Joplin, Mo. – Missouri Southern Director of Athletics Jared Bruggeman has announced the hiring of Rachel Burleson as assistant athletic director for administration and compliance. She will begin her duties on February 25.

Burleson comes to Southern from Western State Colorado University where she was the assistant athletics director for equipment, events and facilities. She replaces Julie Wengert who resigned to take another position within the University.

“I’m very excited to bring a person like Rachel into our department,” Bruggeman said. “Her previous experience in compliance, as well as being a head coach at the Division II level helped her rise to the top of the candidate pool. She also has experience with the MIAA and that will be helpful moving forward.”

Burleson has spent the past eight months at Western State as the assistant athletic director and senior women’s administrator. Before joining Western State, Burleson spent the previous four years at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, an NCAA Division II institution in Goodwell, Okla. There she was an assistant athletic director, as well as the head softball coach. She’s stepped in to represent the athletic director, who also shares coaching responsibilities, at conferences and conventions. She was the game management director for all home events and for Goodwell High School football and basketball. Burleson helped oversee all aspects of event administration, including ticketing, officials coordination, locker rooms, concessions and game setup and teardown.

“I am very excited to join the Pride,” Burleson said. “I knew I wanted to be back in the MIAA and I couldn’t think of a better place to do that than Missouri Southern. I am thrilled with the opportunity Jared and the MSSU staff have given me. Lion Athletics have a rich tradition and I look forward to being part of Sothern’s successful future.”

Burleson balanced full-time coaching responsibilities with softball and had four student-athletes earn All-Heartland Conference honors at OPSU. She managed the coaching, travel, recruiting, scheduling, budget, community service projects, camps, field maintenance, skill development, academic monitoring and eligibility for the Aggies. Burleson also taught a variety of courses in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department.

Burleson earned her master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University and spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Bearcat softball team. Northwest advanced to the NCAA regionals in her final season and she assisted the head coach in all aspects of the program. She also assisted with the scorebook for home basketball games and was a part of the event management for volleyball matches.

Burleson was the assistant softball coach at Kenyon College for two seasons and the assistant volleyball coach at Kenyon for one season, and assisted both head coaches in a variety of tasks. She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports from Tarleton State University in 2003 and a masters degree from Northwest Missouri in 2008.