Inducted March 1, 1986
One of just two former SMSU footballers on record ever to have lettered for the Bears in five different gridiron seasons, Jack Clingan played for the Bears in 1945, 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954. The Willow Springs native saw action at four different positions and played for three different coaches in an SMSU career that was interrupted twice by his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. A starter all five of his SMSU seasons, Clingan was a freshman guard on Coach Howard Blair’s 5-1-2 Bear ballclub in 1945 in the first year for the sport’s resumption after World War II. Following his first stint in the Marines, Clingan returned to action in 1950 and was at halfback and defensive back for the 5-4-2 MIAA runnerup club of Coach Fred Thomsen. Thomsen was still at the Bruin helm in 1952 when Clingan returned from service in Korea to play halfback and defensive back and he gained his second all-MIAA honorable mention selection. Coach Bill Dellastatious took over the coaching reins in 1953 and Clingan saw brief action at quarterback before he finished as the league’s leading scorer from his halfback spot and earned all-league first team recognition as SMSU won three of five league starts to finish second in the conference. He was a high school football and track coach in Georgia and in southwest Missouri at West Plains, Republic and Mt. Vernon for 17 years after his own playing career.