Bart Tatum is in his sixth season as head coach at Missouri
Southern after spending 12 seasons as an assistant coach at
Northwest Missouri State. In his first five seasons at Southern,
Tatum has led the Lions to an 22-32 record and picked up the
programs first winning season in 2007 (6-5) since 1996.
Under Tatum, the Lions produced the nation's best receiver in 2006 in Colin Bado as Bado led Division II in receptions per game, racking up eight per contest. 2006 also saw the highest drafted Lion in program history as senior offensive tackle Allen Barbre went to the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. The Lions also have maneuvered themselves into being one of the top defensive programs in the MIAA, leading the league in total defense in 2007, as well as pass defense in both 2007 and 2008.
2010 saw Missouri Southern place the second-highest number of All-MIAA picks in Tatum's tenure as nine Lions made the All-Conference team, led by All-American Brandon Williams. Williams led the MIAA in sacks with nine, and ranked in the top 25 nationally in both sacks and tackles for a loss. Williams was named to three-different All-American teams in only his sophomore season. Both Justin Cowper and Ian Saxton were named second-team All-MIAA, as well. Saxton and Williams were named preseason All-Americans for the 2011 season.
Southern had eight Lions named All-MIAA for the second year in a
row as defensive end Jairius Jarvis and center Chris Norris led the
Lions in their 2009 campaign. Jarvis was also a second-team
All-Region selection after leading the MIAA in sacks (9.5), coming
one stop shy of setting the MSSU single-season record. The Lions
also posted one of the most exciting wins in school history as
Southern scored 21 unanswered second-half points en route to
defeating 12th ranked Missouri Western in St. Joseph. A
fierce two-minute drill drive was capped off with a touchdown pass
from Roland Thompson to Daniel Thompson for the game-winner as time
The Lions had seven All-MIAA players in 2008 led by All-American linebacker Jared Brawner. Brawner led the MIAA in tackles and was tenth in Division II. Brawner was a pre-season All-American selection in 2009. Quarterback Adam Hinspeter became the Lions’ all-time leading leader in passing yards, completions and total offense, while breaking the MIAA record for completions and ranking third in passing yardage and fourth in total offense.
2007 saw the Lions put ten players on the All-MIAA team, including first teamers Colin Bado and BJ Russow. Bado became the career receptions leader at Southern, ending his career as one of the best receivers to ever wear a Southern uniform.
The move to Southern marks Tatum's first head coaching job, but he mentored under one of the top coaches in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association history. At Northwest, where Tatum was offensive coordinator, he coached under Mel Tjeerdsma, the second-winningest coach in MIAA history. Tatum helped the Bearcats to seven MIAA titles, eight NCAA Division II postseason appearances, three NCAA-II national title game appearances and two national championships.
The Bearcats went 118-35 during Tatum's stay, including 112-19 over the last 10 years.
He coached the Northwest offensive line for 10 seasons and served as recruiting coordinator for five years. Tatum was promoted to assistant head coach prior to the 2002 season, and he added the titles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach prior to the 2004 campaign.
Under Tatum's guidance in 2004, the Bearcats fielded the nation's second-ranked scoring offense and the No. 10 total offense. His charges ranked No. 21 nationally in rushing offense and 31st in passing offense. In 2005, Northwest ranked 23rd in the nation in passing offense.
Additionally, he recruited 27 of 65 first-team all-conference players, since 1994, for the Bearcats. He also recruited 15 of the team's 32 All-America selections three of the program's Hula Bowl invitees.
Tatum also played college football for Tjeerdsma at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. At Austin, Tatum was an All-Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association running back and, in 1988, he won the TIAA rushing title and set the school record for rushing touchdowns.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Austin College in 1991 in both history and physical education. Tatum earned his first of two master's degrees from Austin in 1992 in teaching. He collected his second master's, this one in kinesiology, in the summer of 1993 from Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas. Tatum also earned a doctorate in 2002 in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.
Following his playing career at Austin College, Tatum continued to serve the 'Roos as a graduate assistant coach on Tjeerdsma's staff, leading the running backs for eight months and the defensive line for one year. During his five years at Austin, the 'Roos made two national playoff appearances and posted a 31-18-3 overall record.
Tatum moved on as a graduate assistant on coach Ron Randleman's staff at Sam Houston State, where he coached Bearkat tight ends in 1992 and defensive ends in 1993. While with SHSU, Tatum coached John Solomon, a defensive end and eventual fifth-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
Tatum then headed to Northwest Missouri State when Tjeerdsma took over in 1994. He was part of the rebuilding process at NWMSU as the Bearcats went 0-11 in 1994, but improved to 6-5 the following season. Northwest then won or shared seven of the next eight MIAA titles (1996-2000, 2002-03) and made eight NCAA-II postseason appearances (1996-2000, 2002, 2004-05) while turning in four undefeated regular seasons. The Bearcats won back-to-back national titles in 1998-99 and finished as NCAA-II runner-up in 2005.
From 1997-2002, Tatum had eight offensive linemen earn All-America honors and at least one first-team all-conference offensive lineman every year from 1997-2003. Three offensive linemen were also NFL signees, including Seth Wand, a third-round draft selection in 2003 of the Houston Texans. While coordinating the Bearcats' running game, Tatum had five consecutive 1000-yard rushers, including Jesse Haynes, who piled up more than 1800 yards in 1996. Tatum also called the plays as the Bearcats' offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005. In those years, Northwest was second in the country in scoring and in the top ten in total offense. In 2005, Northwest won four consecutive playoff road games en route to the National Championship game where quarterback Josh Lambertson was named the game's MVP in a 21-17 loss to Grand Valley State.
Tatum was named the 2001 NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
As a high school player at Cooper (Texas) High School, Tatum twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards and earned all-district honors on both sides of the football.
He and his wife, Rachel, an elementary school teacher, have three sons, Alec, Miles and Matthew.