in going to the SEC. “Coming into my 18th season, it is just a special place to be,” said Hill. “There is no doubt that the move to the SEC was a step up in competition. Week to week, looking at it from an offensive perspective, is the defensive line. Every team has a good defensive line. The grind week-to-week, and the talent on the defensive line were the two biggest challenges in the change.”