KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association hosted its 2023 Football Media Day presented by Seigfreid Bingham on Tuesday, July 25 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City.
Football student-athletes and head coaches from eleven MIAA institutions traveled to Kansas City to attend the 2023 MIAA Football Media Day.
“It was a great day for the MIAA”, said MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy. “Our student-athletes and coaches were treated to a big-time media experience at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, and it was an excellent way to kick-off the NCAA Division II College Football season.” Racy added, “I would also like to give a special thanks to our media day presenting sponsor again this year, the law firm Seigfreid Bingham.”
MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy and the Association’s supervisor of football officials Phil Laurie opened the event. Commissioner Racy shared the latest news and achievements from the MIAA and gave insight to the Association’s plans for the future.
“In 2025, stay tuned,” stated Racy. “My hope is that we will be able to add another member institution as a member of the conference that sponsors football. If that is the case, we will look at possibly going to a divisional structure with a north and south division for football and all of our sports.”
The atmosphere inside the Kauffman Foundations Conference Center was electric as all 11 teams voiced their excitment and anticipation for the upcoming season.
The Association welcomed some new faces this football media day. New head coaches Tyler Fenwick (Missouri Western) and Ryan Held (Nebraska Kearney) welcome the new challenges the league brings with open arms.
“Just like the hashtag, you got to bring your A game,” said the Lopers’ Coach Held. “No one feels sorry for you. You got to be able to be ready each week because this league is obviously disciplined, it’s tough, it’s physical, and it’s very respected across the country. A lot of great players, a lot of great men, a lot of great coaches are in this league.”
From first-year head coaches to those that have been around for years, MIAA coaches know what’s at stake every time they step on the field this season. Washburn Head Coach Craig Schurig is entering his 22nd season in the league and understands the level of competition his players need to be ready for.
“The MIAA, I’ve been in it a long time, and it has been a power conference and one of the top conferences in Division II during that whole stretch and there’s been very good teams obviously,” said the Ichabods’ Coach Schurig. “The depth of the teams is what makes the conference so good. It’s a very physical conference, and week in and week out the style of play on the line of scrimmage is what sets the MIAA apart.”
The 2023 MIAA football season officially kicks off Thursday, August 31. The Association’s defending champion, Pittsburg State, was picked as the league’s favorite to win in both the preseason coaches poll and media poll.
When the Gorillas’ defensive lineman Trase Jefferies was questioned about last season’s success he stated, “12-1 looks good on paper but at the end of the day we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to and that’s a National Championship. It sounds kind of crazy but when you’re a Gorilla you know what you sign up for. Those are the expectations, so we are trying to get back there this year and take another step from there.”
“We set that standard really high and the only thing we did this year was set it even higher,” added Pitt State’s safety Miachel Lacey. “We’re not satisfied. We are still hurt about how we ended last year so only thing we are worried about is moving forward.”
The 2023 MIAA Football Media Day was broadcasted live on The MIAA Network. Fans can access the archived broadcast for free at theMIAAnetwork.com.