Campus and Community Mourns Athletic Director Jerry Hughes


Submitted photo by the University of Central Missouri Media Relations

Written by Rachel Becker, Editor in Chief

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Jerry Hughes, University of Central Missouri’s Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, died on Jan. 21, according to the UCM’s Integrated Marketing and Communications.
A Celebration of Life is planned for 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Elliott Student Union Ballrooms. Parking will be available in the visitor lot south of the Elliott Student Union and the large faculty/staff/student lot south of the Wood Building. A livestream of the service will be available at
According to UCM Media Relations, Hughes’ family requests that memorial contributions be made in Hughes’ honor to the UCM Alumni Foundation directed to: Mule Train – General or the Eleanor G. Hughes and Carol Dyetta Hughes Literacy Program fund.
“All faculty, staff and students who knew Jerry are saddened by this loss,” Jeff Murphy, Director of University Communications and Media Relations said. “He cared about his community, team and students. He will be missed throughout MIAA, NCAA, on campus and in intercollegiate sports in Missouri and beyond.”
Hughes’ tenure lasted four decades and he accepted numerous awards for his impact on collegiate sports. Hughes was scheduled to receive the Award of Merit in the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association on May 18 at the organization’s annual convention in Asheville, North Carolina. UCM’s Associate Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics, Kathy Anderson, will be taking on the role of Interim Athletic Director of athletics.
Students believe whether they knew Hughes personally or not, he will be missed.
“He’s obviously been a big part of all the athletics here so hopefully they find ways to do stuff for him,” Junior Physical Education major Brett Rowland said. “I hope they [UCM] do celebrate all the time he’s been here and all he’s done. My sister plays softball here and she told me about it. She was pretty upset. It’s sad to hear for sure.”
Many students believe there are several ways to celebrate Hughes legacy.
“It would be awesome to see a scholarship or something like that for people involved with athletics,” Junior Special Education major Katelyn Lees said.
Hughes was not only serving as Vice President for Intercollegiate Activities, but was a 1971 UCM alum. Hughes joined the university as staff in 1979, as a business placement director and became assistant athletics director in 1981. He was named athletics director in January 1983, by UCM’s 11th president James Horner.
“40 years is a long time he committed to this University, and he will be missed,” Murphy said.

Dillon Seckington contributed to this story