Last year the Missouri Military Academy's varsity sports were left in a state of minor disarray that most will never truly know the full extent of when former Athletic Director/Boys soccer coach Kevin Farley stepped away some time after the Fall sports season.
In his place came Juan Garcia, and while that immediate move to secure appropriate leadership is exactly what the Fighting Colonels needed at the time, when the 2016-17 school year came to a close MMA decided to go in another direction.
That opened the door for head basketball and lacrosse coach Kevin Bissmeyer to throw his name into the ring for consideration, and after close and careful consideration over the summer he is now the schools new athletic director as of the start of the 2017-18 school year.
"Prior to being promoted I taught middle school social studies and high school American history. I was an advisor and an assistant football coach," Bissmeyer said. "Since becoming Athletic Director I have turned over my football and middle school teaching/coaching duties to new teacher/coach Ryan Nowlin and no longer serving in my advisor role. I have taken on many new and challenging tasks in my new role including, setting up a new intramural program and attending as many events as possible.
One big accomplishment Bissmeyer has acheived since taking over just a few months ago is reviving the Colonel's cross country program. He also still teaches high school American history and coaches the basketball and lacrosse teams. According to his recent season preview Bissmeyer expects MMA basketball to be the team to watch in the area this year and looks to prove it in games against bigger schools like North Callaway, South Callaway and Battle.
"I just turned 33 on Oct. 7. This is my fourth year at MMA. I attended Moeller High School in Cincinnati where I played football, lacrosse and boxing and graduated in 2003," said Bissmeyer. "I earned my Bachelors in History from the University of Cincinnati ('04-'08). I then earned my Masters in Education from Xavier University ('13-'15). Prior to MMA I taught social studies at Colerain High School and Colerain Middle School in Cincinnati while coaching football, basketball and softball."
One of Bissmeyer's greatest athletic accomplishments came while playing for the University of Cincinnati lacrosse club. During that time his team made two final four appearances and was the runner up once in the National College Lacrosse League championship. He also served as an adjunct instructor of history at Chatfield College in Cincinnati and, just after graduating from Cincinnati, he coached that lacrosse team for two years and made another final four appearance.
"I coach because I love sports and I love what sports can do for people. Sports are a microcosm of life; all the things you learn in sports can be directly applied to everyday life and similarly, most of what you encounter in life can be handled using techniques learned while playing sports," Bissmeyer said. "Sports can serve as a creative, energetic, aggressive and even therapeutic outlet for children, adolescents and adults. Just like life, it's much more helpful when you have the right skills."
Even though he's much more affable than his greatest coaching inspiration, because he's from Texas Bissmeyer is a big fan of San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Poppovich. He's also describes himself as a diehard Dallas Cowboys and Spurs fan who coached lacrosse at Love;and high school while working Cincinatti History Museum.
"I coach in order to provide these techniques and skills for everyday life to each and every player I meet. I actually got into coaching in college when I tore my ACL playing lacrosse," said Bissmeyer. "I tore my ACL three times in college and was forced to sit out for major portions of three seasons. As a result I learned to see the game from the sidelines for the first time in my life and began to appreciate everything that went into the game that I always took for granted while I was on the field."