Denny Burrows

Basketball, 1936-40
Inducted March 1, 1986

Denny Burrows was a four-year basketball letterman for SMSU between 1936 and 1940.  He played for the Bears of Coach Andy McDonald and he later went on to the distinguished coaching career of his own.  The Bears of that era compiled winning records all four seasons Burrows was on the ballclub, finishing as the MIAA runnerup in the 1938-39 season and becoming the first SMSU cage squad ever to appear in the national tournament.  The ’39 Bears qualified for the NAIB meet in Kansas City but lost in the first round to East Texas State.  Those were also the last four SMSU teams to play in the tiny gym in what is now Hill Hall before the opening in 1940-41 for McDonald Arena.  Burrows played guard most of his career and was at the center spot for his senior season.  He was regarded as the defensive standout throughout his career and gained all-conference selection as a sophomore and senior.  A native of Fremont, MO, Burrows began his coaching career in 1941 at Van Buren High School and then, following World War II, took his Van Buren team to the state tournament in 1946.  He spent eight seasons at Ozark High, making it to the last Missouri state cage meet all held in one class in 1949, and then winning the state title for small schools in 1950.  He moved to Springfield in 1954 and spent three years at Eastwood Junior High and eight seasons at Hillcrest High before retiring from the coaching ranks in 1965.