Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden announced on Thursday that he will step down from position on Aug. 31 in a letter issued to the Mizzou Family.

"My wife, Rockie, our son, Jake, and I have had an incredible experience at Mizzou and this is simply our next step in our journey in Columbia," Alden's letter read. "We are proud of what we have accomplished over the past seventeen years, which is a lifetime for an athletics administrator. I am most proud of our tremendous coaches, staff and student-athletes and how they represent our University with academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive ecellence."

Alden will stay at Missouri as an instructor for the school's College of Eductation.

Chancellor Bowen Loftin said a national search for Alden's successor is already under way.

"Over seventeen years of service to the University of Missouri, Mike has transformed our athletics program into one of the nation's best, with world-class students, coaches, staff, facilities, affiliations and financial resources," Loftin said in a statement. "He led our institution's move to the Southeastern Conference and has been at the helm as our teams won multiple championships over the years. Though I am saddened that Mike will no longer be a member of our leadership team and leading our Department of Athletics, I am truly happy for him and Rockie as he embarks on a new challenge here at Mizzou. Mike will always be a part of our family."