Inducted September 27, 1980
Willis Bass was a four-year track letterman for SMS from 1936 through 1939 under coaches Andy McDonald and Speedy Collins and during his career, the Bears recorded seven consecutive runnerup finishes behind Southeast Missouri in the conference indoor and outdoor championship meets. As a freshman, Bass teamed with Arlie Perkins, Gail Knight and Homer Keith to win the MIAA mile relay. Bass, a native of Springfield, was third in the 100-yard dash and second in the 220. Bass won the 220 in the league meet each of his next three years and set a school record with a tie of 21.7 seconds in 1939. He qualified for the national AAU meet in both the 200 and 400-meter races and finished second in both events.