Missouri junior Maty Mauk has been a stand-up guy during his career as the Tigers’ starting quarterback win, lose or draw.
He never fails to show up and face the media firing squad, whether it’s after a six-touchdown performance at Toledo or a five-turnover debacle against Georgia.
Per usual, Mauk spoke with reporters after the Tigers’ 21-13 loss Saturday at Kentucky, one of six players made available after a gut-wrenching loss.
So Mauk was forgiven for bailing on Monday’s media day in order to be at the bedside of his father, Mike Mauk, who underwent surgery in Springfield to treat colorectal cancer.
“Apparently, they got everything and it went better than planned,” Ben Mauk said, according to the Springfield News-Leader. “The doctors said it couldn’t have went any better.”
Mike Mauk is the head football coach at Glendale High School. Ben Mauk serves as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Maty Mauk was expected to rejoin Missouri in time for Tuesday’s practice in preparation for a showdown with South Carolina at 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
“It’s just something that, at a young age, he’s forced to deal with,” Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. “Hopefully, prayers that it’s going to come out well for his family. Today was successful, so we’ll just see where that goes.”
Maty Mauk has been dealing with his father’s diagnosis for several months, but teammates insist they haven’t noticed it being a distraction.
“I think he just kind of puts it out (of his mind) when he comes here,” said MU freshman quarterback Drew Lock, who spends as much time with Maty Mauk as anybody during meetings and film-study sessions. “This is kind of like his getaway zone.”
Of course, nobody doubts that his father’s illness is on Maty Mauk’s mind.
“To say that it doesn’t affect him, it affects me, because of how much I care about all my players and certainly Maty … (but) he’s a pretty focused guy, and you’ll never hear excuses for anything,” Pinkel said.