Jim Prendergast was a four-year standout in the most successful era of Missouri State wrestling at the Division I level and was the wrestling Bears’ first Division I All-American. He came to MSU in 1989, redshirting his first year on campus after a successful four-year prep career at St. Louis DeSmet Jesuit High. Competing for Bears’ coach John Kriebs, Prendergast wrestled at 158 and 167 pounds during his Missouri State career. As a senior, his 31-8 record led the team in wins as he had a 14-0 dual mark and a 17-8 tournament record. He also led in pins (11) and team points (92.5) as the Bears won 11 of 14 dual meet decisions for the best dual winning percentage in school history. The Bears were second in the NCAA West Regional as Prendergast was one of three Bears to win their weight classes. That qualified Prendergast for the NCAA championship, where he had a 2-2 record. It was in Prendergast’s junior year of 1992-93 that he claimed NCAA All-American honors as he placed sixth at 158 pounds in the NCAA meet. He lost to the eventual champion at his weight class in the first round and then won four straight matches before falling in the consolation semifinals. Prendergast posted a season mark of 36-10, placed third in the NCAA West Regional, led the team in pins (10) and was second in team points (68). He was voted the Bears’ most valuable wrestler as MSU’s 13-8 record included the best single season dual meet win total ever. The Bears were 10-9-1 in Prendergast’s sophomore season as he had a 24-14-1 record and led MSU in pins (11) and team points (70). He was voted the Bears’ top freshman in 1990-91 with a 17-14 mark with five pins and 35 team points. Prendergast finished with the Missouri State wrestling career record in pins (37), was second in match victories (108) and ninth in winning percentage (.702).