Football Coach, 1949-52
Inducted November 19, 1983
Fred Thomsen took over the SMS football fortunes on the heels of a 9-2 MIAA championship and bowl team season in 1948 and guided the Bears right back into contention for the conference crown in 1949 as the Bears posted a 3-1-1 league mark and a 5-4-1 overall season record. SMS was again the league runnerup under Coach Thomsen in 1950 and came away with a tie for the MIAA championship in 1951, posting a 4-0-1 league mark and sharing the conference crown with Northeast Missouri State. The ’51 Bears were 6-3-1 for the season. Thomsen closed out his Bruin coaching career after the 1952 season winding up with a 19-17-4 mark. His teams produced 10 first team all-MIAA players in those four seasons. Coach Thomsen had previously been the head mentor of the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1929 until 1941 and brought that school its first bowl game appearance in 1934. Thomsen served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and returned to Springfield after the war prior to accepting the SMS coaching position in 1949.