Meet your Hall of Fame Inductees
Class of 2017
  1. Sean Swanson
    Sean Swanson
    Professional Bowler Sean Swanson was a long-time Springfield bowling professional and an icon in the local bowling community for decades. He was the winner of 19 Professional Bowlers Association regional championships, and was runner-up in the 1998 Oregon Open in his lone full season competing on the PBA tour. Swanson captured two Brunswick World Team Challenge Grand Championships, and he collected countless victories across the Midwest. He was well-known throughout the professional circuit, especially in the Midwest and South, and condolences poured in on Swanson’s Facebook page when word of his death spread in May of 2015. Swanson bowled so many perfect games over the years he lost track of the number. Since being diagnosed with cancer in 2012, he actively raised money for cancer awareness through Cox Health Foundation in Springfield. He accumulated $234,203 in career PBA Tour earnings. He won the championship of the 1994 Super Hoinke Tournament in Cincinnati, which carried a $100,000 winning prize for pros and was considered a major for “amateur” bowlers (non-PBA Tour). He was a member of the World Team Challenge champions in 1993 and 1995. Swanson fitted and drilled thousands of bowling balls for Ozarks bowlers over the years as owner/operator of the pro shop in Springfield’s Battlefield Lanes. He gave countless bowling tips and pointers, all for free, to anyone who asked. Swanson’s wife, Angela, along with son Kaleb and daughter Tori, carry on Sean’s legacy with his “Strike Out Sarcoma” work with the Cox Health Foundation. Many of Swanson’s friends in pro bowling also continue to wear the yellow and blue wristbands Sean tirelessly distributed, as those colors are associated with the “Strike Out Sarcoma” cause.
  2. Amanda Newton Plotner
    Amanda Newton Plotner
    Drury Basketball Amanda Newton Plotner was a three-sport star at Republic High School, earning all-state selection in track and volleyball in addition to basketball. She was then the scoring and rebounding backbone in four seasons of the fledgling Drury University program as the Lady Panthers exploded onto the college cage scene with an amazing run of success. Playing for Lady Panthers’ coach Nyla Milleson from 2002 to 2006, Newton has been the most decorated Lady Panther in the still-young history of the DU program. Newton was a three-time All-America selection, winning awards from Kodak, NCAA Bulletin and Daktronics. She was also given two-time Academic All-America honors by the College Sports Information Directors of America/ESPN the Magazine, with second team honors as a senior and first team as a junior. At Drury, Newton played on NCAA Division II tournament teams all four of her Lady Panther campaigns, highlighted by Drury’s national runner-up finish in 2004. Drury also reached the Division II Sweet 16 in 2003 and 2006, the NCAA second round in 2005, and the Lady Panthers were an amazing 122-12 in the four years Newton was in the program. She is Drury’s all-time career scoring leader and second leading career rebounder, and the only Lady Panther player to have her Drury jersey retired. A perennial all-conference and academic all-conference selection in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Heartland Conference, she won the 2006 Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award, emblematic of the GLVC’s top student-athlete as a senior; and also received the 2004 Heartland Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Newton has returned to her prep alma mater and is a coach and teacher at Republic High.
  3. George Wilson
    George Wilson
    High School/C of O Basketball Coach George Wilson put together an amazing southwest Missouri basketball coaching career with a tenure spanning several decades and coaching experiences. He logged 31 seasons as a high school boys’ coach with a 559-284 record. That run included 11 seasons as coach at Willard High. He also coached four years at Fair Play, one year at Osceola, two years at Carrollton, six years at Walnut Grove, four years at Camdenton and three years at Mt. Vernon, and his prep teams won nine league and 13 district championships and reached one state final four. In 1997 he moved into the college ranks. Wilson became women’s coach at College of the Ozarks and guided Lady Bobcat basketball for 16 seasons. He retired from C of O in 2013 with a 447-89 record, for a total of 1,006 career coaching victories for his combined high school and college years. Wilson was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame 1992 and received the 2017 MBCA Gary Filbert Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor. He has also been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, the College of the Ozarks Hall of Fame, and in 2008 was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Wilson was the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year 10 times. He won 13 MCAC women’s basketball regular-season titles and 15 women’s basketball conference tournament titles. College of the Ozarks was the NAIA National Championship runner-up four times in his C of O tenure. After retiring, Coach Wilson continued to promote basketball by co-authoring along with Robert Vestal “In the Beginning,” a recap of the Missouri state basketball championships history.
  4. Lyndal Scranton
    Lyndal Scranton
    Sportswriter Lyndal Scranton was a Springfield News-Leader sportswriter from 1979 until he retired in 2015, and enjoyed a 36-year run in which his wide-ranging interests and abilities included staffing events from the Major League Baseball World Series to Missouri State University sports to bowling, horse racing and auto racing. Scranton was the primary beat writer for MSU men’s sports from 1989 until his retirement, and added women’s sports when called upon. A Springfield native and 1978 Central High School graduate, Scranton actually wrote his first News-Leader story about Springfield high school basketball when he was still at CHS. He was hired as a sports clerk in 1979 by legendary sports editor Marty Eddlemon at a time when Scranton was attending MSU. He covered all seven games of the 1982 World Series as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers. He was hired full-time shortly thereafter and went on to cover just about everything over the years - high school sports, bowling, golf and auto racing. He was News-Leader assistant sports editor from 1985 to 1992. He covered every NCAA tournament game the basketball Bears played in the Division I era. Highlights were the 1999 NCAA Sweet 16 run in basketball and 2003 NCAA College World Series in baseball. He was inducted into the Ozarks Area Racers Foundation Hall of Fame in 2016 in the Pioneer Category. He became public relations director for Lucas Oil Speedway and a contributing writer for several auto racing publications, including Dirt Late Model Magazine and Scranton was also a league bowler in Springfield for 30 years with a 200 average and one perfect game to his credit.
  5. Mary Phyl Dwight
    Mary Phyl Dwight
    MSU Five Sport Athlete Mary Phyl Dwight was a versatile and accomplished five-sport star at Missouri State University from 1970 to 1974. In basketball, Dwight was a guard on two Missouri Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women state title teams; in volleyball, she was setter for Bears’ AIAW national tournament teams; in track and field, she competed as a middle distance runner and heptathlete; in softball, she played center field on a Missouri State AIAW national tourney runner-up club; and in cross country she captured an AIAW individual 12th-place finish at the national meet. A native of Raytown, Missouri, Dwight was awarded the 1974 Missouri State Andrew J. McDonald Achievement Award as the top graduating student-athlete physical education major. She played team handball for the United States Olympic team at the 1984 summer games in Los Angeles as the USA captured the Silver Medal. Her play on the American team took her all over the world from 1975 to 1984 at various levels of competition. Dwight returned to the Missouri State campus in 1985 and spent one season coaching the softball Bears. She earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University and then turned her coaching career to volleyball. She was head volleyball coach at Kansas State from 1975 to 1978 and head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1980 to 1982. Dwight was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981. She then worked with the team handball development program for both Olympics and Special Olympics. Dwight was the U.S. Olympic Committee representative to IOC International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece in 1986. Since 1996 she has been an associate professor of physical education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Class of 2016
  1. John Pinney
    John Pinney
    Professional Boxer If not the best boxer to come out of Springfield, John Pinney has to be on the short list. Pinney attended Hillcrest and Springfield Catholic High Schools and Missouri State University. His amateur career was largely the result of his enduring relationship with the Springfield Boys and Girls Club. Pinney's amateur record was 87-15 with 10 knockouts and he won 23 amateur tournaments, multiple "Golden Glove" titles and five "Springfield Fighter of the Year" awards. He fought in three "Golden Glove" national championships and was a 1972 semifinalist. In 1972 he was also a national AAU Championship quarterfinalist. During his amateur career his fights with Joplin native Johnny Copeland, a 2002 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee, drew the attention of sports fans across the area. Pinney defeated Copeland four times and it was not long before Pinney turned pro, where he was 33-5-4, including 21 KO's and TKO's in the early and mid-1970s. He was undefeated in his first 22 pro fights and in 1974 was the Southern Middleweight Boxing Champion, boxing out of Tampa and Louisville. He was managed by Lou Viscusi, former manager of Willie Pep, two-time World Featherweight champion. John's first pro loss was in Madison Square Garden Nov. 22, 1974, to eventual WBA light heavyweightworld champion Mike Rossman. Pinney trained in Paris, France with world middleweight champion Carlos Monzon; fought in Monte Carlo in 1976 (undercard of Monson/Valdez championship fight); and was listed in the December, 1976 issue of Ring Magazine as its top pro prospect. After his 1977 retirement from boxing, John became a professional comedian and has lived in Springfield with his wife, Donna, and children Megan, Elizabeth, and Ryann.
  2. Mark Bailey
    Mark Bailey
    MLB Player Mark Bailey is one of the most versatile and accomplished athletes Springfield has produced, starring in Glendale High basketball and baseball, including playing on a 1978 state baseball championship team. He played three years in both sports at Missouri State playing in 73 basketball games with 503 points, 315 rebounds and 189 assists. On the diamond, he was a switch-hitting power bat in the middle of the lineup and his ambidextrous skills served him well in all sports. He spent one MSU year each at first base, second base and designated hitter. He earned Division II All-American honors as a Junior and his play keyed the Bears of coach Bill Rowe to an NCAA regional title and the 1982 Division II World Series in Riverside, California. Bailey posted a .369 MSU career batting average and was the Bears' all-time runs batted in leader with 146 when he was drafted in the sixth round by the Houston Astros in 1982. He became the first Missouri State baseball to reach the major leagues, joining the Astros in 1984. He was Houston's regular catcher two seasons and played in 340 major League games with the Astros and San Francisco Giants from 1984 to 1992. He was in Astros minor league hitting coach (1998-2001, 2010-2012); with that time wrapped around service as Astros' bullpen coach (2002-2009). He was in that capacity for Houston during the Astros 2005 World Series run, and also was the catcher for Nolan Ryan's 4,000th career strikeout. He has also worked as a catching coach, instructor and is now the Astros minor league catching coordinator. Bailey was inducted into the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.
  3. Terry Phillips
    Terry Phillips
    Racecar Driver Terry Phillips has, and continues to be, a dominant force in the auto racing world. Growing up and raising his family in Springfield, Phillips has produced quite a career since he began in 1986. Racing as number 75 on the track, Phillips has had 109 Midwest Late Model Racing Association wins and has competed all over the country. Some of these wins include the "Doug Murphrey Memorial", a $10,000 victory at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Louisiana, the "Topless 100," a $40,000 victory in Batesville, Arkansas, the "Wes Hurst Memorial", a $15,000 victory at the USA Arizona Raceway, the "Duel in the Desert," a $7,777 victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (three times), the "Open Wheel Modified," a $100,000 victory in Batesville, Arkansas, the "Xtreme Modified Super Nationals," a $25,000 victory in State Fair, Oklahoma, and the "Show-Me 100" in West Plains, Missouri which was a $33,000 victory. Phillips won the Midwest Late Model Racing Series championship in 1994, 1996, and 2015 accumulating approximately $534,831 in featured racing wins alone. Phillips has also won Midwest Auto Racing Series races 87 times with the next closest winner having 35. This dominance on the track has awarded him the points championship in the Midwest Auto Racing Series in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Phillips is the son of racing legend and 1996 Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame inductee Larry Phillips and is supported by his family, including wife Lisa, daughters Taryn and Presley, son in-law Kyle Beard and grandson Jensen Beard. Phillips owns and operates Terry Phillips Racing and he is sponsored by Don Babb and Andy's Frozen Custard along with many others.
  4. Bob Price
    Bob Price
    Glendale Football Coach Bob Price is the winningest head football coach in Springfield Public School history. A native of Mountain Grove Missouri, Price enrolled at Missouri State in 1951, did a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, and returned to MSU and Bears football in 1957. In 1959 he became an assistant coach at Lebanon High School, and took over as Yellowjackets head coach in 1961. He guided LHS to a 16-4 record in two seasons, then join the staff at newly-completed Springfield at Glendale High in 1963 as an assistant to head football coach Bob Lechner. After Lechner guided the Falcons through the first decade, Price took over as head coach in 1973 and stayed at the Glendale helm for the next 24 seasons. He fashioned 19 winning campaigns and two years at .500, winning seven or more games in a dozen GHS seasons. The 9-2 Falcons in 1981 reached the state quarterfinals and got to the sectional rounds in 1988, 1989 and 1996. The 1996 club matched Price's best previous GHS campaign with another 9-2 log. His teams captured seven Ozark Conference championships, winning league titles in 1978, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1996, and turned out numerous all-conference and all-state selections while sending a number of gridders into collegiate programs. Price retired from the Glendale staff after the 1996 season with a record of 146-95. Price also started the Glendale wrestling program in 1966 and laid the foundation for sustained individual and team success on the conference and state levels for many years. He coached track and worked as the head starter at public schools track meets in Springfield for 18 years.
  5. Virgle Fredrick
    Virgle Fredrick
    Basketball Player Virgil Frederick excelled in all sports growing up in Springfield and burst into the limelight for the first time as a sophomore on the Parkview High basketball "Jolly Green Giants." Parkview captured the Class L state title when Fredrick was a junior in 1965 and finished as state runner-up his senior season. He was a Class L Missouri All-State first-team selection as a senior and earn High School All-America (Coaches and Athletes Magazine) honors as well. Moving across town to Drury University, he was a four-year starting guard for the Panthers of coach Bill Harding. Drury won three Missouri College Athletic Union titles and two NAIA district 16 crowns to go to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City when Fredrick was a sophomore and senior. Drury claimed two victories in each of its national tourney trips before falling in the meet quarterfinals in both 1968 and 1970. Frederick won a host of honors for his play with the Panthers, including NAIA All-American second-team and USA Olympic trials selection in 1968 as a sophomore. He was a third-team NAIA All-American in 1969 and was back on the NAIA second-team honors list in 1970 in addition to capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors as Drury won the Quincy College Holiday Tournament. Fredrick poured home 1,794 points and four seasons with the Panthers and was Drury's career scoring leader at the time of his graduation. He was inducted into the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame in 1970. After Drury, Frederick was drafted in 1970 by the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association and was also claimed by the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.
Class of 2015
  1. Mark Fisher
    Mark Fisher
    Greenwood and Springfield School AD Mark Fisher enters a third major phase of his highly-successful professional career in 2015 when he takes over as director of athletics at Drury University, following 22 seasons as a high school basketball coach and a dozen years as director of athletics for the Springfield Public Schools. A native of Fairfax, Mo., with undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northwest Missouri State, Fisher’s cage teams at Stanberry, Owensville and Springfield Greenwood piled up 368 victories with seven district crowns and a 1991 state runner-up finish for GHS. He coached a state girls’ track championship at Stanberry in 1982 and had a string of five state top four boys’ golf finishes at Greenwood (1999-2003). The winner of numerous Coach of the Year honors, he’s seen 21 of his former players or assistants become head basketball coaches. Moving to the SPS AD job in 2003, Fisher has overseen a program encompassing five high schools, nine middle schools and some 300 coaching positions in a total of 19 boys’ and girls’ sports. He’s implemented programs for evaluating coaches and athletics activities in the schools and his tenure has seen him raise $3.5 million in private donations for athletics facilities. He built on his successes directing the Greenwood Blue and Gold Tournament and Greenwood Pink and White Tournament by making the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions the most successful and lucrative prep basketball tournament in America. He serves on the MSHSAA Board of Directors. At Drury, he will take over a 17-sport program which has seen sustained success on the conference, regional and national levels since moving to NCAA Division II status and joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
  2. Brian Reynolds
    Brian Reynolds
    Drury University Swim Coach Brian Reynolds gives Drury University and the NCAA one of the most accomplished and successful coaches in any sport for the job he has done guiding the Drury Panther swimming and diving program. Reynolds has coached the Drury men’s program for 32 years and DU’s women’s team for 27 seasons since establishing that squad in 1988. In that time his teams have won 33 national championships. His Drury men have captured 12 NCAA Division II crowns, with titles in 1999 and 2003 followed by a string of nine titles in a row from 2005 through 2013. The Drury women have won 10 NCAA titles, starting with four straight from 1997 to 2000, and more national dominance with titles in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Reynolds’s many honors include being named NCAA II National Women’s Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2013 and Men’s National Coach of the Year in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2013. Prior to Drury’s NCAA membership, Reynolds took the Panthers to eight NAIA national men’s titles, including a run of seven straight from 1987 to 1994; and three straight NAIA women’s championships from 1992 to 1994. Reynolds learned early in his career as a successful swimmer at Drury and as an assistant coach before taking over the program from long-time Panther coach Jack Steck. A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Reynolds was on Drury national championship teams in 1981 and 1982. Reynolds earned his master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas and is an assistant professor in the Drury exercise and sport science department. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
  3. Cindy Henderson-Sneed
    Cindy Henderson-Sneed
    Missouri State University Standout Cindy Henderson Snead was a four-year Missouri State University softball and basketball standout from 1971-1975 and put MSU on the national map in both sports. A native of Crocker and a1975 MSU graduate, she was a member of two state championship and regional runner-up basketball teams for coach Reba Sims while the 1975 Lady Bears finished third in regional play. She averaged 17.5 points a game as a junior and 19.1 points and 11.4 rebounds a game as a senior. She held the single game MSU scoring record of 37 points and career records of 1,104 points and 791 rebounds when she graduated. In softball, Henderson had a 10-2 pitching record as the Bears captured the 1974 AIAW national championship. She was 8-2 in 1973 as MSU won the state title and placed third in the World Series. After her graduation, Henderson was drafted by both the Women’s Professional Basketball League and the Women’s Professional Softball League. She was 68-39 in four seasons of pro softball pitching. She coached and taught for 28 years in the Springfield Public Schools, finishing at Parkview HS, then coached two years at Southwest Baptist University. Henderson was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981, Crocker High Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, Springfield Softball Hall of Fame in 1994, and was named one of the Ozarks’ top 100 athletes in 2004.
  4. Jim Klousia
    Jim Klousia
    Missouri State Tennis Coach Jim Klousia has had a lengthy and productive tennis career as a player at Southwest Baptist University, head men’s coach for 27 seasons at Missouri State University in one of MSU’s longest coaching tenures in any sport, and teaching tennis in Springfield. A Monett native and 1975 SBU graduate, Klousia guided the MSU Bears from 1979 through 2005 with a 324-271 dual meet record. Klousia, took the Bears to 10 conference titles, making him one of only two MSU coaches to win championships in three different leagues. His Bears won a 1979 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association title and a 1982 Mid-Continent Conference crown before claiming seven straight MCC championships from 1984 through 1990. Missouri State won its first Missouri Valley Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time by winning the 2005 league tournament. MSU recorded top four finishes nine of 11 MVC seasons under Klousia. The 1979 Bears finished seventh in the nation in Division II and the 1981 squad placed 13th. Klousia was a five-time MCC Coach of the Year and 1993 MVC Coach of the Year. He coached Hakan Svensson and Wynn Criswell to multiple NCAA berths, guided 10 players to all-MVC honors, and four players were named to the MVC all-select Team. Academically, seven Bears earned MVC Scholar-Athlete honors, including 1996 and 1998 GTE Academic All-America Neal McNamara. Klousia was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008, the SBU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 and the USTA Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014. He has been head tennis professional for the past 26 years at Hickory Hills Country Club.
  5. Keith Guttin
    Keith Guttin
    Missouri State Baseball Coach Keith Guttin, one of only two head coaches in the half century history of Missouri State University baseball, passed the 1,100-mark in career victories early in the 2015 season. A native of University City, Mo., Guttin took over the program from former mentor Bill Rowe when MSU athletics moved to NCAA Division I in 1982-83. Guttin guided the Bears as the program joined the Mid-Continent Conference and he took MSU to the first six MCC titles (1984-1989). The Bears made their first NCAA Division I tourney appearance in the 1987 Tempe Regional. Since 1990, MSU owns the second best overall record in the MIssouri Valley Conference, winning regular season league titles in 2001, 2003 and 2009. The Bears made NCAA appearances in 1996 and 1997 with MVC tourney championships, and MSU also claimed NCAA at large bids in 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2012. The Bears won the 2003 Lincoln Regional, won two straight at Ohio State in the Super Regional, and advanced to the College World Series for the first time. Guttin’s Bears have topped the 40-victory mark nine times, with an overall school record 47 victories in 1986. Guttin’s years at MSU have produced 111 players who have signed professional contracts, with 14 Guttin MSU products reaching Major League Baseball. A 2015 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Guttin was the Bears’ second baseman in 1976 and 1977 under Rowe.
Class of 2014
  1. Anne Cain
    Anne Cain
    Glendale, Professional Golfer Anne Cain is the owner and operator of the Anne Cain Golf Academy at Amelia Island Golf Club in Florida, a continuation of a successful career for more than a quarter century. The co-valedictorian of her Springfield Glendale High School class and cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, Cain won seven national golf titles during her HS days in the Ozarks, including the Missouri Women’s State Amateur title, two wins in the MSHSAA tournament, and the Missouri State Girls Championship. She was All-American and Academic All-American at Georgia, was the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame College Female Athlete of the Year and claimed the Southeastern Conference title in her senior season as she was ranked 11th nationally among collegiate players. She qualified for the 1989 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur and was named UGA’s Outstanding Female Athlete in 1990. Cain played professionally from 1991 to 1996, including placing 14th on the money list in the Ladies Asian Golf Tour in 1992 and 10th on the LPGA money list in 1993. She established her golf academy at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Amelia Island in 1996, manages and markets the entire operation of the academy, and has developed a number of teaching innovations that have expanded the spectrum of her clientele base each year. She has taught in the PGA Tour Academy in St. Augustine and Tour Academy in Ponte Vedra since 2012.
  2. Bill Stringer
    Bill Stringer
    Central High, Missouri State Football Bill Stringer moved to Springfield in ninth grade and earned varsity letters in football, basketball, track and baseball over four years for the Central Bulldogs. He won all-state honors in football and track, as well as making All Ozarks and All conference teams in football and track. He was even All Conference in baseball. But football was his main sport. He played guard at Missouri State University, winning MIAA championships as a freshman and senior. He won all-conference honors twice, was Bears’ co-captain his senior season and made Associated Press Little All-America first team. After graduation from MSU, Stringer became a coach and compiled a 96-54 record over 15 seasons as head coach at Willow Springs, Cabool, Kirksville, Sullivan and Springfield Central. In four years guiding his alma mater, Stringer took the Bulldogs to the state playoffs three times. No other CHS team has been in the playoffs, before or since. He was Coach of the Year multiple times, and took the West team to victory in the Lions Club All-Star Game. Stringer served as a teacher, administrator and director of the Dallas County Area Vocational School and he and his wife, Karen, worked in raising and showing foxtrotters, earning national awards. He retired in 2000 and resides in Dade County in southwest Missouri.
  3. Gary Stanfield
    Gary Stanfield
    High School, Drury University Basketball Coach The consummate teacher and coach, Gary Stanfield’s basketball accomplishments are noteworthy not only for what he did on the court, but for his class act behavior. The St. Louis native graduated from Eureka High School and was a four-year basketball letterman at John Brown University. Stanfield’s coaching/teaching career spanned five decades (1969-2012). It included high school head coaching assignments of four years at Weaubleau, eight years at Willow Springs, four years at Springfield Hillcrest and four years at Republic. His prep teams earned 568 victories and reached the MSHSAA semifinals four times - fourth-place for Republic in 2010, third place and second place for Willow Springs (1980, 1981), and a state title for Hillcrest (1984), which earned him Class 4A Coach of the Year in 1984. Stanfield moved to the college level to begin a 20-year stint at Drury University in 1984, including the last 13 of those seasons as the Panthers’ head coach. His tenure as head coach saw a 100 percent graduation rate of the players who completed their undergraduate eligibility. During Stanfield’s time as head coach, Drury was 239-131 overall and was NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year in 1994. Drury reached the NAIA national tournament in 1994 and 1995, with the 27-4 1994 club advancing to the quarterfinals. Drury athletics moved from NAIA membership into NCAA Division II in 1995. The Panthers reached the Division II tournament in 2002 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2004 as Drury rolled to a 24-8 mark.
  4. Lester Friebe
    Lester Friebe
    Racecar Driver Lester Friebe began his racing career in 1955 and grew into not only a household name, but the area’s fiercest competitor. The Rogersville native dominated area tracks, winning multiple titles at Kansas City Lakeside Speedway, Joplin, Nevada, Bolivar, Humansville and the famed Springfield Fairgrounds Speedway. Friebe’s purple No. 13 O’Reilly Automotive sponsored ’56 Buick became a staple in victory lanes across the Midwest. Friebe drove for a number of owners, including Larry Howard, an OARA Hall of Famer who also sponsored two-time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart, NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, P.J. Jones, Jason Leffler and Dave Blaney and three-time World of Outlaw Champion Sammy Swindell. The list of competitors Friebe drove against in the ’60s and ’70s is a “Who’s Who” of racing: Indianapolis 500 winners A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, NASCAR Champion Bobby Allison and ARCA Champion Ramo Stott. In 2000, Friebe and his brothers, Johnnie and Earl, were inducted into the Ozarks Area Racers Association Hall of Fame. While officially retiring from competitive auto racing in 1976, Friebe continued to drive hobby classes at area tracks into the 2000s. Now, at age 76, he still promotes his sport by driving a replica of his ’56 Buick in parades and taking it to area elementary schools. He and his wife, Jeanie, reside in Strafford, Missouri, where he still drives; both as an express mail driver for the U.S. Postal Service and as a golfer, playing at least five days a week.
  5. Gary "Peanut" Adams
    Gary "Peanut" Adams
    Central High, University of Arkansas Football Gary "Peanut" Adams is among the most honored multi-sport athletes in Springfield Central High history, earning all-state honors both as a quarterback in football and a guard in basketball. Competing for Central coaches Bill Stringer and Alan Spencer on the gridiron and coach Bill Hogue on the hardwood from 1984 and 1988, Adams was a four-year starter for CHS in both sports. He was a two-time all-conference, all-district and all-state selection and gained honorable mention All-America in football, rushing for more than 1,900 yards, passing for 2,400 and scoring 28 touchdowns. His play led CHS to the state playoffs three seasons in a row. In basketball, he averaged 18 points a game as a junior for second team all-state honors, and earned first-team honors after scoring 21.6 a game as a senior. He set CHS basketball career records with 101 games played and 1,406 career points. During four seasons of University of Arkansas football, Adams played quarterback and defensive secondary. The Razorbacks won a Southwest Conference title when Adams was a redshirt freshman and he was a starter at free safety as a senior in Arkansas’ Southeastern Conference debut. He had 27 tackles with two pass interceptions his final season, including a pickoff he returned 85 yards for a touchdown against Auburn. Adams graduated from Arkansas in 1994, spent eight years as an Arkansas State trooper, and since 2002 has served as an agent for the United States Secret Service.
  6. Natasha Neal-Moore
    Natasha Neal-Moore
    Kickapoo, Evangel Basketball Over her high school and college careers, NaTasha Neal Moore established herself as one of Springfield’s all-time greats in women’s basketball. She earned four varsity letters at Kickapoo High and was a three-time Class 4A all-state selection. She led the 28-4 Lady Chiefs to the 2001 state championship, and was named state title game Most Valuable Player. Neal finished as Kickapoo’s all-time leading scorer with 1,789 career points. At Evangel University, Neal was a four-year starter and four-time Heart of America all-conference performer. She was the HAAC Freshman of the Year in 2002, and the league’s Player of the Year her last three seasons. Neal was an NAIA-II All-American each of her four seasons and an Academic All-American twice. She ended her Evangel career second all-time in points scored (2,654), first in career 3-pointers (317) and top five in career rebounds and assists. Her jersey, No. 44, is retired at both Evangel University and Kickapoo High. Neal made her mark as a winner. In addition to the state championship at Kickapoo, her Evangel teams won conference titles each of her four years, going 74-6 in league play and 118-30 overall. Her teams never lost a conference tournament postseason game (12-0). Neal led Evangel to four NAIA-II national tournament appearances, advancing to three quarterfinals and the 2005 NAIA-II Final Four. NaTasha is raising three sons with her husband Anthony Moore, a pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
Class of 2013
  1. Jack Roberts
    Jack Roberts
    Glendale Basketball Coach, Drury Player Jack Roberts was an Ozarks legend as both a player and coach in multiple sports. He was a prep basketball standout at Buffalo High School and then won five battle stars and a distinguished unit badge for his United States Army service during World War II. He resumed his playing career at Drury University, graduating from Drury in 1949, and began his coaching career at Camdenton High. He took his CHS to an eight0year 135-95 basketball record and successfully orchestrated an effort in receiving permission from the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association to use their team nickname and purple and gold colors as Camdenton High. Roberts moved to Springfield Central High and was Jim Ball’s basketball assistant from 1956 to 1963 and also served as CHS head baseball coach. His Central tenure saw the Bulldog basketballers finish fourth in the Class L state tourney in 1962 and 1963. When Glendale High School opened in 1963, Roberts took over the Falcon basketball reins and never has a losing season in 21 years at GHS. He took Glendale to five Ozark Conference championships, seven district or regional titles, and 21 in-season tournament championships. His 29-year prep basketball coaching record was 499-246. Roberts also coached Glendale to state boys’ tennis team title in 1983. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Drury University Athletics Hall of Fame with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
  2. Winston Garland
    Winston Garland
    Missouri State, NBA Basketball Player The scoring and playmaking star at the beginning of Missouri State University’s long run of postseason Division I Basketball success, Winston Garland packed an amazing amount of production into two seasons for coach Charlie Spoonhour’s Bears from 1985 to 1987. A smooth guard from Gary, Ind., Garland came to the Bears after two seasons at Southeastern Iowa Community College and led MSU to the quarterfinals of the 1986 NIT and the second round of the 1987 NCAA in what were the Bears’ first appearances in those tournaments. A two-time Mid-Continent Conference all-league first team selection and MCC Player of the Year as a senior, Garland poured home 1,248 points for MSU, easily the school’s best two-year total on record. He set single season records for points (720) and long-range shooting (.504) and a quarter century later is one of just three Bears to hit 50 percent or better from three-point range for a season. The 24-8 Bears in 1985-86 knocked off Pittsburgh and Marquette before losing by one at Florida in NIT. MSU set a school win record the following year at 28-6 and upset Clemson in the NCAA opener before falling to Kansas. After his MSU career, Garland played six seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. Garland was indicted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002 and his uniform number 22 is one of only four numbers permanently retired in Missouri State men’s basketball.
  3. Jason Pyrah
    Jason Pyrah
    Willard Track, US Olympic Tea, One of the top distance runners in southwest Missouri history, Jason Pyrah collected a host of records and honors in high school, college and international competition over the course of his long career. A native of Willard, Pyrah collected six state championships for the Willard Tigers, winning the 3,200-meter run three times, the 1,600-meter run twice and the 800-meter run once. His 1987 time at 1,600 meters remains the state record for all classes more than a quarter century later, as does his 3,200-meter time in class 3A. His time in the mile run was the best prep mark in the nation that year, Pyrah won prep track All-America honors five times. Pyrah continued his career as Brigham Young University, winning NCAA All-America honors four times in track and twice in cross country. He finished fourth in the 1,50-meter run at the 1994 World Cup, and won the bronze medal a year later in the Pan American Games. He was the USA champion in the indoor mile in 1997 and 2000, and in 2000 he represented the USA in the Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, finishing 10th in the 1,500-meter run. During his career, Pyrah has run the mile faster four than four minutes on more than 30 occasions and has competed in more than 20 countries on six continents. He is a member of the Willard High School of Fame, Brigham Young University of Fame, and Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
  4. Stephanie Phillips
    Stephanie Phillips
    MSU Basketball Player, Kickapoo Coach An accomplished high school and collegiate athlete, Stephanie Phillips enjoyed meteoric success in the coaching profession in her native southwest Missouri. As a prep athlete, she collected all-state honors in basketball, volleyball and tack at Springfield Catholic, playing on teams which won basketball and volleyball state championships. Phillips was a basketballer at Missouri State University and a member of the Lady Bear teams which recaptured three straight Missouri Valley Conference championships with three straight NCAA tournament appearances. Phillips finished her playing career at Southwest Baptist University and stayed at SBU as a graduate assistant for a year. She then spent three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Missouri. Phillips was head basketball coach at Kickapoo High from 2001 to 2010, taking the Chiefs to a 214-38 record in that span. Under Phillips, Kickapoo earned three MSHSAA Final Four appearances, capturing state championships 2003 and 2005 and third place honors in 2010. She was honored by state sportswriters and sportscasters as Coach of the Year for all three of those finishes. She developed cancer in 2007 and coached her last three years while undergoing cancer treatments, before she passed away in July of 2010. Phillips was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. She has been honored by the Women’s Intersport Network with the establishment of the annual Stephanie Phillips Courage Award.
  5. Emry Dilday
    Emry Dilday
    Football Official One of the most respected and longest-term interscholastic and intercollegiate officials in the state and region, Emry Dilday has had numerous leadership roles in the administrative structure of his officiating work in addition to officiating high school and college events. He retired in 2006 after 43 seasons of high school football officiating and 36 years at the college level, and continues to officiate track and field competition in his 29th year in that sport. A 1964 graduate of Drury University, his career as an official encompassed more that 1,500 football games as he worked primarily in five collegiate conferences and refereed for several dozen schools in southwest Missouri on the high school level. Dilday has long been regarded as one of the top gridiron officials in Missouri. He has refereed more than 50 games in the Missouri State High School Activities Association football playoffs, including nine MSHSAA state championship games. He has been a football rules interpreter for the MSHSAA since 1982. He was a charter member of the National High School Federation Officials Association in 1982 and served as the organization’s president 1999-2000. He has been executive director and game assignment manager for the southwest Missouri Football Officials Association for 41 years and he continued to work as the girls’ track coach as Springfield Catholic High School. Dilday was inducted into the National Federation of High Schools Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He was the recipient of the prestigious Irvin Keller Award from the MSHSAA in 2004.
Class of 2012
  1. Bob Brown
    Bob Brown
    Parkview, Springfield Catholic Basketball Coach Coach Bob Brown’s teams rolled up 672 victories against just 283 losses in a basketball coaching career of more than 40 years, in which he had successful tenures at five Missouri high schools as well as a three year stay at Ponca City, OK. In the state of Missouri, he guided prep teams in Bolivar, Richland, Kansas City Ruskin, Springfield Parkview and Springfield Catholic, and he also had stints as a college assistant coach at the University of Tulsa and Western Kentucky University. A native of Stoutland, MO.. who earned academic degrees from Missouri State University and Drury University. Brown was one of just 13 coaches who were charter inductees into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. He took one of his three Richland High teams to a third place state finish, and followed that with a state championship in the first of his four seasons at Bolivar High. He then guided the Parkview High Vikings for 21 seasons beginning in the days of the fabled “Jolly Green Giants”, taking his teams to 367 wins, seven regional championships, six ozark conference titles, and state runner up and state third-place finishes. His son Bill played for the Vikings coach Brown’s last four years at PHS, and Bill is the current Parkview head coach. Bob Brown claimed 12 conference championships and four finishes in the top three winners in state tournament competition in his prep career, with 54 of his players earning college cage scholarships. In his military service career, Brown retired from the Missouri National Guard with the rank of colonel.
  2. Dr. Bruce Harger
    Dr. Bruce Harger
    Drury University Director of Athletics Bruce Harger joined the faculty of Drury University in 1988 after a distinguished 26-year career with the United States Air Force. He held command positions in NATO and the Strategic Air Command before retiring with the rank of colonel. As Drury’s director of athletics for 15 years (1988-2003), Dr. Harger oversaw the growth of the Panther athletic program from six to 13 varsity sports; directed Drury’s move from the NAIA to NCAA-II membership; was a member of the NCAA-II management council; and, was instrumental in the development of the Heartland Conference. Dr. Harger developed Drury’s Exercise/Sport Science program and served as chair until 2002. Active in the Springfield Community, Dr. Harger served on the Ozarks Greenways Board of Director (1998-2003) and as its President (2001). In his honor, Ozark Greenways named the first mile of the Frisco Highline Trail “The Bruce Harger Memorial Mile.” He was a member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors (1995-2003) and the Rotary Club of Springfield for 15 years (1988-2003). He was active in his church, First & Calvary Presbyterian; served as president of MAPHERD; and was a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Harger graduated from Denison University (Ohio) in 1960, lettering in both varsity football and baseball. At Penn State University he served as a graduate assistant coach in football while earning his master’s degree in 1964. A native of Connecticut, Dr. Harger and his wife, Cleo, have three daughters: Susan, Catherine and Ellen. Dr. Harger passed away on May 13, 2003 at the age of 64.
  3. Dr. John Ferguson
    Dr. John Ferguson
    Drury University Golfer John Ferguson was an elite national-level golfer in one of the most high profile times for the sport’s Springfield history. His championships are copious- City junior championship (1929), three straight southwest Missouri high school championships (1930-31-32), two city championships (1931 and ‘36). He was even a medalist on Springfield’s first Horton Smith Cup team in 1932. While Ferguson went on to college success, he most famously battled professional legends who had local ties, like Masters championships Horton Smith and Herman Keiser. Ferguson actually shot one of his professional career-best rounds ( 63) against Keiser in Mountain Grove. As he moved on to college, Ferguson won the MCAU Conference tournament in both of his seasons at Drury College (1933-34). But, he eventually chose medicine over gold as a career and transferred to Yale University. Golf never left his soul, as he won a campus golf title at the Ivy League school, too. Even as his professional life soared to prominent status as a board-certified OB/GYN in Springfield, Ferguson continued to work on his golf game. He won the Hickory Hills Country Club championship in 1951 and 52’ and shot his age each year from age 73 to 79. Drury inducted him into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement-both for gold and his continued support. Ferguson passed away on June 30, 2012 at the age of 97.
  4. Jane Meyer
    Jane Meyer
    Meyer Communication, KTXR Owner Jane Meyer was one of the most respected and loved figures in Ozarks sports, radio, music, and public service for nearly four decades and her influences are still felt 10 years after her passing in 2002. A native of St. Louis who earned academic degrees from Stephens College and University of Missouri, Jane served many organizations, including the Greene County Association of Retarded Children, PEO, Rotary Club, American Red Cross, Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Center, and she was honoured with the “Women of Distinction” Award from Dogwood Trails Council of Girl Scouts of America in 1988, the “Women Who Made the Difference” Award from Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce in 1991, and an honorary doctorate degree from Southwest Baptist University in 1999. Jane and her husband, Ken, received the Founder Award from the Missouri, Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. Jane and Ken became owners of Springfield’s KTXR radio in 1964 and Jane became president and general manager of the station as KTXR moved into sports coverage, carrying Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals baseball and college sports for Evangel University and Drury University. Jane pioneered play-by-play coverage of women’s college basketball when she added the Missouri State Lady Bears to the KTXR sports package. The MSU program took off in terms of success, attendance and coverage in one of the brightest eras of area of sports and Jane was a charter member and later president of the Lady Bears Fast Break Club. Jane volunteered for 35 years as organist at Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Jane A. Meyer Carillon was dedicated in her honor at MSU in 2002.
  5. Leon Neal
    Leon Neal
    Evangel University Basketball Player and Coach Leon Neal was the first NAIA All-American at Evangel University. His two year basketball career saw him post 1,267 points including 782 in the 1977-78 season alone. Since then, Neal has spent more than 20 years on the Evangel University coaching staff, with most of that time serving as head women’s basketball coach. He was named Heart of America Conference Coach of the Year six times between 1996 and 2009. His women’s teams at Evangel won conference championships seven times during his first 17 years as head coach including a stretch of five straight titles from 2001 to 2005. He also led Evangel to nine NAIA National Tournament appearances during that time including the NAIA Final Four in 1996 and 2005. Following his playing career at Evangel, Neal played for a national touring team, Athletes In Action, then embarked on a seven-year professional basketball career in Portugal. He had a career scoring average of 24 points per game, led his Porto team to two national titles and two European Cup championship appearances. Neal was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Evangel from 1989-1998 and was the head women’s volleyball coach for two seasons. He has worked with the Springfield Police Department’s Gang Task Force, he speaks to several youth groups and various athletic groups on drug and alcohol abuse. He came to Springfield from Los Angeles, California after two years at Cuesta Junior College in California. Neal graduated Evangel with a degree in physical education in 1989 and has a Master’s degree in Education from Drury University.
Class of 2011
  1. Danny Bolden
    Danny Bolden
    MSU Basketball Player Danny Bolden was one of the brightest stars of a spectacular basketball era in Southwest Missouri as a three-year starter for the Central Bulldogs, followed by four years as a regular for the (Southwest) Missouri State Bears in periods of great success for both schools. A spring-legged forward who could score away from the basket and and mix it up with bigger people underneath, he finished with 1,101 points at CHS and was the leading scorer on Coach Jim Balls Bulldog team which won back-to-back Ozark Conference titles and placed fourth twice in the Class L state tournament with 28-3 and 25-5 records. Bolden was an All-State pick as a senior. Part of a much-heralded recruit group for what would be coach Eddie Mathews' last year at MSU, Bolden and the Bears grew together, winning MIAA titles and advancing to the NCAA Division II tournament under coach Bill Thomas in 1966 and 1967. Bolden's senior year saw the Bears reach the national finals and fall to Winston-Salem State in the NCAA title game. He was a 1967 regional and national all-tourney selection, and a three-time all MIAA first teamer. The Bears leading scorer as a senior and a two-time rebounding leader, Bolden was a Bear's captain twice and went into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983-84. Bolden's MSU career numbers have stood the test of time. He ranks fourth in points (1,718), 2nd in rebounds (1,133), 4th in field goals (652), 3rd in free throws (414), 9th and points averaged (17.4) and 3rd in rebound average (11.4).
  2. Jim Whytlaw
    Jim Whytlaw
    Springfield Swim Coach One of the most successful coaches in Missouri prep sports history, Jim completed a 34-year career as swimming and diving coach at Glendale High School in 2010. At Glendale, his teams compiled a dual meet record of 810-58, a winning percentage of .933. He was voted Missouri swimming coach of the year eight times, and was a three-time Section 5 Coach of the Year for an eight-state region. In 2008, Jim was voted national high school girls swimming and diving coach of the year by the National Federation of State High School Associations, the third time he had been a finalist for the award. Jim was born in New York City and grew up in Oklahoma City. In high school he was a standout diver, placing second in Oklahoma, and qualified for the Olympic trials. He went on to be a four-time all Western Athletic Conference diver at Brigham Young University, and was WAC champion in 1971. He later earned his Master's degree from Drury University. In the early 1970s, Jim coached at Central High School for three years before moving to Glendale in 1976. Throughout his coaching career, Jim has taught math at Central, Glendale, and currently Greenwood. He was a finalist for Springfield Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2007. He also coached swimming at Marshfield High School from 2005-10. Beyond his school duties, Jim has also been the summer swim team coach and pool manager at Highland Springs Country Club since its founding in 1989. He has served as a volunteer "green announcer" for the club's annual professional golf tournament for many years.
  3. Joanie French
    Joanie French
    Multi-Sport Athlete Versatile Parkview High School and (Southwest) Missouri State performer Joanie French is one of the top female athletes in Ozarks sports history. Her all-around excellence in the variety of sports in which she participated on scholastic, collegiate, amateur and professional levels brought her many honors as a competitor, and her successes have remained noteworthy for decades. A Georgia state swimming record holder as a youngster, French and her family moved to Springfield at age 9, and she was a Parkview stand out in tennis, track, volleyball and basketball, leading PHS to City titles in all four sports her senior year. She led the city's prep basketballers in scoring that year, and was an amateur softball standout for many years before the sport was played on the high school level. She was also a four sport stand out at MSU, winning the A.J. McDonald Acheivement Award for athletic and academic excellence upon her graduation as a senior in 1978. She took MSU to four straight state and regional championships and national tournament appearances in volleyball, state title in basketball, a College World Series appearance in softball and a state high jump title and national qualification in track. French was a member of the USA National volleyball team in 1979. She play professional basketball with the Dallas Diamonds and was a participant with the English National Championship basketball team and European Cup. In 1981 she was voted Outstanding Young Woman of Missouri and has been inducted into the Parkview High School, Missouri State Athletics and Springfield Amateur Softball Association Halls of Fame.
  4. Kent Henry
    Kent Henry
    Basketball Official Regarded as one of the top sports officials in the area for many years, Kent worked a vast variety of big-time athletic events in football, basketball, and baseball, in a career that has spanned 50-plus years. A graduate of Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) in 1958, he began a career in teaching and coaching at Sylvan Hills High School in North Little Rock, followed by stints in Missouri at Richards, Lockwood, and Pipkin Junior High in Springfield. He stepped away from coaching in 1972 to pursue a career in college officiating. Kent worked two years in Missouri Valley Conference baseball, including umpiring the championship in 1979. He was a basketball referee for four years in the Big 8 Conference and 11 years in the Missouri Valley Conference, including duties in the Valley Tournament and a Big 8 Tournament championship game between Missouri and Oklahoma. In football, Kent officiated NCAA Division I games for 25 years, working the Holiday Bowl in 1997, and even officiated professional football for two years in the United States Football League. But beyond just donning the stripes or the blue, Kent has served as a mentor to young officials in southwest Missouri for most of his career. He has served the Missouri State High School Activities Association as a supervisor of officials, critiquing their work, and training and encouraging new officials with his integrity and professionalism. He has assigned officials to thousands of games, and his influence continues to be felt throughout the world of local sports.
  5. Steve Jenkins
    Steve Jenkins
    Evangel Basketball Coach As the longtime head coach of Evangel University men's basketball team, Steve Jenkins guided the program to multiple conference championships and many NAIA National tournament appearances. With more than 500 career wins, Jenkins is Evangel's all-time leader in coaching victories and winning percentage. In 2001-02, he led the Crusaders to the NAIA National Championship, an unbeaten conference season and a 35-1 overall record. Jenkins was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 2002. Jenkins was named head basketball coach at Evangel in 1982 after serving as an assistant coach for five seasons. From 1991 to 2011 he had 26 of his players named NAIA All-Americans. In addition to his accomplishments as a basketball coach, Jenkins had successful coaching stints in multiple sports at Evangel. He was the Crusaders head baseball coach from 1978-83, compiling a record of 132-97-3. Jenkins helped start men's golf and in 1998 and in 2010 was named Heart of America Athletic Conference Men's Golf Coach of the Year. Originally from Pittsfield, Illinois, Jenkins was a two-sport athlete at Evangel, excelling in basketball and baseball. He graduated summa cum laude with degrees in psychology and physical education in 1974, and he earned a Master's degree from the University of South Florida in 1978. Jenkins served for many years as a baseball umpire in southwest Missouri, logging hundreds of games at the high school and college levels. He has served his church, Central Assembly of God, in various leadership capacities and has been a longtime member of the church's choir.
Class of 2010
  1. Ellen Gale Hopkins-Green
    Ellen Gale Hopkins-Green
    Greenwood, Washington Univ. Swimmer Ellen Gale was born November 19, 1917 in Kansas City. She attended Greenwood High School in Springfield, and went on to become one of the most prolific swimmers this area has ever seen. By the age of 15, she was a swimming sensation, with her picture on the front page of the Springfield newspaper. and she became known as the “Springfield Mermaid.” In 1935, Ellen Gale left Springfield to train at Washington University in St. Louis with members of the U.S. Olympic team. Due to scheduling problems, she arrived only minutes before she was due to swim for a spot on the 1936 Olympic team. Although she did not make the team, her personal best time in the 100-yard freestyle would have won her a silver medal at the Berlin Games. One of her most memorable performances came in 1936, when she swam at the Grant Beach AAU meet and won the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle, and the 440-yard freestyle, setting pool records each race. After returning to Springfield and enrolling in what is now Missouri State University, Ellen Gale was named one of Springfield’s Newspapers “Men of the year”, the only women so honoured. In 1938, MSU made swimming a varsity sport and she led the team to victory in its first-ever meet. She married Bud Green in 1938 and retired from swimming in 1940 after the birth of the first of their seven children. Ellen Gale was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
  2. Jerry Alexander
    Jerry Alexander
    Drury Basketball Player One of the all time greatest basketball players in Drury University's history, Jerry was the centerpiece of a glorious era of Panther basketball from 1975-1979. He led the 1979 Drury team to the NAIA national championship, with a record of 33-2. The 1978 Panthers were ranked number one in the nation at the end of the regular season, and finished in the national quarterfinals with a mark of 29-4. Jerry came to Drury in the fall of 1975 from Boley, OK. The next year he was joined by longtime high school friend Nate Quinn. The panther program took off behind the “Bokey Connection.” During that time, Jerry was Springfield’s most recognizable athlete. A three-time NAIA All American, he is the only player in Drury history to earn first-team NAIA All American honors twice. He finished his career with 2,280 points, a mark that still ranks second in the Panther record books. His jersey #15 is retired at Drury. After trying out with the Kansas City Kings, Jerry passed up a possible professional playing career and accepted a position as a teacher and coach with Springfield Public Schools. Upon earning his masters degree at Midwestern State University in Texas, he began teaching and coaching in the Kansas City area. His last position was at Park Hill High School. He passed away far too soon on October 16 2009 at the age of 52.
  3. Mark Stillwell
    Mark Stillwell
    MSU Sports Information Director A native of Springfield and a graduate of Central High School, Drury University, and the US Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport Rhode Island, Mark served three years of Navy active duty in the Pacific aboard the aircraft carrier USS Princeton in Vietnam, Korea and Taiwan. He returned to Springfield in 1970 as sports information director and publications editor at Drury University, before moving on to become SID at Missouri State University in 1972. Mark spent more than 36 years as SID of the Bears, serving as main information contact for football and men’s basketball. He provided color, commentary on Bears’ radio broadcasts for over 20 years. Mark received over 60 publication and writing awards, including many awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America. He was the architect of the writing and photographic content for the Legacy of Competition display at JQH Arena. He served as an MSU assistant director of athletics in his last ten years at the University before retiring in December 2008. Mark received a CoSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award, and went into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame as winner of the Paul Morrison Award in 2008. He was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. Stillwell retired from the Navy Reserve with the rank of Captain in 1991 after 28 years of service. He also served as the first chairman of the Missouri State Staff Senate. He is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable sportspeople in southwest Missouri.
  4. Reba Sims
    Reba Sims
    MSU Multi-Sport Coach A standout among the pioneers of women’s athletics in Ozarks history, Reba grew up in an era which there were few athletic opportunities for women. She seized every chance she got in college at Colorado State University, participating in volleyball, basketball, softball, field hockey and track. SHe became a nationally-rated volleyball official by her freshmen year in college. In 1967, she played on a regional field hockey team that made the USFHA national tournament in St. Louis. After graduating from Colorado State, Reba completed her masters at Oklahoma State in 1969. She was then hired by (Southwest) Missouri State University as head coach of its fledgling women’s basketball, softball and field hockey teams. Reba coached softball and field hockey for two years, taking second and third in the 1970 and 70’ College Softball World Series, and being named the 1970 national coach of the year. She continued coaching Lady Bear basketball until 1979, winning numerous AIAW championships. During and after her coaching days, Reba was an instructor in the MSU Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department. Reba was a founding member of the Women’s Intersport Network, which supports and encourages girls and women to play and officiate a variety of sports. She was served as president of WIN since 2001. Reba was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
  5. The O'Reilly Family
    The O'Reilly Family
    Springfield Sports Contributor Over the last 52 years, the O’Reilly family has worked tirelessly building up a family business and supporting the Springfield community. After the founding of O’Reilly Auto Parts in 1957 by their father. C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly and grandfather, C.F. O’Reilly, Charlie O’Reilly, Larry O’Reilly, David O’Reilly and Rosalie O’Reilly each entered the family business when they were old enough to take inventory. As adults, they helped grow the company into what it is today, bringing with them their own unique set of talents. In the beginning, Charlie focused on store operations, and Larry brought his gift for sales to the company. David was credited with strength in financial matters. Rosalie joined the company with a focus on risk management, human resources and telecommunications. Together, they brought an aggressive mindset and a taste for expansion to the business. Even though they are now retired from the day-to-day operation of the business, their concept of taking family teamwork and extending it into management teamwork is still creating a formula for success. For decades the O’Reilly family has practiced a philosophy of giving back to the community. The list of giving and participation, in both local and national charitable organization and boards, is long. The family is more proud of their donations for the St. John’s C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Cancer Center, the Drury University Family Event Center, and their significant role in funding and constructing the Springfield Catholic High School. In addition to these major projects, the family has supported many charities, such as The United Way, The Springfield Family Y, Missouri State University athletic and agricultural programs, the Boys and Girls Club, Ozark Food Harvest and Ozark Greenways. Additionally, Mary Beth O’Reilly is the founder of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, while Dr. Nancy O’Reilly is the founder of Womenspeak. Besides these organization, the entire O’Reilly family has supported many programs, including health and fitness organizations, throughout the country and in our community. The O’Reilly family is a management team who knows how to make things grow. Their gifts of time, knowledge, and financial support continues to make a positive impact on the health and fitness of our community.
Class of 2009
  1. Dr. Chuck Williams
    Dr. Chuck Williams
    MSU Basketball Player One of the greatest local basketball figures, Chuck led Buffalo High School to a pair of Class M state champions in 1964 and 1965. He was named first-team All State in 1966 and 1967 and a high school All- American in 1967, when he accepted a scholarship to play at (Southwest) Missouri State. His Bears won three MIAA championships from 1968 to 1970. They won the NCAA Division ii Midwest Regional Championship in 1969 and finished with a record of 24-5 as national runners-up to Kentucky Wesleyan. The Bears followed that up with a third place regional finish in 1970. Chuck became known as “The Springfield Rifle” for his outstanding shooting prowess. He scored 1,687 points in his four-year career, which is still ranked sixth in school history. Upon graduation, Chuck received several prestigious awards, including the Virgil Creek Athletic Award, the A.J. McDonald Award and the Guy Thompson Award. He left an indelible mark on Bears basketball. A career in coaching followed. It started with a year as a graduate assistant to Bob Knight at Indiana University, followed by a five year stint as an assistant to Bill Thomas at SMS. Then in 1977, Chuck was named head coach at Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, a post he held until 1989. His lions won numerous conference and NAIA district championships. After returning to MSU to teach in the health and physical education department, Chuck came out of coaching retirement to assist Lady Bears coach Cheryl Burness from 1997-2000, working with players who would reach the NCAA final 4 in 2001. He is recently retired as head girls coach at New Covenant Academy, where he made a winning team out of a program that had gone 1-77 before his arrival. Chuck earned his doctorate in physical education from Indiana in 1983, and was inducted into the Missouri State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.
  2. Dr. Penny Clayton
    Dr. Penny Clayton
    Hillcrest, MSU Softball Player One of the greatest softball players to have graced the diamonds of Springfield, Penny’s career as one of the nation’s top pitchers became in the local Junior Miss program and continued through a phenomenal college and amatuer career. A 1976 graduate of Hillcrest High School. Penny led local amateur teams (Bob Bishop Insurance, Big Blue, and Frost’s Sporting Goods) to state and regional championships from 1975-1976. Her teams finished in the top 10 at the Amateur Softball Association of American national tournaments twice, and in 1978 she hurled a perfect game at the ASA nationals at the age of 20. As a player at Southwest Missouri State University from 1976-1980, Penny helped her teams reach the AIAW College World Series three times, finishing in the top 10 each time. In her four years at SMS, she won 40 games, including a 20-win season in 1978m the year SMS finished seventh nationally with a 31-7 record. That team was ranked number one in the nation before losing to UCLA at the national tournament. In Penny’s four years at SMS, the Bears had a record of 111-36, the best four-year record in program history. Upon graduation, she held numerous records, including career strikeouts (293) and career earned run average (0.72). A member of the SMS/ Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame and the Springfield ASA Hall of Fame, Penny earned her MBA from Drury University and her doctorate in accounting from Oklahoma State University. She is now a professor of accounting in the Drury University Breech School of Business.
  3. Jim Mentis
    Jim Mentis
    MSU Football Player, Coach A native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, Jim came out of the United States Navy after World War Two and attended Southwest Missouri State College. He played football for the Bears and lettered at the end at tackle for four years from 1946-1949, playing for three different head coaches. He played on an MIAA championship team in 1948, which earned a berth in the MO-Kan Bowl, and received all-conference recognition each of his last three seasons, also winning the scholastic trophy as a senior. Jim became a football coach upon graduation from SMS. He started his career at Carthage High School in 1950 and moved to Central High School in Springfield in 1955. His central compiled a record of 21-24-3 form 1955-1959. After two years at Pershing Junior High, Jim then returned to SMS as an assistant under Orville Pottenger. He became head coach of the Bears in 1965, and in four years compiled a record of 20-21. His 1996 team went 7-4 and appeared in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, MO losing to Adams State. Besides football, Jim was also the first wrestling and soccer coach at SMS. After his tenure in football, he remained at SMS as a physical education teacher until his retirement in 1989. He was inducted into the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982. Still an avid sports fan, Jim is a member of the Springfield Quarterback Club and a great supporter of local football.
  4. Nolan McCaulley
    Nolan McCaulley
    Sports Official In a sports officiating career that spans nearly half a century, Nolan has worked thousands of games in football, basketball, baseball, including high school state championship games in nearly every class of those sports. His career began in 1962 as a student at Drury College and continues today. Also an accomplished college sports official, his resume also includes softball and soccer. Nolan served on the board of the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials Association in the early 1980’s/ In 1984 he was named Missouri High School Umpire of the year and in 1985 he was the NFIOA Regional Umpire of the year. Locally, Nolan holds the distinction of having officiated 36 Greenwood Blue and Gold Basketball tournaments from 1969 to 2004, more than any other official in tournament history. His total of 1978 Blue and Gold Games worked is second only to Jim Ewings 237. He also called a record of 39 Nixa invitational Tournaments beginning in 1956. In addition to officiating, Nolan has spent over 30 years as the commissioner of the local American Legion baseball league, and continues to assign umpires for hundreds of games each year. He has served as director of the local Fourth of July Holiday Baseball Tournament since 1978. His love for local sports scene and dedication to his work keep him active in these duties year after year.
Class of 2008
  1. Dorl Sweet
    Dorl Sweet
    PGA Pro Dorl began his lifelong love and connection to the game of golf at the age of 10 as a caddy at Hickory Hills Country Club in 1947. In his late teens he became an assistant golf professional there to pros Arline Stone and Sam Reynolds, and was certified as a pro himself by the PGA in 1957. He stayed at Hickory until Springfield Parks Director Jim Ewing recruited him to become the head professional at Grandview Golf Course, later renamed for Bill & Payne Stewart, in 1973. He stayed there until 1996, when he was named the PGA Director of Golf at Rivercut Municipal Golf Course. Over his career in golf, Dorl was instrumental in training and served as a mentor to over 75 PGA pros. He was especially interested in promoting golf to children, including the underprivileged and handicapped. Dorl co-founded the Heart of the Ozarks Junior Golf Foundation and opened two junior golf facilities, the Connie Morris Learning Center and the Betty Allison Junior Gold Course, both at Rivercut. In 2002, Dorl was included in the inaugural group of inductees into the Great Ozarks Golf Hall of Fame. He won many PGA awards for his work, but never asked for credit. He just had a passion for golf, and he carried it with him until his death on August 18, 2007.
  2. Kay Hunter
    Kay Hunter
    MSU Softball Coach In an era before the explosion in popularity of women’s sports, Mary Kay Hunter was a pioneer in the success of the softball program at Southwest Missouri State University. She coached SMS from 1972-82, compiling a record of 227-111, but her greatest accomplishment came in 1974. That year her team went 19-4 and won the national championship of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, defeating Massachusetts, Luther, Eastern Illinois, Wayne State, and Northern Coloradoin Omaha, Nebraska to claim the Women’s College World Series of Softball title. That team was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Kay summed up her team’s success by saying, “Determination, confidence, and just plain heart, in combination with talent and hard work are the ingredients to success.” Former player Cindy Henderson-Snead added, “I think we had a swagger about ourselves. I think we fully expected to win, and Kay coached us to have that confidence.” The championship was the first for a women’s college team from Missouri. In her 11 seasons at the helm of SMS softball, Kay’s teams earned four other national Top 10 finishes. A Native of Mount Vernon, Missouri, she was a physical education major at SMS and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1955. She was inducted into the Springfield Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
  3. Larry Atwood
    Larry Atwood
    High School Coach, Referee Just about everything Larry has done in his life has related to the local sports scene. Since his prep playing days at Willard High School, he has been a significant figure as a coach, an official, and a participant. After graduation from Southwest Missouri State University and a two year stint of military service, Larry embarked upon a career of coaching basketball, with stops at Weaubleau, Clever, and Buffalo, winning a state title for the Bison in 1965. But he is known best for his 21 years of service at Greenwood Laboratory School, where his teams finished as state runner-ups twice. After 28 years of coaching, he retired in 1990 with a record of 545-242. During his time at Greenwood, Larry assumed the duties as director of the Blue & Gold Tournament. His 21 years are more than anyone else’s tenure in that capacity. He brought the Blue & Gold through a heyday of moving from McDonald Arena into Hammons Student Center, and saw crowds grow and interest rise with his leadership. Larry’s talents were not just limited to coaching basketball. For many years, he was recognized as a top-level high school and college official, working hundreds of area games. He was also a central figure in softball, pitching and coaching for the framed Barnes Store teams of the 1960s. Larry is already a member of the Willard High School Athletics Hall of Fame, the Springfield Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame, the Missouri Basketball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame, and the Southwest Missouri Basketball Officials’ Hall of Fame.
  4. Robert M. Kinloch
    Robert M. Kinloch
    Multi-Sport High School Coach In a career that defines loyalty and longevity, Bob has been a coach at his alma mater, Central High School, since the 1962-63 school year, a span of 47 seasons. Also a teacher until his retirement in 1992, Bob coached football, track, and baseball in his early days, but is best known for starting wrestling programs at Central and for other city schools in 1966. Still Central’s wrestling coach and in his 43rd season, he has become the face of the sport locally, touching the lives of many student-athletes. Bob dropped his football duties in 1978, and became Central’s golf coach, another position he has held for over 30 years. Though victories have been infrequent in golf, he has always related to his players as a mentor and a friend. Then in 2008, he finally realized his dream of coaching a state champion, when Kevin Kring won the Missouri Class 4 individual golf championship. Bob made many lifelong friendships through his golf teams. A fine athlete in his own right, Bob played AAA softball locally for 15 years, appearing in world tournaments in 1955 and ’56. He played football at Southwest Missouri State University and Friends University in the early ‘50s. He played baseball and wrestled in the United States Army Special Services. He even played a year of minor league baseball in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization in 1958. Through it all, Bob has come to be known as one of the truly nice guys of the local sports scene.
  5. The Roper Family
    The Roper Family
    Racecar Drivers Their name represents the success of the local auto-racing scene over the last 50 years. From go-karts to street stocks, modifieds, and ultimately limited rides on the NASCAR circuit, the Ropers of Fair Grove have raced them all successfully. Brothers Dale and Dean brought the glimmer of the speedway spotlight to the family first. Dean began racing in the late 1950s, and Dale wasn’t far behind. The tandem tore their way through nearly every track in the area, state, and region. While Dale’s success came mostly close to home, with ventures into USAC and ARCA racing, younger brother Dean took the Roger name further, also racing and winning on those same circuits and eventually racing on the big stage of NASCAR, three times competing in the Daytona 500. The Roper saga continued years later with Dean’s son Tony. He too rose through the ranks of the small circuits, but took the name to an even higher level, racing and winning on the Craftsmen Truck series as well as the Busch series. While racing carries great rewards, they come at a greater expense. In 2000, Tony was killed in an accident on the Craftsman circuit in Texas, and one year later Dean suffered a fatal heart attack while behind the wheel in an ARCA race in Illinois. As late as 2008 and many seasons after retiring, Dale returned to race selected tracks in the Ozarks, extending the tradition of the Racing Ropers even further.
Class of 2007
  1. Bill Thomas
    Bill Thomas
    U of A Football Player, Mighty Mite Founder Bill was born August 29, 1926 in Alexandria, LA, but his roots are in Missouri. His father’s job required several family relocations before his family settled in McGehee, AR, where he graduated from high school in 1943 as valedictorian and an All-State football honoree. Known as Billy Ray Thomas in Arkansas, he chose to play football at the University of Alabama, but a conflict in academic scheduling landed him at the University of Arkansas. As a Razorback for coach John Barnhill, he was an undersized center and linebacker at only 175 pounds, but earned the reputation of being a smart and fierce competitor. Following his junior season, he was named first-team All-Southwest Conference and honorable mention All-America, and was salutatorian of his 1949 graduation class. He moved to Springfield in 1949 and began to introduce himself as Bill instead of Billy Ray. That fall he became a teacher and coach at Senior High School (now Central), coaching track, softball, basketball, and football, later becoming head football coach. Bill moved to Parkview High School in the mid-1950s and became involved in officiating football and basketball. In the fall of 1957, he came home to find his son Jim and some boys attempting to play football in his front yard. Seeing that they needed guidance, he found a whistle and went to work. As word spread, more and more kids became interested in playing, and the “Mighty Mite” program was born. In the years that followed, thousands of kids went through the program, and 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of Mighty Mite Football in Springfield. Bill also started Bill’s Baseball School, and served as director of the Mickey Owen Baseball School. He touched countless lives and remained an avid local sports fan until his passing in 2002.
  2. Charlie Campbell
    Charlie Campbell
    Fishing Pioneer He is best known as the face of the great fishing industry in southwest Missouri, but Charles Dean Campbell is much more than that. A 1951 graduate of Ava High School, Charlie played basketball, tennis, and ran track at Southwest Baptist Junior College in Bolivar, and then at Drury College. He also served his country in the United States Army, and spent one year stationed in Korea. Charlie began a 15-year teaching and basketball coaching career at Forsyth High School in 1957, and his Panthers won the Class “S” state championship in 1973 along with winning the state Sportsmanship Award. During his coaching tenure, Charlie had also begun fishing bass tournaments, and he eventually became a top-level professional fisherman. He went into the boat business in 1974 as a Hydra Sport and Strahm dealer in Branson, and his fishing career took off. He became highly successful on the B.A.S.S. circuit and qualified for five BassMaster Classics, finishing as high as fifth in 1974. Then in 1977, Charlie went to work for Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. He helped design the Bass Tracker boat, field tested Bass Pro products, and served as company spokesman at fishing seminars throughout the country. He has appeared on fishing videos, and numerous radio and television shows, including the popular weekly seasonal fishing segments which air on KY-3 news. Charlie has won countless citizenship and civic awards, including being named to the Living Legends of American Sports Fishing. He was inducted into the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
  3. Daryel Garrison
    Daryel Garrison
    MSU Basketball Player A 1971 graduate of Summer High School in Kansas City, Kansas, Daryel earned a basketball scholarship to play at Southwest Missouri State University. The strength of his family and church, and the pride instilled in him by his teachers and his high school coach Craig Hall gave him reasons to believe he would be successful. Daryel played for the Bears from 1971-75, and after 32 years his career scoring mark of 1,975 points still stands as tops in Bears history. A team co-captain his senior year, Daryel helped lead the Bears to back-to-back MIAA titles in 1973 and ’74. He still holds the school record for field goals made in a game with 20, accomplished February 8, 1975 against Central Missouri State. His 41-point performance in that game is still one of only three games in Bears history with a 40+ point scorer. After college, he played professionally in Belgium. But beyond basketball, Daryel has become a pillar of the community back home in KCK. He spent nearly 17 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as an education director, before becoming an educator in the KCK School District. In 2007, he was named to his city’s Public Schools “Reasons to Believe” Alumni Honor Roll for his work as program specialist of the “Kid Zone” program, which is instrumental in steering kids in the right direction in life. He has received a “Volunteer of the Year” award from the United Way, and he has been named a “Hometown Hero” by the Kansas City, Kansan newspaper. He was inducted into the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986. Daryel’s motto is “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”
  4. Dr. Nate Quinn
    Dr. Nate Quinn
    Drury Basketball Player The son of an Oklahoma Hall of Fame basketball coach, Nate’s earliest memories are of basketball practices and games. The Boley native’s high school teams claimed state titles in 1974, ’75, and ’76. He was named the Tulsa World’s Player of the Year in Oklahoma as a senior. Nate came to Drury College in the summer of ’76 to begin a remarkable academic and playing career. A four-year starter, Nate’s Panthers were ranked #1 in the NAIA nationally in 1978 before falling to East Texas State in the quarterfinals. But the 1978-79 Panthers would finish with a record of 33-2 and win the NAIA national title. Nate was a star on a team loaded with stars like Jerry Alexander, James Bone, and Lawrence Washington. He is still Drury’s 4th all-time leading scorer with 1,935 points, and he is also 4th in career assists with 514. He was Drury’s first NAIA Academic All-American while earning his degree in secondary education, physical education, and biology. After serving as an assistant basketball coach at Southwest Missouri State University for two seasons, Nate became head coach at Hillcrest High School, a position he held for 14 years. He became the Hornet’s career leader in wins, posting a record of 223-145, including a school-record mark of 26-2 in 1992. Following the 1988 season, Nate went into administration, serving as an assistant principal at Hillcrest and then principal at Jarrett Middle School. In 2007, he was named the Springfield Public School District’s Coordinator of Cultural Diversity and Expanded Learning Opportunities. Nate is a member of the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame, and he is one of the all-time great basketball names in the Ozarks.
  5. Jeanette Tendai
    Jeanette Tendai
    Glendale, MSU Basketball Player A product of Glendale High School, Jeanette made her mark on the local basketball scene in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. She played for the Lady Falcons from 1978 to ’82, earning honors including All-Ozark Conference, All-District, All-State, and All-Ozarks. She averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior. A 6-foot tall forward, Jeanette chose Southwest Missouri State University for college ball as the school was moving into NCAA Division-1 athletics, and became the Lady Bears’ first D-1 star. As a sophomore in 1983-84, she averaged 21.3 points per game. In the program’s history, only Jackie Stiles can claim a higher single-season scoring mark. Jeanette went on to post scoring averages of 18.5 as a junior and 17.9 as a senior, earning honorable mention All-American honors from the American Women’s Sports Federation in 1984 and ’85, and 2nd team honors in ’86. She ended her Lady Bear career as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and her total of 1,769 points is still 5th in school history. Jeanette’s number 42 is one of only three retired jerseys in Lady Bear history, and she was the first female athlete at SMS in any sport to achieve this honor. She was inducted into the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992 and is currently a middle school principal in Kirkwood, MO working on her doctorate in educational leadership.
  6. Michelle Langsford-Dickemann
    Michelle Langsford-Dickemann
    Central, Drury Swimmer A multi-sport athlete in her youth as Shelly Langsford, it became clear that Michelle’s top athletic prowess was in the swimming pool. She became perhaps the finest swimmer ever to come out of Springfield. A 1981 graduate of Central High School, Michelle still holds all eight of Central’s swimming records, and she was the first female swimmer from Springfield to win a state title, accomplishing a rare “double” championship as a sophomore in 1979. In college, Michelle led School of the Ozarks to a 4th place finish at the NAIA national meet in 1982. She transferred to Drury College and the honors rolled in, including: - 21-time NAIA All-American - 14-time NAIA national champion, with all 14 titles setting records - NAIA Most Valuable Swimmer for 1984 and 1985 Michelle trained with the men’s swimming team since there was no women’s team at the time, and in TEAM standings, as a team of one, Drury finished 11th at the national meet in ’84 and 10th in ’85. She also qualified for Academic All-America honors both years. After college, Michelle was recognized by the Missouri Senate for “outstanding performance and accomplishments.” Also a fine volleyball player at Central, S of O, and Drury, she was the first woman inducted into the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame and the NAIA Swimming Hall of Fame.
Class of 2006
    Class of 2005
    1. Gail Fredrick
      Gail Fredrick
      Parkview, Drury Basketball Player Gail was born in Monett, Missouri and moved to Springfield in 1951 with his family. He participated in Kiwanis Little League baseball and began playing basketball at the Boys Club and O’Reilly Gym in grade school. He attended Jarrett Junior High School and participated in football, basketball, and track, earning letters in all three sports. Gail attended Parkview High School from 1961-1965 and started on the varsity basketball team for three years. The Parkview basketball team finished second in the Class L state tournament in 1964 and won the Missouri State High School Championship in 1965. Gail earned first team all state, all district and all conference awards in 1965. He was the leading scorer and rebounder for the championship team, which was known as the “Jolly Green Giants.” The win-loss record for his final two years at Parkview was 54-3. Gail then began his college career at Drury University in 1965. In his first year at Drury he set the record for most points scored by a freshman was voted “Most Valuable Player” in the M.C.A.U. Conference. During his career at Drury he became the all-time leading scorer and rebounder, and still ranks second in career rebounds and the number one in average rebounds per game. He currently ranks 12th on the career scoring list. He earned all conference, all district, and all American honors at Drury. Gail was the first inductee into the Drury Sports Hall of Fame.
    2. Jim Vaughan
      Jim Vaughan
      Hillcrest Coach, Official Jim Vaughan was born in Clifty, Arkansas. His family moved to Rogers, Arkansas where he grew up and graduated high school. His education continued at Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Oklahoma where he graduated in 1953. After two years in the armed services, he began his teaching and coaching career in Goodman, Missouri as girl’s volleyball and boys baseball and basketball coach. In 1957, Jim accepted the position of track, football and basketball coach at Golden City, Missouri. In 1963 he came to Springfield Hillcrest High School as an assistant in football and track. Summers were spent coaching successful American Legion Baseball teams for the Hillcrest program. Although, officially retired, Jim continues at Hillcrest as head track and cross-country coach. In 1972 Jim started the Hillcrest Invitational Track Meet with only three teams participating. After 33 years, this meet has grown to one of the state’s premier meets that showcases individual’s talent. Wanting to stay in touch with basketball, Jim decided in 1963 to officiate “just a few games.” When he retired in 2000, he had officiated hundreds of games including districts, sectionals, state championships, 162 games in the Blue & Gold Tournament and 16 years in the Tournament of Champions. In 1998, the Missouri Interscholastic Administrators Association presented Jim with the distinguished service awards, and that same year he was named Missouri Boys Basketball Official of the year by the National Federation Interscholastic Officials Association (NFIOA). In 2004, he was honored to be inducted into the Southwest Missouri Basketball Officials Association Hall of Fame. Jim and Rita were married in 1956. They have four children and six grandchildren.
    3. Paul Mullins
      Paul Mullins
      MSU Football Player, Greenwood Coach Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, Paul Mullins attended SMS beginning in 1949. He excelled as a center and linebacker on the SMS football team and won team awards and all-conference honors for his efforts on the gridiron. He also lettered in track in the shot and discus events. His college career was interrupted in 1952, when he served in the U.S. Navy for 18 months at the end of the Korean War. He completed his degree at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. and received the Williamson Small College All-American Award in football. He received a try-out with the New York Giants in 1955; when he was released he returned home and finished his Master’s degree in guidance and counseling. His coaching career began at Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Mo. He coached there for one year before moving to Central High School in Springfield, Mo. for six years. From there, Mullins coached one season at Larkin High School in Elgin, IL. He made his final coaching move in fall of 1964, when he accepted a head football coaching position at Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield. His 25-year career there included coaching football, basketball, golf and tennis. Mullins’ football teams complied a record of 162 wins, 84 losses and 10 ties. Their post-season achievements included 10 district titles, three appearances in the state semi-finals, three state runner-up finishes and a class 1A state championship in 1981. Upon retirement in 1991, Mullins received the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri State High School Activities Association for his accomplishments during his 35-year coaching career. Paul is a member of the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Missouri High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Paul and his wife, Lucy, reside near Springfield and his hobbies include playing golf, fishing, gardening and hunting. They have three grown children, P.D., Susie and Sara, and they have six grandchildren, Callie and Amanda Newton, Jennifer and Megan Mullins, and Robert and Adam Jehle.
    Class of 2004
    1. Jim Little
      Jim Little
      Softball Player, Coach Jim Little, a native of Clever, MO., began his softball career in 1957. An outstanding catcher in his playing days, he turned to managing in 1965. His career as a major fast pitch softball manager is legendary in the state of Missouri as he is the most winning manager ever in Missouri fast pitch softball. He has taken 12 teams to the ASA National Tournament. In his 18 years of managing he saw his teams win 1,368 games, while losing only 348. He led his teams to six “Top 5” finishes in national tournament play, which included two 3rd place finishes, five Missouri state championships, six Midwestern regional championships, which includes the top team from Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City, twelve Springfield AAA league titles and they have been a four-time winner of the prestigious Nashville, Tennessee tournament in addition to winning numerous other tournaments. Throughout his career, Jim Little has received several awards and honors including being named a coach for the U.S. Pan-American teams in 1983 and 1987. In 1993 he was named as manager of the Springfield softball team that traveled to Japan for a five game series where his team won all five games. He was inducted in the Springfield Softball Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Missouri Softball Hall of Fame in 1991. He also spent 12 years as one of Missouri’s best high school basketball officials and officiated nine Blue-Gold tournament finals during his career. In 1973 he was inducted into the Southwest Missouri Basketball Officials Hall of Fame.
    2. Jim Pearson
      Jim Pearson
      Kickapoo Football Coach Jim Pearson, a native of Springfield, attended Central High School where he was All-state in track, had the best time in state low hurdles and was a member of the state track championship team his senior year. He has coached in the Springfield Public High School system for 42 years. Pearson is currently the boys and girls golf coach at Kickapoo High School. He started his Springfield career at Hillcrest High School as assistant football coach in 1961. He remained in this position until he was named as the first head football coach for Kickapoo High School, January 29, 1971. For those 20 years he was at Kickapoo High School, his incredible career yielded a record of 135 wins against only 66 losses. He is the only Springfield Public High School coach to win the opening season game for 20 consecutive years. Coach Pearson’s 1986 and 1988 teams went undefeated in the regular season. Which makes him the only coach to have two undefeated regular season teams in Springfield Public School’s history. His coaching awards include: Quarterback Club Coach of the Year – 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coach of the Year in 1991, Missouri State Senate Resolution by Senator Dennis Smith in 1991, proclamation by Governor John Ashcroft for Outstanding Contribution to the State of Missouri in 1991, Missouri Valley College Athletics Hall of Fame, Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame, Missouri State High School Association Extraordinary Service Award, National High School Coaching Award in 1988 for both football and golf and he was inducted into the Ozarks Hall of Fame 2003.
    3. Jodie Adams
      Jodie Adams
      MSU Tennis Player Jodie Adams has spent the past 20 years working with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. An outstanding high school tennis player, Jodie was undefeated in four years of high school play. She continued her playing career at SMS where she was a member of the Division 1 Tennis team for four years and was inducted into the SMS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. She has since served on the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in numerous capacities. Those experiences include: USTA National Community Development Consultant/Trainer, chairperson of USTA National Committee on Community Development, USTA Sectional Delegate, USTA Sectional President (Past Chairperson President’s Committee), USTA/MVTA NTRP Verifier 1996-present, USTA Facility of the Year Award Recipient in 1984, USTA/MVTA Community Service Award in 1985, USTA/NRPA “Excellence in Tennis” Community Development Award in 1994. She was also largely responsible for bringing the Professional World TEAMTENNIS franchise, the Springfield Lasers of which she is the Past General Manager, to Springfield. Currently she is on the United States Tennis Association Board of Directors, one of the highest honors in the United States Association. She was elected to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in February 2004. Jodie was a national High School and College Sports Official for 25 years and was a recipient of the National Officials Award in 1989. She is also active in the community where she is or has served on several committees such as Ozark Greenways Trail Watch, D.A.R.E. Program Board of Directors, United Way Allocation Committee for Community Agencies and Easter Seals Regional Board of Directors. Recently Jodie has taken the leadership in organizing WIN (Women’s Inter-Sports Network), which works with the Greater Springfield Sports Commission to bring outstanding women’s sporting events to Springfield. The first such event was the Women’s Softball Professional League Championship game, which was held in Springfield.
    4. Tommy Burnett
      Tommy Burnett
      Arkansas Football, MSU Handball Coach Tommy Burnett serves as department head for the health, physical education and recreation departments as well as the head Handball coach as SMSU. Before serving at SMSU he had a fantastic football and track career at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, including football, All-Southwest Conference selection in 1966, three varsity letters for 1964-66, three varsity track letters for 1963-65. He was also a member of the 1964 National Champion Football Team, the Arkansas Razorbacks. At Arkansas, the New York Jets drafted Burnett where he played for two years. A wide receiver, Burnett was a member of the 1969 Super Bowl III Championship team. He played half a year for the San Diego Chargers. After two and a half years he gave up professional football and began a great career in handball. A tournament handball player since 1972, he has won numerous tournaments throughout the Midwest, including: Springfield City Handball Champion, 1985-88, Missouri State Handball Master’s B Champion, 1992, Missouri State Handball Open Doubles Champion, 1995 and the National Handball Doubles B Champion, 1996 (This division is the next division below the Pro Division, and was won with his youngest son Jeff who was 20 years old). Burnett came to SMSU in 1972, and established the SMSU Handball team in 1988. As the coach, SMSU Handball teams have finished in the top three every year since 1991 (Combined Team). They have also won 18 national titles from 1993-2000 including: seven combined team (National Champions) championships in a row, 1993-99, seven women’s team championships, 1993, 1995-2000, four men’s team championships, 1994-97 and they have won all three divisions three years in a row, 1995-97. Tommy Burnett was elected National Collegiate Handball Commissioner for the years 1992-2002
    Class of 2003
    1. Art Hains
      Art Hains
      Springfield Radio Talent Art Hains has been a fixture on the local sports media scene for the past 25 years. With the expectation of four years (1981-1985) spent working in Dallas, Texas, he has been “Voice of the SMS Bears” since 1977 and since 1995 has hosted the popular nightly “SportsTalk” show on KWTO Radio. His tenure as Bear radio announcer has spanned the schools’ move from Division Two to Division One, and he has called every post-season game in which the Bears’ football, men’s basketball and baseball teams have been involved in Division One. Art is native to Marshall MO, where he began his sports journalism career working at KMMO Radio and for the Marshall Democrat-News. He is a 1976 graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. During this time he hosted the first regular sports call-in radio show in Springfield, “Sports Central,” a thirty minute program that aired from 1978-1981. During his time in Dallas, Hains worked at Station KRLD, hosting Dallas Cowboys pre-game and post-game shows while performing regular reporting and sportscasting duties. Upon returning to Springfield in 1985, he served for ten years as coordinator of athletic promotions at SMS, with responsibilities for marketing and broadcasting. Through the 2003 regular season, he has been at the mike for 658 Bears’ basketball and 244 SMS football broadcasts. Art has been married for 23 years to the former Lisa Davis of Monett, and they have two children. Chris, a Parkview High School junior and Kathleen, a Greenwood sixth-grader.
    2. Curtis Perry
      Curtis Perry
      MSU, NBA Basketball Player A native of Washington, DC, Perry came to SMS in the fall of 1996 and was a four year starter for the Bears of Coach Bill Thomas. Perry was inducted into the SMS Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980, into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, and his jersey, #54 was retired by SMS at the conclusion of his playing career. Perry would up his career as the all-time SMS leading rebounder for a single game (31 vs. Texas Arlington, 1970). Career rebound average (13.6, 1966-1970). He also wound up the all-time SMS career scoring record with 1,835 points, and he still second on the all-time list in that department. Perry was drafted by the San Diego Rockets in 1070 and spend a year and a half with that franchise. He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971-72, eventually becoming part of a starting front line along with Kareen Abdul-Jabbar and Bobby Danridge, as the Bucks were one of the top teams in the league, reaching the conference finals in 1972, the conference semifinals in 1973 and the championship finals in 1974. Perry went to the New Orleans Jazz in the 1974 NBA expansion draft and was traded by New Orleans to the Phoenix Suns before the 1974-1975 season. He found a home with the Suns and turned in his most productive NBA season in four years in Phoenix, including service as the team captain in 1976-1977.
    3. Jackie Stiles
      Jackie Stiles
      MSU and WNBA Basketball Player Jackie Stiles was born in Kansas City, KS and raised in Claflin, KS. She attended Claflin High School, where she recorded 3,603 points, 829 rebounds, 523 assists and 326 steals as a four-year, first team all-state basketball player. Stiles finished her prep career as the leading scorer in Kansas history (boys and girls) and 10th nationally among female high school players. She was selected to the USA Today and Parade All American first teams in 1997. Stiles was recruited by numerous Division One universities across the country, but made the decision to become a lady bear Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. She made an immediate impact for Coach Cheryl Burnett as a freshman leading the conference in scoring. Her scoring average also placed her on top of all the freshman in the nation. Stiles truly began drawing widespread national attention as a Junior. With a 27.8 per game scoring average, she led the entire nation in point production. Jackie’s storied senior year season was highlighted by a trip to the Division One Women’s NCAA Final Four in St. Louis, and becoming the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s history with 3,393 points. March 1st was named “Jackie Stiles Day” in Missouri. The Portland Fire drafted Stiles as the number four pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft. She earned played of the Week honors after averaging 22 points on 54 % shooting. Stiles was named to the 2001 WNBA All-Star Team and was named the league’s rookie of the year.
    4. John Q Hammons
      John Q Hammons
      Sports Contributor John Q Hammons grew up during the Great Depression on a farm in Fairview, MO. He attended Fairview Schools and later Southwest Missouri Teachers College in Springfield. Hammons contributions to sports in Missouri and around the country are numerous. in 1976, he provided the funding for the construction of the Hammons Student Center on the campus of SMSU. The facility is home to the Bears and Lady Bears athletic teams and is also used for a variety of concerts and other events. Hammons developed Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield in 1989. This private country club is one of the premier facilities in the Midwest, and through the John Q Hammons foundation, plays host to the annual Price Cutter Charity Champtionship in the BUY.COM TOUR. He developed Verdae Greens Golf Club in Greenville, S.C in 1990 and later developed Tiffany Greens Golf Club in Kansas City, MO in 1998. For his efforts and contributions to sports in Missouri, Hammons was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1994, he donated the land and building to house the existing Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield. The facility is regarded as one of the elite Halls of Fame in the country. In 2000, Hammons was inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame. In 2002 Hammons was named a Missouri Sports Legend.
    Class of 2002
    1. Dan Kinney
      Dan Kinney
      Springfield-Greene Co. Park Board Dan Kinney has been with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board since 1971 and ha served as its Director since 1977. In that capacity he plans for and supervises the park system's formal recreation programs, golf courses, parks maintenance program, and the Dickerson Park Zoo. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Wichita State Unviersity and a masters of Science in Recreation and Parks Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While in college he lettered in football and baseball. he served as the first chairman of the Greater Springfield Area Sports Commission and Foundation, past president of the Missouri park and Recreation Association, and past president of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame. he currently serves as state Commissioner for the Amateur Softball Association, and was inducted into the Missouri Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 1993.
    2. James H. Cooper
      James H. Cooper
      Athletic Contributor Born in Springfield on December 18, 1926, Harry Cooper attended grade school and two years of high school in Springfield. He graduated from Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota, and then received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1951. After leaving the military, her returned to Springfield and joined his father and his brother in the family's business interests. The family sold its interest in KOLR in 1998, but Harry continues today as President of the other family enterprises. Harry and other members of his family have been interested in amateur athletics for many years and have made significant contributions to Springfield soccer and tennis programs for all ages. Harry has played an instrumental role in the advancement of programs including the Lakes Country Youth Soccer program and the college soccer programs at both SMSU and Drury. In addition, he and his nephew John Cooper were responsible for the addition of the Springfield Lasers to the Springfield landscape. The most notable of the family's many contributions to local youth sports was the donation of land subsequently designated as the Cooper Park. The Cooper Park is home to one of the nation's premier tennis, soccer, and youth baseball complexes, much of which has been provided through the Cooper Foundation.
    3. Sue Shuble
      Sue Shuble
      Kickapoo Coach In 2001, after 28 years as the head basketball and volleyball coach at Kickapoo High School, Sue Schuble retired from coaching. What a brilliant coaching career it was. Sue finished her career as the only girl's high school coach in Missouri history to reach 500 wins in both volleyball and basketball. An outstanding athlete in her own right, in volleyball, basketball and softball while attending Southwest Missouri State University. Her four-year career earned her induction into the 1985 SMSU Athletic Hall of Fame. While coaching at Kickapoo High School her record included a volleyball record of 525-209-63 and a basketball record of 562-197 and three state championships. Awards received include the Who's Who-Young American Women ('83), Coach of the Year-Springfield Women's Sports Showdown Club (Volleyball '81, '82, '83, Basketball ('85), National High School Athletic Coaches Association Regional ('96) MSHSAA Distinguished Service Award ('97), and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame ('98).
    Class of 2001
    1. Jim McManis
      Jim McManis
      Boxing It was once written that Boys Club boxing coach Jim McManis spent all of his spare time and spare money on his "hobby." Jim gave the boys of his community a place to belong, an opportunity to find themselves, and a chance for their moment of glory. He molded young boys into men. Jim's timeless efforts and good instructions produced several outstanding area champions. Jim was involved in boxing programs throughout most of his life. He had his first boxing experience at age 12 during school in Greenfield, Missouri where he participated in meets in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Jim moved to Springfield and in 1949 he joined the first boxing team to train in the new Boys Club facility at 1300 Boonville. he helped to construct the ring in the training room where hundreds of boys have worked-out during the past 51 years. From the beginning, Jim realized that his boxing experience was something special and wanted to become involved as much as possible to promote boxing. His interest carried into his family life, and three of his sons, Larry, Tommy, and Doug have inherited his enthusiasm and have taken very active parts in area boxing programs. Jim coached boxing at the boys Club for over 20 years. Almost everyone who knows anything about boxing in the four-states area knew him as a keen, yet fair, competitor. Jim McManis passed away December 27, 1995.
    2. Melody Howard
      Melody Howard
      SMSU Basketball Melody's honors began during her prep career at Marshfield High School where she led her basketball team to three straight class 3-A State Championships. She was first team All State pick in bother her junior and senior years at Marshfield. Melody also held the title of co-salutatorian of her graduating class. Melody's honors continued as she enjoyed four outstanding years at Southwest Missouri State University. Melody helped head the SMSU basketball team to the NCAA Division I Final Four and to the NCAA Division I Sweet Sixteen the subsequent year. SMSU made an NCAA tournament appearance in each of her four years at the school. Melody received many Missouri Valley Conference honors which include: being named a pre-season high honorable mention and All America pick by Street and Smith; earning the first Lady Bear spot on the Kodak All District V team; and being named as a Kodak All American honorable mention. In 1993, Melody played in the United State World University Games and received a bronze metal. She appeared again at the games in 1995 and received a silver metal. Melody was invited to the 1995 Olympic team trials and to the United States Pan American Basketball team trials. She also played for two years on the Colorado Explosions, an ABL Professional Basketball team. SMS retired Melody's uniform number "35" on February 25, 1996.
    3. Roy Burlison
      Roy Burlison
    4. Roy Smalley
      Roy Smalley
    Class of 2000
    1. Cheryl Burnett
      Cheryl Burnett
    2. Dr. Edsel Matthews
      Dr. Edsel Matthews
    3. Edward Baker
      Edward Baker
    4. Herman Keiser
      Herman Keiser
    Class of 1999
    1. Jack Steck
      Jack Steck
      Drury, MSU Swim Coach JACK STECK, who has coached in Springfield since 1968, entered his 16th season at Southwest Missouri State this year after spending 15 year at Drury College. Recognized as a master recruiter, the South Bend, IN native started the Drury program on a club basis and built it into the best in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Stecks Panthers won national titles in 1981 and 1982. He coached 58 NAIA All-Americans and 27 individual nation champions. A two-time NAIA coach of the year he was named to the NAIA Hall of Fame (swimming and diving) in 1993. At SMS, Steck added a women’s team this season. His men’s team has finished 2nd at the Missouri Valley Conference championships that last 4 years. Prior to joining the MVC in 1994, the Bears won the Mid-Continent Conference 5 times. Since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, Steck has coached 14 MVC individual champions and 33 all-conference performers. Steck also is director of the Aqua Bears, an age group swimming program for Springfield youth.
    2. Payne Stewart
      Payne Stewart
      Greenwood, PGA Golfer PAYNE STEWART, a native of Springfield, MO., is one of the top players on the PGA Tour today. Stewart joined the Professional Golfers Association in 1981 and has since amassed an impressive record on tour. Stewart plated at the amateur level for a number of years and was a standout player at Southern Methodist University, where he won the Southwestern Conference Championship in 1979. Payne’s career has seen him win 10 PGA events and 7 international titles. Victories include the 1989 PGA Championship and the 1991 U.S. Open & 1999 Pebble Beach Championship. Payne finished 2nd in the 1993 and 1998 U.S. Open’s. One of the game’s most consistent players, Stewart has also competed on numerous national teams, including twice in the World Cup and 4 times in the Ryder Cup for the United States. Payne joins his late father, Bill Stewart, in the Hall of Fame.
    3. Tom Talbot
      Tom Talbot
      Golf Pro TOM TALBOT, A Springfield Central High graduate, he lettered 4 years in both football and track at Drury College and was with the Chicago Bears in 1930 before an injury ended his football career. He already had won 2 city amateur gold titles and in 1931 turned pro, running the old Glenstone course. He played on the tournament trail in California and Arizona but returned to Springfield in 1934, serving as pro at Hickory Hills Country Club for 3 years. In1937, he became a country club pro in Columbia and later was a gold instructor at Stephens College, teaching 400 girls a year. After working in a Kansas City defense plant during W.W.II, he was the pro at Hillcrest Country Club in Kansas City, then became the Springfield Grandview (now Stewart) course pro in 1951. Talbot started city-wide free junior golf instruction that year and organized and sponsored the first boys Horton Smith Cup team. He also held the first girls state championship tournament at Grandview in the early 50’s Talbot left Grandview in 1967. He became the pro at Junction City, KS, Country Club, retiring in 1977 and returning to Springfield.
    Class of 1998
    1. Bill Henderson
      Bill Henderson
      Boys Club Director BILL HENDERSON, Born in Seymour, Bill Henderson moved to Springfield in 1920 at the age of two. A 1937 graduate of Senior high School, he served in the Army during World War II and earned the Bronze Star for duty with the Timber world Infantry Division in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. He took over as director of the Boys club in February of 1947 when the organization existed in a basement room of the Community Building at 219 East Commercial. The organization was founded in 1940 by Jenny M. Lincoln, wife of Judge A.W. Lincoln who presided over juvenile court. The Commercial Street Businessmen’s Club agreed to allow free use of the room with no charge for utilities and the Sertoma Club took over the project in 1941. When Henderson took over, the boys were kept bust with creative programming in the 35 by 5- room which had a 7 foot ceiling. Games such as sack ball, a rough-and-tumble boxing ring event requiring the winner to stuff a big rubber ball into a sack, were played along with a confirmed form of basketball with bushel basket goals. There also was a table tennis, crafts, a small pool table and a library of donated books and magazines. First phase of a new building at 1300 Boonville got under way in September of 1947, but it took until December of 1949 for the gymnasium to be finished. By 1975, the Musgrave Unit building at 720 South Park was completed with two gyms and four baseball fields. More than 2000 youngsters were taking part in basketball and another 1100 in baseball. By Henderson’s retirement in 1983, the organization was serving some 4000 member’s.
    2. Bill Rowe
      Bill Rowe
      MSU Baseball Coach, Athletic Director Bill Rowe became director of athletics at Southwest Missouri State University at the start of the 1982-83 athletics year, coinciding with the move of the SMS athletics program that year to NCAA Division I status. The 1997-98 athletics and academic year is Rowe’s 16th year in his present position. Rowe has been a part of the SMS athletics scene for more than 35 years and has been at the heart of the operation most of that time. Rowe became athletics director in 1982 after spending 19 years as athletic business manager and head baseball coach in the days when SMS was competing in an NCAA Division II school and a member of the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In his position, Rowe has overseen marked growth and success for the SMS men’s and women’s programs with a total of 30 appearances by SMS teams in NCAA or National Invitation postseason championship tournaments, along with numerous NCAA appearances by individual athletes. Programs have improved, facilities continue to be enhanced, and SMS has moved from the Mid-Continent Conference and Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference into the Missouri Valley Conference, with the men’s and women’s programs moving under the same confidence umbrella into 1992 to mark the first time in school history the men’s and women’s programs had membership in the same league. A Marionville, Mo., native, 1961 SMS graduate Rowe guided his teams to a 394-230-1 record in 19 SMS baseball seasons. The Bears won MIAA titles in 1969, 1970, and 1979; were in NCAA Division II tournaments in 1969, 1970, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1982; and went to the Division II World Series in 1969, 1970,1978, and 1982. SMS finished second in the 1969 Division II World Series and third in the 1970 World Series. Rowe was the winnings MIAA coach ever when SMS left the league, was regional Coach of the Year four times. His long service to college baseball earned him induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1988. He received an SMS Outstanding Alumnus award in 1988, was voted into the SMS Athletic Hall of fame in 1988. He received an SMS Outstanding Alumnus award in 1988, was voted into the SMS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, and received an SMS award in 1998 for 35 years of service to the university.
    3. Virgil "Hook" Brown
      Virgil "Hook" Brown
      MLB Baseball Player When Virgil J. “Hook” Brown died in 1985 at the age of 76, he was know as “Mr.Baseball” in Springfield. A three-sport athlete at Senior High School prior to graduation in 1930, he was a professional baseball player for 15 years. Perhaps his biggest contribution to the Ozarks sports scene, however, was almost single-handedly keeping non-pro baseball alive in Springfield after the glory days of the 1940’s and 1950’s. He served as commissioner of the Ozark Baseball League for more than 20 years, scouted for seven major league clubs and was involved in signing 59 youngsters to professional contracts. As a left-handed pitcher, he never lost a game in his high school career in addition to playing first base and the outfield. He began his professional career in 1932 with Keokuk, Iowa, in the Mississippi Valley League for $150 a month. All told, he pitched in more than 380 games. His 161 victories and 122 losses don’t include two years for which records couldn’t be found. He twice had 22 victory seasons, for Greensboro, N.C., in 1933 and Albany, N.Y., in 1940. All told, he won 99 games in the Eastern League. He went to spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Gas House Gang in 1935 and spent nearly a month with the Washington Senators in 1937 without seeing game action. In July of that year, he pitched complete games in a doubleheader for Trenton, N. J., against the Eastern League leader, Hazleton, winning 3-2 in nine inning and 2-1 in seventh. Arm trouble ended his professional career in 1946, but he remained one of the games most colorful figures in this area for almost 40 years.
    Class of 1997
    1. Charlie Spoonhour
      Charlie Spoonhour
      MSU Basketball Coach A native of Rogers, Arkansas, Spoonhour was a basketball assistant at SMS from 1968-1972. This came after a 7 year prep coaching career. Spoonhour left his SMS assistant job for 2 years at Moberly Basketball of Fame. Following a year at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant , Spoonhour spent 6 years at Southeastern (Iowa) Community College in Burlingham. His Teams made 3 trips to the national junior college tournament. Spoonhour was named regional Coach of the Year 4 time at SCC as his Blackhawks were a combined 147-46. Spoonhour went from Southeastern Iowa to Nebraska and 2 seasons as an assistant to Moe Iba in a stint which included the Cornhuskers’ trip to the 1983 NIT semifinals. Charlie returned to SMS as head basketball coach in 1983. From 1983 through 1983 through 1992 his Bears won 174 games while losing only 73. Spoonhour led his team to 4 NCAA National Tournaments and 2 NIT National Tournaments. Spoonhour was Mid-Continent Coach of the Year in the 1984, 1987, and 1988. SMS led the league in defense 4 years in a row and led the nation in that category in 1987. Continually in demand as a speaker at banquets and coaching clinics, Spoonhour was assistant coach of the Mexican Nationals at the 1973 World Games in Moscow, spoke at 1978 national camps in Sweden and Denmark, and participated in the 1988 European Olympic trials clinic in Holland. Spoonhour left SMS after the 1992 season to become head coach at St Louis University, a position he still holds today.
    2. Lori Endicott
      Lori Endicott
      Volleyball Olympian A two-time Olympic star, Lori Endicott, was born in Kansas City in 1967 and later moved to Willard, Missouri. A 1985 graduate of Willard High School, she led her high school volleyball team to the 1981 Missouri State Championship and to a third place finish in 1983. Lori was an outstanding athlete in both volleyball and basketball. She entered the University of Nebraska after graduation where an outstanding career in volleyball would see her help Nebraska to a second place finish at the 1986 NCAA Championship. A member of 4 consecutive Big Eight Conference Championship teams, Lori was a two-time Russell All-American in 1987 and 1988. Lori Holds University of Nebraska volleyball records in single season assists (1,542) career assists (3,082) and career service aces (149). Nebraska retired her jersey in 1992. Lori join Team USA in 1989 and as a world class setter was a member of the 1992 Olympic team in Barcelona, Spain where her team won the bronze medal. She also competed Highlights of her fabulous career as follows: o 1990- World Championships, China; Goodwill Games, Spokane, Washington o 1991- World Cup, Japan o 1992- Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain o 1994- World Championships, Brazil o 1995- Pan American Games, Atlanta, Georgia o 1996- Olympic Games , Atlanta, Georgia o Top honor in 1992, named best setter Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain o 1990- World Championships, China; Goodwill Games, Spokane, Washington o 1991- World Cup, Japan o 1992- Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain o 1994- World Championships, Brazil o 1995- Pan American Games, Atlanta, Georgia o 1996- Olympic Games , Atlanta, Georgia o Top honor in 1992, named best setter Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain
    3. W.O. "Orville" Pottenger
      W.O. "Orville" Pottenger
      MSU Football Player, HS Coach W.O. “ORVILLE” POTTENGER, graduated from Aurora High School where he was an outstanding football and track participant. After graduation, he enrolled at SMS. Pottenger played for the unbeaten 1940 team and was the starting center in 1941 and 1942 where he was all-conference. While at SMS, Pottenger was also a track standout throwing the discus and javelin. The Aurora product missed his senior track year to enlist in the Marine Corp. After military service, Pottenger began a brilliant football coaching career in 1946 coaching at Crane High School. In 1947-48 he was assistant coach at Carthage High School and from 1948-50 served as assistant coach at Southwest College in Texas. He was recalled to the military service in 1950 and stayed until 1952. In 1952 he became the football coach at Lamar High School and stayed at Lamar until being named football coach at Parkview High School in 1956 in Springfield, Missouri. At Parkview (1956-1960), Pottenger had a record of 32 wins, 14 loses, 3 ties and had 3 undefeated Ozark Conference Championships. In 1961 he was named head football coach at SMS. At SMS (1956-1960) his record was brilliant 24-12-2. In 1965, Orville Pottenger gave up coaching to become the Athletic Director for Springfield Public Schools, a post he held until his death in the spring of 1978. Kickapoo High School Stadium was named after him in his honor.
    Class of 1996
    1. Georgen Frazier
      Georgen Frazier
    2. J. H. Collins
      J. H. Collins
    3. Terry Phillips
      Terry Phillips
    4. Mary Jo Wynn
      Mary Jo Wynn
    Class of 1995
    1. Dick Birmingham
      Dick Birmingham
      Hillcrest, International Baseball Coach A four-sport high school letterman, Birmingham played football and was a sprinter at Southwest Missouri State. He became the Hillcrest High School baseball coach in 1959 and in 1960 took over the Hillcrest American Legion Team. In 1979, Birminghams’s state championship team was 24-1. That same year, he was named American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) National High School Coach of the Year. Birmingham coached in the 1983 Olympic Sports festival and served on the 1984 Junior Olympic Team coaching staff. More than 120 of his former players received a college scholarship for signed professional contracts, with five playing in the major leagues. Hillcrest High School honored Dick by named its baseball facility “Birmingham Field.” In 1990, Birmingham was named the head coach of the Pan American Junior Team, which won the silver medal at Sao Paulo, Brazil games. The following year, Birmingham served as general manager and delegate of the U.S. Junior Pan American Team which captured the silver medal during the competition held in Guatemala. Birmingham took a college all-star team to Europe in 1992. He was named head coach of the 1993 U.S.A. Junior Pan American tean, which captured the gold medal at the Chicago games, and later that same year he coached the U.S. College All-Star team to first place in the Argentina National Championships. In 1990, Birmingham was inducted into the Missouri Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and in 1991, he was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Coaches Hall of fame. Recently Birmingham was inducted into ABCA Coaches Hall of Fame. Dick and his wife of thirty-seven years, Rosemary, reside in Springfield.
    2. Jerry Anderson
      Jerry Anderson
      MSU Baseball Player A native of Marshfield, Missouri, Jerry was a starter on SMS’ two NAIA National Championship teams of the 1951-52 and 1952-53, and the third place team of 1953-54. He was the first to be presented the NAIA tournament Most Valuable Player in both 1953 and 1954. IIn 1953-54, Jerry was voted First Team All-American, NAIA College Basketball Player of the Year and MIAA First Team All Conference. In 1954-55, he received the First Virgil Cheek Student Athlete Award at SMS, won the MIAA Conference Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, and was the top point winner on the track team, setting two school records. In 1955, Jerry’s number 43 was the first athletic uniform to be retired at SMS. After graduating from SMS in 1955, Jerry served two years in the U.S. Army. He returned home to coach varsity basketball at Carthage High for seven years, posting a 136-36 record. He received his master’s degree in counseling from the Missouri University in 1964. In 1966, Jerry was voted to the NAID-NAIA Golden Anniversary Team, and was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame (now Missouri Sports Hall of Fame) in 1990. While attending SMS, Jerry pitched baseball one summer for the Aurora Redbirds and plated softball one summer for Peer Hardware. That summer Peer Hardware qualified for the Nationals in Florida. Jerry and his wife of 40 years, the former Mary Ann Barr of Springfield, retired in 1988 and reside in Marshfield.
    3. Vern Hawkins
      Vern Hawkins
      Springfield Broadcast Talent VERN HAWKINS was “ The Voice of the Bears” at Southwest Missouri State University from the early days if radio sportscasting well into the 1980’s. A two-year basketball letterman at SMS under the legacy coach Andy Mcdonald, Vern began his broadcasting career during the 1949-50 season and called some 900 Bears basketball games until his retirement in 1985. Early in his tenure, he announced for SMS’ back-to-back NAIA National Championship teams of 1952-53 and continued through the Bears’ four trips to the NCAA Division II finals, and into the schools early days in Division I. His schedule also included many years of SMS football and Drury College basketball, working on Springfield stations KWTO, KGBX, and KICK. A native of Buffalo, Missouri, Vern was also a co-owner of a successful sporting goods store with fellow Hall of Fame member Bill Virdon, and a stockbroker. He was appointing athletic commissioner for the state of Missouri in 1965 by Gov. Warren Hearnes and served until 1972. Vern’s broadcasting style, like his demeanor, was easy-going and friendly, but there was no mistaking his intense loyalty ti SMSU and his knowledge if sports. He will always remain the original “Voice of the Bears.”
    Class of 1994
    1. Gerald Perry Sr.
      Gerald Perry Sr.
      Central, MSU Tennis Player Once called Springfield’s “Mr. Tennis” by a sports writer, Gerald Perry, Sr., gave several hundred opponents that feeling of hitting against a wall since he picked up a racket at the age of 12. Perry won more than 500 tennis titles over a lifetime. He was a star at Senior High School (now Central High School) in the mid- 1930’s and remains the only Springfield player to capture a state singles championship. he went on to star at SMS, winning four consecutive Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association singles titles and teaming with Leon Miller to win three MIAA doubles crowns. During the 1950’s, Perry coached the tennis teams at both Southwest Missouri State and Drury College at the same time. in 1975, he was inducted into the SMSU Hall of Fame. While tennis was his hobby, Perry’s speciality was tennis courts. He constructed courts in Springfield and the Ozarks for more than 35 years. In his honor, the City of Springfield Park Board dedicated the tennis courts at Phelps Grove Park in his name on August 11, 1989 just three months after his death at the age of 71.
    2. Harrison "Sam" Francis
      Harrison "Sam" Francis
      Nebraska Football, Olympic Track Harrison “Sam” Francis born in Dunbar, Nebraska, 1913, is one of the few athletes to achieve all-American status in two sports. Francis, an all American football player as a Cornhusker fullback in the mid-30’s was also a member of the 1936 US olympic track team shot-putter. Francis was a three- year letterman in both sports at Nebraska (1934-36). He was an all-Big Six Conference football choice as a fullback his last two seasons and was a consensus all-American, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. As a shot-putter for the Nebraska University track team, Francis second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. As a shot-putter for the Nebraska University track team, Francis pulled off a “Triple Crown” by winning at the Texas, Kansas and Drake relays in both 1936 and 1937. After capturing the Big Six shot-put titles in the spring of ‘36 he went to Randall Island, New York where he won the Olympic Trials and went on to represent the United States in the Games at Berlin. After his amatuer career, Francis played two seasons each with the Chicago Bears and Brooklyn Dodgers. Francis moved to Springfield in 1965 and founded Ozarks Area Community Action Corp. An avid golfer who has 7 holes- in- one to his name, he learned to play in high school with only a driver, a 5 iron and a putter.
    3. John L. Morris
      John L. Morris
      Springfield Sports Contributor John L. Morris, a native of the Ozarks, learned to love the outdoors at an early age. His love of the sport of fishing led him to passionately pursue largemouth bass, giant marlin, tuna and many more of the most coveted angling trophies. His desire to share and protect our natural resources has inspired him to use his entrepreneurial endeavors as a platform to encourage thousands to become more involved in protecting our environment. Morris received the Missouri department of Conservation’s 36th Master Conversationalist Award, the Sport Fishing Institutes 1992 Fisherman of the Year Award and the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America’s National Conservation Achievement Award. In 1990, the former president George Bush presented him with the Teddy Roosevelt Conversationalist Award.
    4. Linda Dollar
      Linda Dollar
      MSU Volleyball Coach One of the most respected and successful volleyball coaches in college athletics begins her 22nd season at Southwest Missouri State University. With a career record of 708-230-21, Dollar ranks second on the all-time list for wins in women’s college volleyball history, just twho victories behind UCLA’s Andy Banachowski. She became the first women’s college volleyball coach to reach 700 career wins when her VolleyBears downed Bradley for four games on Octover 23, 1992, in Springfield. Dollar has led her VolleyBear teams to 20-win seasons 19 times. SMSU, which finished with a league best 68-13 combined mark in Gateway play, won the Gateway tournament championship in 1990 after six-runner up finishes. In 1990, Dollar was voted Gateway Conference Coach of the Year in 1986. Since Dollar took over, SMSU has had just two years in which its winning percentage dipped below .673. She was inducted into SMSU’s Women’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982 and received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1987.
    Class of 1993
    1. Bill Stewart
      Bill Stewart
      Golfing Pioneer Bill Stewart was one of the Ozarks premier golfers, who twice won the state amateur tournament. A top Midwest amateur golfer for five decades, he was a two-time Missouri Amateur champion in 1979, the same year his son, Payne Stewart, won the Missouri Amateur crown. He lettered in golf, football and basketball at Southwest Missouri State and was inducted into the SMS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980. He was a contender in a number of the top national amateur championships, such as the U.S. Amateur, the Western Amateur and the National Seniors Amateur. He teamed with Bruce Hollowell to win the Stephenson Cup at the Trans-Mississippi Amateur in 1977. He was Hickory Hills Country Club champion eight different times prior to his death in 1985.
    2. Bob Vanatta
      Bob Vanatta
      MSU Basketball Coach Bob Vanatta, currently Commissioner of the Sunshine State Conference in Florida, is a native of Columbia Missouri. His long coaching and sports information career has its roots in Springfield, Missouri, where he served as one of the most successful high school coaches in Springfield’s history. He coached Senior (Central) High School to its only undefeated football season in 1945 and guided the Bulldogs to runner up honors in the state basketball tournament during his three year tenure. He served as basketball coach for Southwest Missouri State beginning in 1950 and led his team to a three year record of 73-11, including back-to-back national NAIA championships in 1952-1953. He served as head coach at the US Military Academy at West Point at Bradley University, at Memphis State, and at the University of Missouri. He produced numerous all-Americans and several Top 20 teams, sending five clubs into post-season playoffs. after a brief career as a bank official, he returned to sports in 1971 as an official in the American Basketball Association in Memphis, coached at Delta State, became the athletic director at Oral Roberts University and was commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and Trans-American Conference.
    3. Bonus Frost
      Bonus Frost
      Fastpitch Player A native of Springfield, Missouri, Bonus Frost was a standout prep athlete at Central and Parkview High Schools. He went on to an outstanding 24 year career in major fastpitch softball. He was named to two United States All American teams; in 1967 he was selected for the United States National All- Star team for a four game series in Clearwater, Florida; he played in 13 national tournaments with a batting average of over .300; he played on six Missouri state championship teams and eight mid-central Regional championship teams; and he was selected as the first alternate on the 1979 United States Pan American team. He was elected to the Springfield Softball Hall of Fame; and he also founded the Helping Youth Foundation in 1991, he remains, today, active in civic affairs.
    Class of 1992
    1. Bill Harding
      Bill Harding
      Drury Basketball Coach A high school basketball standout at Nixa, Bill Harding played four years at Drury prior to graduation in 1954 and then embarked on a highly-successful coaching career. He was at Nixa three years, Buffalo four and Parkview three, compiling an overall record of 225-262 for a .784 winning percentage. Included was a remarkable 76-8 standard at Parkview which included Springfield’s first largest school state championship, the class L title won in 1965. He then returned to Drury where he took the Panthers to the Missouri Collegiate Athletic Union championship in all but one of his six years. Drury was 119-44 for a .730 percentage under Harding and gained entry to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City three times, making the quarterfinals in 1968. After retiring as coach in 1971, he remained as athletic director until 1987, maintaining the Panthers’ record of excellence in both athletics and academia.
    2. Edwin "Eddie" Matthews
      Edwin "Eddie" Matthews
      MSU Basketball Coach Eddie Matthews was one of the most beloved and respected basketball coaches in this area. In 1947 graduate of SMS, he put together a remarkable record at Morrisville and Buffalo High School of 225-52, capped by the last one class state championship in Missouri in 1949. He was called to take over at SMS in the summer of 1953 after the Bears won unprecedented back to back NAIA national championships, taking SMS back to Kansas City in 1954 for a third place finish in the national event. His eleven seasons as SMS mentor brought three Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships and the Bears’ first two trips to the NCAA College Division Tournament in Evansville. Matthews’ career record of 164-91 included seasons of 22-2 and 23-3 in 1957 to 1960. He laid the foundation for another SMS dynasty by recruiting an exceptional freshman class from southwest Missouri in 1963, but suffered a fatal heart attack in 1964.
    3. Ned Reynolds
      Ned Reynolds
      Springfield Broadcast Talent Ned Renyolds grew up in New Jersey bus has been a prominent part of the Ozarks’ sports scene since joining KYTV as a sports announcer in 1967. in addition to his daily telecasts, Renyolds does radio play-by-play of Southwest Missouri State University football and basketball, conducts twice daily radio shows and hosts SMS coaches’ shows on TV. He’s also the author of football and baseball yearbooks for the Ozarks. He started his broadcasting as a youngster in New Jersey and retained his ambition to become a sportscaster during a hitch in the Navy after graduation from Temple University. A popular master of ceremonies, he also shows up in nearly every poll as the most recognizable figure among area sports media people.
    Class of 1991
      Class of 1990
        Class of 1989
        1. Horton Smith
          Horton Smith
          PGA Golfer Horton Smith was born May 22, 1908 in the Ozark Mountains. He began to play gold at age twelve and achieved international notoriety before he was twenty one. His ifrst tournament win was in 1928 at the Oklahoma City Open. in 1929 he won nine major tournaments and placed in eleven more. Seven times a member of the Ryder Cup Team from 1929 to 1941, his impressive number of 31 PGA tournament victories reached a pinnacle with the Masters victory in 1934 and again in 1936. By 1936 he was the leading money winner on the professional tour. His ability to teach the game matched his flawless performance on the links. His high ideals and integrity left an eternal imprint on the game of golf. in 1958 Horton was elected, by a landslide vote, to the PGA Hall of Fame. The following year the PGA of Great Britain made him an honorary lifetime member, the only golfer in the United States to have received this recognition.
        2. Jerry Lumpe
          Jerry Lumpe
          MSU, MLB Baseball Player Born June 2, 1933 in Lincoln Missouri, Jerry Lumpe was a star high school basketball player at Warsaw High School and lettered two years at Southwest Missouri State while working his way up the New York Yankee chain to the major leagues. A shortstop and third baseman with the Yankees in 1956-1958, he was traded early in the 1959 season to the Kansas City Athletics, who moved him to second base. As a second baseman with Kansas City in 1959-1964 and the Detroit Tigers in 1964-67, he established the major league fielding record for that position, .984 for a total of 1,100 games. His career batting average was .268 Lumple played in two World Series (1957-1958) for the Yankees. He later coached for the Oakland A’s before retiring to Springfield, his off season home for many years.
        3. John Howard
          John Howard
          Bicycling, Triathlete Seven times the UNSF National Champion, this eminent soldier of cycling is a native of Springfield Missouri. He currently holds the 152 mph world land bicycle speed record, set on July 21, 1965 at the Bonneville Salt Flats Wendover, Utah. He was the cornerstone of three olympic cycling teams; Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. As a member of the Pan-American squad in 1971 and again in 1975 he became the first American to win a gold medal in the international competition. One of the best all around competitors of his generation, in 1981 John won the intensive and physically grueling Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. He is a winner of the 1000 mile Tour of Baja, Tour of Newfoundland, Tour de L’estre and the Red Zinger (Coors Classic) two times.
        Class of 1988
        1. A.J. "Andy" McDonald
          A.J. "Andy" McDonald
          Four Sport Coach at MSU A 1923 graduate of the University of Kansas, he was basketball coach at Southwest Missouri State College from 1925 through 1950. His teams had a 301-164 record, won six MIAA championships and appeared in three NAIA national tournaments. He also coached football, track and golf at SMS, in addition to heading the physical education department from 1950 until 1964 and teaching until 1969. In 1936, his track team was second in the conference, his football team was third and his basketball team was first. All told, his gold squads won 19 titles and he was instrumental in starting the NCAA college Division National Golf tournament. He was a three-year letterman in both football and basketball at KU, where he played with Apolph Rupp under Phog Allen.
        2. Arnold "Mickey" Owen
          Arnold "Mickey" Owen
          MLB Baseball Player A native of Nixa, MO who became an American Legion Baseball star in Los Angeles. Mickey started in the St. Louis Cardinal chain here in 1935 and reached the major leagues in his third year of pro ball. Brooklyn gave the Cardinals $60,000 plus two players for Owen and he proceeded to lead the Dodgers to the National League pennant in 1941, setting several fielding records along the way. He also played with the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox in major league career of 13 seasons, shortened by a three year suspension for signing a Mexican League contract after serving with the Navy in World War Two. He founded the Mickey Owen Baseball school near Miller, MO, in 1960 and served three terms as Greene County Sheriff beginning in 1964.
        3. Dominic "Mike" Ryba
          Dominic "Mike" Ryba
          MLB Baseball Player Native of DeLacey, Pa...was known as “The One-Man Gang” for his ability to play all positions in baseball. Settled in Springfield after being assigned here during his career with the St. Louis Cardinal Organization. In 1993, he led the Western League in batting average and, as a pitcher, in winning percentage. With the cardinals from 1935-8 and the Boston Red Sox from 1941-46, he won 250 games as a pitcher with a 52-34 record and also served as a reserve catcher to become the first place in the major leagues to play both positions. After playing in the World Series for the Red Sox against the Cardinals in 1946, he was a manager, coach and scout. His death resulted from a fall from a ladder while trimming trees at his home here in Springfield on December 13th, 1970.
        Class of 1987
        1. Bill Virdon
          Bill Virdon
          Drury Basketball, MLB Baseball Player Bill grew up in West Plains, Missouri and was a standout prep athlete, playing a year of basketball at Drury College before signing with Tom Greenwade and a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees. He was rookie of the year in 1955 with the St. Louis Cardinals, then spent most of the rest of his twelve major league seasons as a star center fielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A key number of the 1960 World Championship Pirate team, he cut his playing career short to become a manager. Virdon later managed the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Montreal Expos, winning manager of the year awards in both the American and National Leagues. Bill has made his home in Springfield for more than 25 years.
        2. Jim Ewing
          Jim Ewing
          Player, Coach, and Official A lifelong Springfieldian, he was an athlete at Springfield Senior High School and Drury College, later coaching Senior High School and Drury College with state runner up honors in the 1941 prep basketball playoffs. Jim was a pioneer football and basketball official. He is known as the Father of modern-day Springfield sports, having served as Springfield Parks Superintendent for thirty-five years. The Springfield recreational program grew to receive national acclaim under his leadership. Jim still serves as official timer for SouthWest Missouri State University football and basketball teams, while remaining active in community affairs.
        3. Tom Greenwade
          Tom Greenwade
          MLB Scout A lifelong resident of Willard, Missouri, he was active in community and church involvements. tom was a minor league pitcher and manager, then turned to scouting where became tops in the profession. He scouted for the Brooklyn Dodgers before joining the New York Yankees. As the Yankees number one scout, signed Mickey Mantle, Bill Virdon, Jerry Lumpe and a number of other baseball greats. He was most prominent in farming and banking. Tom passed away in August of 1986.