brett esely

Brett Esely

Sept. 30, 2021 Brett Esely, senior associate director of athletics for external affairs at Missouri Western State University, has accepted an offer from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau to become the director of development/director of the St. Joseph Sports Commission.

“Brett has been an integral part of Griffon Athletics for more than two decades and has helped elevate our department to what it is today,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Missouri Western’s president. “While we are saddened to lose his daily presence and expertise, I am pleased that he will remain in St. Joseph, working with us and other partners to enhance our community.”

Esely started as a student assistant men’s basketball coach in July 2000. He moved into administration in 2003, overseeing NCAA compliance and ticketing before taking on the external affairs role in 2007. He oversees the athletic department’s marketing, advertising, public relations, corporate partnerships and event management. Esely has led event operations for Chiefs Summer Training Camp, helped run many MIAA conference and NCAA championship events, and has served as public address announcer and color commentator on Griffon radio broadcasts.

Through all of these responsibilities, Brett has maintained his focus on creating a first-class experience for our student-athletes, coaches, donors, and fans and certainly been one of our program’s biggest supporters,” said Theresa Grosbach, interim director of athletics. “This is an incredible opportunity for Brett to make a daily impact on the community of St. Joseph in an entirely new way, while maintaining a connection to sports and Griffon Athletics.”

“This is definitely a bittersweet decision,” Esely said. “I love Missouri Western, I’m proud of what Griffon Athletics has accomplished, and I know there are bigger and better things ahead. But working with the Sports Commission gives me an opportunity to do something I’m passionate about while staying in the community where I grew up.” 

Esely led a record-setting Gold Coat Drive in the middle of a pandemic in 2020-21, and conducted four straight record-setting Charity Golf Classics. He has helped revive the St. Joseph Sports Commission in recent years, including leading efforts to create the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame which conducted its inaugural induction ceremony on Sept. 19.

Esely will remain at Missouri Western through Nov. 7, and start his new role at the Convention and Visitors Bureau Jan. 3, 2022.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit