- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Former Missouri State men’s basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour has been selected for a pair of honors this week as the Missouri Valley Conference announced him as a member of its 2012 Hall of Fame class on Wednesday (Aug. 17), while the Summit League named Spoonhour as an “Honored Contributor” on that conference’s 30th Anniversary recognition list of its all-time top performers.
The MVC will honor Spoonhour on Friday, March 2, 2012, when the league conducts its annual Hall of Fame induction breakfast in St. Louis. He joins basketball standout Paul Silas of Creighton, men’s soccer coach Fred Schmalz of Evansville, track and field Olympian Connie Price-Smith of Southern Illinois, basketball icon Denny Crum of Louisville and track star Joey Woody of Northern Iowa in the six-member class of the MVC Hall of Fame.
The March 2 festivities will begin at 8 a.m. Tickets to the event – which is scheduled to be held in the newly-renovated Peabody Opera House adjacent to Scottrade Center – can be obtained by calling the MVC office at (314) 444-4300.
The Summit League was originally founded as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities in 1981. Missouri State was affiliated with the league when in joined the Division I ranks in 1982 until moving to the MVC in the fall of 1990. During a year-long celebration of its first 30 years as a Division I conference, the Summit League is honoring its Top 30 Distinguished Contributors and 10 additional “Honored Contributors” on its web site. Voting for the honors was conducted from a list of over 100 nominees, including administrators, coaches and student-athletes.
The only other Missouri State selection on the Summit League list is former Bears baseball star Bill Mueller whose 11-year Major League career including an American League batting title (2003) and a 2004 World Series title with the Red Sox. Mueller earned a spot on the Summit League’s Top 30 Distinguished Contributors list.
A complete list of Summit League Top 30 Distinguished and Honored Contributors can be found at www.TheSummitLeague.org.
A native of Rogers, Ark., Charlie Spoonhour served as head men’s basketball coach at Missouri State from 1983 to 1992, taking over the program the Bears’ second year in Division I and guiding MSU through its first two seasons in The Valley.
In his nine seasons as head coach at MSU, he finished with a 197-81 record and five trips to the NCAA Tournament, along with two NIT appearances.
Spoonhour took MSU to its first Division I postseason basketball tournament appearance in 1986, when the 24-8 Bears played in the National Invitation Tournament and upset Pittsburgh and Marquette before losing at Florida in the NIT quarterfinals. That season started a string of eight-straight years of 20-win MSU teams which advanced to postseason play.
The 1987 Bears set a school record for victories in a 28-6 campaign in which they won the Mid-Continent Conference regular-season and tournament titles and earned an NCAA Tournament bid. In the NCAA Tournament, Missouri State upset Clemson and sustained a four-point loss to Kansas in the second round.
In 1988, MSU repeated its league title but lost in the NCAA first round to UNLV, and in 1989, MSU won the Mid-Con regular-season and tournament crowns and lost in the NCAA first round to eventual national runner-up Seton Hall. In 1990, Missouri State again snagged a regular-season title and took an at-large NCAA bid on the way to a first-round loss to North Carolina.
MSU was the MVC runner-up in its first year in the league in 1990-91 and advanced to the second round of the NIT. In 1991-92, Missouri State was again the MVC runner-up, but the Bears won the State Farm MVC Tournament — the only MSU squad to do so — to advance to the NCAA Tournament but dropped a first-round game to Michigan State.
An MSU assistant coach from 1969 to 1972, he also was head coach at Moberly (Missouri) and Southeastern (Iowa) Community Colleges and also worked as an assistant at Oklahoma and Nebraska, before returning to Missouri State in 1983. From Springfield, he went on to seven seasons as head coach at Saint Louis University, posting a 122-90 record and three trips to the NCAA Tournament with the Billikens, and a two-plus season run as head coach at UNLV.
Spoonhour also has served two stints as analyst on the MVC TV Network.