Meet the Director – Mike Griggs

Mike Griggs

Mike Griggs was selected to be the Director of Columbia Parks and Recreation in March 2013 after an extensive search that yielded more than 100 applicants.  The selection was based on his vast experience with the department according to Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine,

“Mike has the institutional knowledge of the department and has established relationships throughout the community that will be extremely beneficial going forward.”

Mike was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. His family owned and operated a local restaurant (the Hathman House), and his father was a firefighter for the City of Columbia, retiring as a captain. Mike has always had a love for sports and played on a variety of recreation leagues as a youth and then on the football and baseball teams at Hickman High School. He attended the University of Missouri where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

He was first hired by Columbia Parks and Recreation while still in college in 1984 as a Sports Recreation Supervisor. He left Columbia in 1990 for three years to be the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Sedalia, Missouri. He returned to Columbia Parks and Recreation in 1993 as the Park Services Manager, was promoted to Assistant Director in 2012, and accepted the Director’s position after his predecessor’s retirement in 2013.

Mike and his wife Sue have raised two sons, Chris and James, in Columbia. Mike coached a variety of recreational and competitive sports teams for his sons, refereed high school football, and served as an adjunct professor in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at the University of Missouri from  1994 – 2012.

Mike is a certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and his passion for the Parks and Recreation profession has led him to serve in various positions for the Missouri Park and Recreation Association (MPRA), including President in 1994-95. He has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career and was honored with the most prestigious state association award in 2004 – the MPRA Fellow Award.


  • Master of Science Degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism (emphasis: Administration), University of Missouri: 1991
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation and Park Administration (emphasis: Leisure Service Management), University of Missouri : 1985

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP): 1989-present
  • Certified Columbia Tourism Ambassador (CTA): 2014-present
  • Missouri Park and Recreation Association (MPRA): 1983-present
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA): 1984-present
  • Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), Sports Official: 1993-2013
  • Amateur Softball Association (ASA), Deputy Commissioner and State Player Rep: 1984-1991

Special Recognition and Appointments

  • School of Natural Resources Black and Gold Distinguished Alumni Award: 2018
  • Hospitality Star of the Year: 2018
    (from Columbia Hospitality Association and Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau for promoting tourism in Columbia)
  • Inside Columbia Magazine’s “CoMo 100” (“…the movers, shakers and the change-makers of our city.”) – Sports & Leisure section: 2017
  • Women’s Intersport Network for Columbia – Kent Heitholt Memorial Award: 2016
    (for positive influence and support of women in sports)
  • Columbia Business Times Magazine’s “Impact Players” (“…five of the CBT’s favorite tours de force on the local sports and fitness scene.”): 2014
  • MRPA Fellow Award: 2004
  • President, MPRA: 1994-1995
  • Vice-President, MPRA Executive Board, 1992-1993
  • President, MPRA Municipal Section: 1991-1992
  • National Youth Sports Leader Award (NYSCA): 1989
  • MPRA Outstanding Young Professional Award, Municipal Section: 1987
  • Softball Commissioner, Show-Me State Games: 1988-1992
  • UMC Extension/MPRA Regional Workshop Coordinator: 1987
  • President UMC Parks, Recreation and Tourism Graduate Student Association: 1987
  • President UMC Student Recreation and Park Association: 1984-1985

Contact Information


  • Parks and Recreation Main Office: 573-874-7460
  • Mike Griggs, Director: 573-874-7463

Office Physical Address

  • 1 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65201

Office Mailing Address

  • P. O. Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205-6015

Email Address

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