Todor Pandov enters his third season as Missouri Basketball's Director of Athletic Performance.
The Plovdiv, Bulgaria, native comes to Mizzou after serving as the Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Miami under head coach Frank Haith.
Pandov brings seven seasons of assisting at the collegiate level and four years of NCAA Division I playing experience to Mizzou. He earned four letters at Western Kentucky as a standout forward and was slated to be a starter entering his junior season in 2002-03. However after scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds in 23 minutes at top-ranked Arizona in the season-opener, he went down with a season-ending knee injury.
It was actually that injury which fueled Pandov's passion for strength and conditioning.
"I wanted to know if there was anything I could have done to prevent the injury," Pandov said. "Could I have trained a different way? Could I have lifted specific areas more? I really became interested and studied it. That's why I am here. I want to help our athletes get the most out of their careers."
Pandov's influence has been immediate. In addition to helping the club to impressive strength gains, he was a key figure in the recovery of senior Laurence Bowers from a knee injury in 2011-12.
"Coach Pandov and our trainer Pat Beckmann have really been there every step of the way," Bowers said. "Coach Pandov is with me, pushing me and helping me get stronger and prepared for my senior season. He has been through the recovery process before and that gives an athlete a lot of confidence in that road to recovery."
He also helped former Tiger Alex Oriakhi "remake" his body and prepare him for professional basketball after his senior season.
"Coach Pandov was invaluable for me both during the preseason to get in shape and during the year keeping me playing at a peak level," Oriakhi said. "He had me in the best shape of my life and the production on the court followed. I can't say enough for what he did for me in just one year."
Pandov has been a key part of several postseason and championship teams during his career. As a player he was a member of three Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship squads and the Hilltoppers won three Sun Belt postseason titles to earn trips to the NCAA Tournament.
He has also helped teams to NCAA berths at each stop of his professional career as well. While assisting at Texas, the club advanced to the Elite Eight and his teams at Miami and Western Kentucky each made the second round of the Big Dance. Last season at Missouri, the Tigers won 30 games and the Big 12 title, qualifying for a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.
"I'm excited to have Todor with us at Missouri," Head Coach Frank Haith said. "He has a tremendous grasp of what it takes to be successful at this level and will give our players a unique perspective with his collegiate playing experience. It's great to have Todor, his wife Kimberly and their children join us in Columbia."
Pandov actually spent two stints with Haith at Miami. He served as a graduate assistant on the Hurricanes' 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team. He also has familiarity with the region, volunteering as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Texas in 2005-06.
Prior to his time in coaching Pandov played professionally in 2004-05 for Eiffel Towers in Holland, earning All-Star honors.
A 2003 graduate of Western Kentucky, Pandov and his wife, Kimberly, have two sons, Mason, who was born in Miami on Feb. 6, 2008 and Jaden, who was born Sept. 4, 2012 in Columbia.