Assistant Basketball Coach, 1987-92
Inducted February 10, 2001
Randy Stange was the first new basketball player recruited to come to SMS by coach Charlie Spoonhour when Spoonhour took over the SMS program in 1983. Stange, a native of Nickerson, Kan., came to SMS after two junior college seasons and sparkled in the Bears’ backcourt as a junior and senior. He set an SMS season mark for free throw accuracy his junior year with a .909 figure and averaged 10.4 points a game to win a spot on the Mid-Continent Conference all-newcomer team for the 18-10 Bears. His senior year, Stange was a regular on the best shooting team in SMS basketball history as the Bears went 17-13 and set team records for field goal (.530) and free throw accuracy (.768) which still stand. An SMS co-captain, Stange was on the all-conference second team his senior year and his four free throws in the final minute enabled SMS to score an upset road win over league champion Cleveland State to move into the finals of the Mid-Continent Tournament. Stange shared SMS Coors Player of the Year honors in 1985 with backcourt running mate Brian Smith and Stange finished his two-year SMS career with 706 points and shooting percentages of .564 from the field and .855 from the foul line in 57 SMS games. He still holds the SMS career free throw percentage record and ranks sixth on the field goal accuracy list. Stange graduated from SMS in 1986, and, after a year as a graduate assistant coach at Kansas State, returned to Springfield in 1987 to spend five years on Coach Spoonhour’s SMS staff as an assistant coach. In that time, SMS won Mid-Continent titles in 1988, 1989 and 1990 with three straight trips to the NCAA tournament. The Bears joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1990, made an NIT appearance in 1991, and won the MVC tourney to return to the NCAA tourney field in 1992. Stange moved with Spoonhour to Saint Louis University in 1992, took over as head coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, later became director of athletics at Hutchinson Community College.