Basketball Coach, 1969-72, 1983-92
Inducted February 6, 2010
Charlie Spoonhour was head coach of the basketball Bears from 1983 to 1992 and posted a 197-81 record over nine seasons in a tenure that included 20-win, postseason teams each of his final seven years. Spoonhour took over the Bears in Missouri State's second Division I season and produced the best record in the nation among new Division I schools for the decade of the 1980s. His MSU years included Mid-Continent Conference regular-season championships four years in a row from 1987 through 1990 and league tourney titles in 1987 and 1989. The Bears' 1986 NIT club won 24 games, was Missouri State's first Division I postseason team and beat Pitt and Marquette before a one-point loss to Florida in the NIT quarterfinals. The Bears reached the NCAA for the first time in 1987 with a first-round win over Clemson before losing to Kansas. That team logged a Bears' Division I record 15-game winning streak and still owns the school's season victory mark at 28. MSU returned to the NCAA meet in 1988, losing in the first round to UNLV to finish with 22 wins. The Bears in 1989 had a tourney loss to Seton Hall and closed with 21 victories, and in 1990 Missouri State dropped an NCAA decision to North Carolina in a 22-win MSU campaign. After an NIT appearance in 1991, the 1992 Bears won 23 games and captured what remains the school's only men's Missouri Valley Conference tourney championship, and had an NCAA first-round loss to Michigan State. A 1961 graduate of University of the Ozarks, Spoonhour was a Bears' assistant basketball coach under Bill Thomas and Jay Kinser from 1969 to 1972 and Spoonhour's recruiting provided the foundation for Bears' conference title teams in 1973 and 1974. He also coached the men's tennis team. Spoonhour moved from Missouri State in 1992 to a seven-year run as head coach at Saint Louis University, spent three years as head coach at Nevada-Las Vegas and now lives in Las Vegas, working as a television basketball analyst.