Six Set for Induction into Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame
Two men who were coaching pioneers in the school's athletics history are the headliners in a six-member induction class for 2010 into the Missouri State University Athletics Hall of Fame. The rest of the induction group includes a quartet of four-year standouts who had all-conference and record-setting performances in their respective sports as the shrine's 36th annual induction unfolds the weekend of Feb. 5-6, 2010.
The two coaching pioneers are the late Dr. Frank Dinka and Charlie Spoonhour. Dinka established the men's soccer program while Spoonhour put the school on the national map in men's basketball. The rest of the shrine class features football player Jeremy Hoog (1994-1997), track and field athlete Verneta Lesforis (1997-1999), basketball player Roshonda Reed (1995-1999) and volleyball player Amy Russell McNew (1990-1993).
Dr. Dinka, who will be represented at the induction by his wife, Sally, established and guided the Missouri State soccer program the first 19 years of its history, including 13 years the sport operated on a club basis and six years after it came into the intercollegiate program.
Spoonhour took over as men's basketball coach in the Bears' second year in NCAA Division I status and wound up taking the Bears to 20-win, postseason tournament seasons each of his last seven years with the program.
Of the former student-athletes, Hoog becomes the 99th Bear football player to go into the hall, Reed is the 24th women's basketball inductee, Russell is the 29th volleyball player and Lesforis is the 17th women's track athlete.
The new inductees will go into the shrine at an induction ceremony to be held Feb. 6, in a 12 noon luncheon in the Plaster Student Union Ballroom. Inductees will also be recognized in halftime ceremonies in the first two of that weekend's Missouri State basketball games in JQH Arena. The Lady Bears will host Creighton University on Friday, Feb. 5, at 7:35 p.m., and the Bears will host Creighton Saturday, Feb. 6, at 7:05 p.m.
The 2010 Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame induction lunch is open to the public and reservations may be made through Monday, Feb. 1, by calling Missouri State Athletics Development (417) 836-4143. Tickets are $25.00 per person.
The six new inductees will bring the total membership in the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame to 326. The original Hall of Fame for men's sports was established in 1975 by Director of Athletics Aldo Sebben with 179 people enshrined in the first 22 induction classes. Director of Women's Athletics Dr. Mary Jo Wynn established in 1981 a shrine to honor participants in women's sports, and the 18 subsequent induction classes into that Hall of Fame saw 76 people enshrined. The two previous groups were combined into a single hall of fame in 1999 and this year's induction will be the 12th for the combined hall.
The new induction class into the shrine joins all previous honorees as the hall is in the second year of its most public permanent recognition to date. An interactive video listing of the entire membership of the Athletics Hall of Fame is a part of the Legacy of Competition which opened last season in the east entry lobby of JQH Arena. Photos and writeups of Hall of Fame members are now on permanent display and the 2010 shrine class will be added to the display in February.
Capsules of the 2010 Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Class:
Dr. Frank Dinka was a professor in the Missouri State Department of Political Science after graduating from the University of Bridgeport in 1956 and joining the MSU faculty in 1958. He began Missouri State men's soccer as a club sport in 1967. Operating with limited outside resources, he guided the club through the 1980 season and then became head coach when the program was elevated to intercollegiate status at the start of the 1981 season. Dr. Dinka was at the helm the following year when the soccer program joined the rest of Missouri State intercollegiate athletics in moving to NCAA Division I status. Dr. Dinka coached the Bears through the 1986 season when he turned the team reins over to former assistant Jan Stahle and stepped aside to full-time teaching duties after a total tenure of 19 seasons with the soccer program. In the varsity program, Dinka's teams saw their win totals increase each of his six campaigns. Dr. Dinka passed away October 6, 2005.
Jeremy Hoog played for the football Bears of coaches Jesse Branch and Del Miller from 1994 to 1997 and was a rare four-year Missouri State starter at the quarterback position. During his time as the Bears' signal-caller, Hoog set school career records for offensive plays run (1,314), total yards gained on offense (7,326), pass attempts (1,042), pass completions (569), yards gained passing (6,959) and 200-yard passing games (18), and he tied the career record for touchdown passes thrown (36). Hoog's career .546 pass completion percentage is among the Bears' all-time top 10 in that department and he passed for over 2,100 yards each of his final two seasons with the team. Hoog's best single game passing effort was 375 yards against Liberty during the 1994 season and he threw for over 300 yards in a single game four times in his career. He guided the Bears to a 7-4 record and a runner-up spot in the Missouri Valley Football Conference as a junior.
Verneta Lesforis was a three-year Missouri State track and field standout as a sprinter and jumper from 1997 to 1999 for coach Ron Boyce. Counting relay events, Lesforis was a 16-time Missouri Valley Conference champion and she was unbeaten in her career in the 400-meter run in league competition, winning that event six times in six tries in MVC action. She held seven Missouri State school records during her career and still holds four of those marks. She set MVC all-time records in three events, was a two-time NCAA All-American performer and competed in the 2000 Olympic Games for her native Saint Lucia. Lesforis was voted the Missouri State Outstanding Female Athlete in 1999. She was a member of the Missouri State 1,600-meter relay team which finished eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and captured fifth place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in her senior season of 1999.
Roshonda Reed played for the Bears of coach Cheryl Burnett from 1995 to 1999 and performed on two Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship clubs and three NCAA tournament teams in that span. Reed collected two all-conference honorable mention selections and two all-MVC first team picks as she led the Lady Bears in rebounding as a freshman and as a senior. Her final total of 1,540 career points ranked fourth on the Lady Bears' all-time list when Reed finished her Missouri State playing days, and is still seventh on the list more than a decade later, while her 881 career rebounds rank fourth on the all-time list. Reed averaged scoring in double figures all four of her MSU seasons with a top mark of 15.4 points a game her final year. Her top rebound season was 10.0 a game, also as a senior. Reed was both the MVC Freshman of the Year and MVC Newcomer of the Year in 1996 and she won the Lady Bears' Prestige award as a senior in 1999.
Amy Russell was a four-year volleyball standout from 1990 to 1993 for coach Linda Dollar, playing for a team which finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference in Russell's first year before winning regular season league titles her last three seasons. MSU won the conference tournament and advanced to NCAA Tournament play in Russell's freshman and senior seasons, and competed in the national invitational meet in her junior campaign. Russell was on the all-Valley second team her junior year and landed a spot on the all-conference first team as a senior while also making the Valley all-tournament team. She led the Bears in blocks twice and became the eighth Missouri State player to register 1,000 career kills. She shared the Bears' honor as Volleyball Player of the Year in her senior season.
Charlie Spoonhour coached the basketball Bears from 1983 to 1992 and posted a 197-81 record at Missouri State which included 20-win, postseason teams each of his final seven seasons. That stretch included Mid-Continent Conference regular season championships four years in a row from 1987 through 1990. The Bears' 1986 NIT club was Missouri State's first Division I postseason team and knocked off Pitt and Marquette before a one-point loss to Florida in the quarterfinals. The Bears reached the NCAA for the first time in 1987 and had a first-round win over Clemson before losing to Kansas. MSU returned to the NCAA meet in 1988, 1989 and 1990 from the Mid-Continent Conference, and in 1992 from the Missouri Valley Conference. The 1992 Bears won what remains the school's only men's MVC basketball championship. Spoonhour's 1987 team finished with a school record 28 wins and took a 15-game win streak into the NCAA second round vs. Kansas.