Missouri State's Wright to Receive MVC's Paul Morrison Award
Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today that Jimmy Wright, long-time Missouri State University operations and equipment technician, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Paul Morrison Award.
The Morrison Award is presented to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective league-member institutions, The Valley or collegiate athletics, in general.
The presentation of the award will take place during the Presidents Hall of Fame Brunch at Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis on Friday, March 6, that begins at 8:30 a.m.
“The Paul Morrison Award provides the unique opportunity to recognize individuals who operate under the radar,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 21st year with The Valley. “Jimmy Wright has been a tremendous ambassador for not only Missouri State University but the Missouri Valley Conference as well. It’s hard to imagine a league event at MSU without Jimmy’s involvement.”
The league began presenting the award in 1997, when Drake University historian and consultant Paul Morrison, for whom the award is named, became the first recipient. Since that first year, Dr. Lee Bevilacqua of Creighton (1998), Glen McCullough of Bradley (1999), John Sanders of the MVC staff (2004), Roland Banks of Wichita State (2006) and Mark Stillwell of Missouri State (2008) have been so honored.
A native of East Lansing, Mich., Wright joined the Missouri State University staff in 1980 as an equipment technician in the Department of Health and Physical Education.
In that job, his primary duties include providing equipment as needed for all physical education classes, managing the men’s physical education locker room in McDonald Arena and distributing equipment to individuals for recreational use in McDonald.
It’s what he does over and above his primary job that makes him perhaps the most indispensable person in intercollegiate athletics at Missouri State.
Since 1982, he has run the shot clock for MSU men’s and women’s basketball home games, including all NCAA (women) and NIT (men/women) contests. In fact, he is currently in the midst of multi-year streaks of operating the scoreboard for volleyball (since 1996), baseball (2004-present), field hockey (since 1991) and men’s/women’s soccer (2006-present).
A 1979 graduate from Missouri Southern State University, Wright has also worked either as a shot clock or scoreboard operator for the State Farm MVC championships in women’s basketball, volleyball and baseball.
Tickets to the Presidents Hall of Fame Brunch are $50 per person. For information on how to attend the event, please contact the Missouri Valley Conference office at 314/421-0339.