Bart Tatum is in his sixth season as head coach at MissouriSouthern after spending 12 seasons as an assistant coach atNorthwest Missouri State. In his first five seasons at Southern,Tatum has led the Lions to an 22-32 record and picked up theprograms first winning season in 2007 (6-5) since 1996.
Under Tatum, the Lions produced the nation's best receiver in 2006in Colin Bado as Bado led Division II in receptions per game,racking up eight per contest. 2006 also saw the highest draftedLion in program history as senior offensive tackle Allen Barbrewent to the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.The Lions also have maneuvered themselves into being one of the topdefensive programs in the MIAA, leading the league in total defensein 2007, as well as pass defense in both 2007 and 2008.
2010 saw Missouri Southern place the second-highest number ofAll-MIAA picks in Tatum's tenure as nine Lions made theAll-Conference team, led by All-American Brandon Williams. Williamsled the MIAA in sacks with nine, and ranked in the top 25nationally in both sacks and tackles for a loss. Williams was namedto 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 forthe 2011 season.
Southern had eight Lions named All-MIAA for the second year in arow as defensive end Jairius Jarvis and center Chris Norris led theLions in their 2009 campaign. Jarvis was also a second-teamAll-Region selection after leading the MIAA in sacks (9.5), comingone stop shy of setting the MSSU single-season record. The Lionsalso posted one of the most exciting wins in school history asSouthern scored 21 unanswered second-half points en route todefeating 12th ranked Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Afierce two-minute drill drive was capped off with a touchdown passfrom Roland Thompson to Daniel Thompson for the game-winner as timeexpired.
The Lions had seven All-MIAA players in 2008 led by All-Americanlinebacker Jared Brawner. Brawner led the MIAA in tackles and wastenth in Division II. Brawner was a pre-season All-Americanselection in 2009. Quarterback Adam Hinspeter became theLions’ all-time leading leader in passing yards, completionsand total offense, while breaking the MIAA record for completionsand ranking third in passing yardage and fourth in totaloffense.
2007 saw the Lions put ten players on the All-MIAA team, includingfirst teamers Colin Bado and BJ Russow. Bado became the careerreceptions leader at Southern, ending his career as one of the bestreceivers to ever wear a Southern uniform.
The move to Southern marks Tatum's first head coaching job, but hementored under one of the top coaches in Mid-AmericaIntercollegiate Athletics Association history. At Northwest, whereTatum was offensive coordinator, he coached under Mel Tjeerdsma,the second-winningest coach in MIAA history. Tatum helped theBearcats to seven MIAA titles, eight NCAA Division II postseasonappearances, three NCAA-II national title game appearances and twonational championships.
The Bearcats went 118-35 during Tatum's stay, including 112-19over the last 10 years.
He coached the Northwest offensive line for 10 seasons and servedas recruiting coordinator for five years. Tatum was promoted toassistant head coach prior to the 2002 season, and he added thetitles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach prior to the2004 campaign.
Under Tatum's guidance in 2004, the Bearcats fielded the nation'ssecond-ranked scoring offense and the No. 10 total offense. Hischarges ranked No. 21 nationally in rushing offense and 31st inpassing offense. In 2005, Northwest ranked 23rd in the nation inpassing offense.
Additionally, he recruited 27 of 65 first-team all-conferenceplayers, since 1994, for the Bearcats. He also recruited 15 of theteam's 32 All-America selections three of the program's Hula Bowlinvitees.
Tatum also played college football for Tjeerdsma at Austin Collegein Sherman, Texas. At Austin, Tatum was an All-TexasIntercollegiate Athletic Association running back and, in 1988, hewon the TIAA rushing title and set the school record for rushingtouchdowns.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Austin College in 1991 in bothhistory and physical education. Tatum earned his first of twomaster's degrees from Austin in 1992 in teaching. He collected hissecond master's, this one in kinesiology, in the summer of 1993from Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas. Tatum also earned adoctorate in 2002 in educational leadership and policy analysisfrom the University of Missouri.
Following his playing career at Austin College, Tatum continued toserve the 'Roos as a graduate assistant coach on Tjeerdsma's staff,leading the running backs for eight months and the defensive linefor one year. During his five years at Austin, the 'Roos made twonational playoff appearances and posted a 31-18-3 overallrecord.
Tatum moved on as a graduate assistant on coach Ron Randleman'sstaff at Sam Houston State, where he coached Bearkat tight ends in1992 and defensive ends in 1993. While with SHSU, Tatum coachedJohn Solomon, a defensive end and eventual fifth-round draft choiceof the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.
Tatum then headed to Northwest Missouri State when Tjeerdsma tookover in 1994. He was part of the rebuilding process at NWMSU as theBearcats went 0-11 in 1994, but improved to 6-5 the followingseason. Northwest then won or shared seven of the next eight MIAAtitles (1996-2000, 2002-03) and made eight NCAA-II postseasonappearances (1996-2000, 2002, 2004-05) while turning in fourundefeated regular seasons. The Bearcats won back-to-back nationaltitles in 1998-99 and finished as NCAA-II runner-up in 2005.
From 1997-2002, Tatum had eight offensive linemen earn All-Americahonors and at least one first-team all-conference offensive linemanevery year from 1997-2003. Three offensive linemen were also NFLsignees, including Seth Wand, a third-round draft selection in 2003of the Houston Texans. While coordinating the Bearcats' runninggame, Tatum had five consecutive 1000-yard rushers, including JesseHaynes, who piled up more than 1800 yards in 1996. Tatum alsocalled the plays as the Bearcats' offensive coordinator in 2004 and2005. In those years, Northwest was second in the country inscoring and in the top ten in total offense. In 2005, Northwest wonfour consecutive playoff road games en route to the NationalChampionship game where quarterback Josh Lambertson was named thegame's MVP in a 21-17 loss to Grand Valley State.
Tatum was named the 2001 NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of theYear by the American Football Coaches Association.
As a high school player at Cooper (Texas) High School, Tatum twicerushed for more than 1,000 yards and earned all-district honors onboth sides of the football.
He and his wife, Rachel, an elementary school teacher, have threesons, Alec, Miles and Matthew.