SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Fifteen inductees and two high school level programs were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Sunday at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield, MO. In addition, the Hall named its 12th John Q. Hammons Founders Award recipient and only its second President’s Award recipient.
Willie McGee - Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals
A fan favorite, McGee debuted for the Cardinals in 1982 and retired from the same organization at the end of the 1999 season. Although spending time with 3 other organizations during that time, McGee will always be known as a Cardinal. Three of his four World Series appearances were with the Redbirds and he was the starting centerfielder when the Cards won the 1982 Series against Milwaukee. While playing for the Cardinals, number McGee was voted to four All-Star teams, won three Gold Gloves, and was the 1985 MVP and Silver Slugger Award winner. In 1985 and 1990, he was the National League Batting Champion.
Ed Podolak – Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs
Ed Podolak is best known for his 9-year career as a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He remains the Chiefs fifth leading rusher with 4,451 yards. His 350 total combined yards in the 1971 AFC playoff game against the Miami Dolphins is still an NFL post season record. That performance was rated as the 7th best individual performance in the first 75 years of the NFL. Thirty-five years after his retirement, Ed’s name is still in the Top 5 in over 15 of the Chiefs offensive records. Podolak was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Honor in 1989.
Mike Macfarlane - Catcher, Kansas City Royals
Mike Macfarlane was selected in the fourth round of the '85 amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals and made his major league debut on July 23, 1987. Macfarlane spent 11 of his 13 years in the majors with the Royals. His tenure with the club stretched from 1987 to 1998, with a one year stop in Boston in 1985. He finished his career with the Oakland A’s. Known primarily as a defensive specialist with a career fielding average of .992, Macfarlane was also a threat at the plate, ending his playing days with a .252 batting average, 129 home runs and 514 RBI’s. For four years, Mike served as a baseball analyst for ESPN. Along with former fellow team mate, Kevin Seitzer, Macfarlane owns Mac-n-Seitz, a baseball and softball training academy in Kansas City.
Luke Snyder – Professional Bull Rider, Springfield, MO
Since emerging onto the PBR scene in 2000 as an 18-year-old, Rookie of the Year and PBR World Finals Champion Luke Snyder has never looked back. From Raymore, Missouri, “Cool Hand” Luke has been in the Guinness Book of World Records twice -- once for the most money won in the PBR as a rookie, and once for his incredible streak of 275 consecutive major PBR events. That’s 10 years of not missing an event in a sport where injuries are common and expected. Snyder made three qualifying rides at the biggest event of the 2011 season, the Last Cowboy Standing at Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas. By winning the inaugural PBR pay-per-view event, Snyder earned $216,500, the largest single-day payout in PBR history. Snyder retired at the end of the 2013 season.
Gary Link – University of Missouri Announcer, Columbia, MO
A standout athlete at Lindbergh High School, Link went on to a very successful basketball career at Missouri. He played on the team from 1970-1974. During his sophomore and junior seasons, he was a part of the first two teams in Missouri history to win 20 or more games. The Tigers also won three straight Big Eight Tournaments in 1971, 1972, and 1973, also the first time in school history. Link led the team in field goal percentage in 1972-1973, shooting .549 from the field. He was also the co-captain of the team his senior season. To today’s sports fan, Gary is best known for providing color commentary for the Missouri Tigers men’s basketball team. Link serves as a special assistant to the athletic director, and works as a member of the Tiger Scholarship Fund.
Patty Viverito –Senior Associate Commissioner, Missouri Valley Conference, St. Louis, MO
Patty Viverito is in her 22nd season as senior associate commissioner at the Missouri Valley Conference and in her 29th year as commissioner of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Viverito was named the Missouri Valley Football’s first commissioner in September of 1982. She led the conference (then known as the Gateway Conference) to national prominence in the 1980s. The league, which sponsored nine women’s sports and FCS football, saw its women’s programs merge with their MVC men’s counterparts in 1992. At The Valley, Viverito’s responsibilities include championship administration and compliance, serving as the primary coaches’ liaison for most sports. She also served as the Tournament Director of the 2001 and 2009 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Andy Hill – Associate Head Football Coach, University of Missouri
Andy Hill has coached 12 seasons under Gary Pinkel and 18 seasons overall at the University of Missouri, making him the longest-tenured coach on the Tiger football staff. Hill has coached the Mizzou wide receivers ever since joining the Missouri staff in 1996, and added responsibilities for the Tiger tight ends in 2009. Following the 2012 season, he was promoted to associate head coach and assumed duties to coach the team’s quarterbacks. Hill is a Mizzou grad who was a walk on for the 1980 Tiger football team and eventually earned a scholarship. He lettered in 1980, '81, '83 and '84 and played on Missouri teams that earned trips to the Liberty, Tangerine and Holiday Bowls. In his career, Hill caught 51 passes for 946 yards and scored seven touchdowns. As a senior, he caught 25 passes for 445 yards and three scores.
Jason Pyrah - Two-Time USA Track and Field Olympian, Willard, MO
With his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Jason Pyrah will enter his fifth such hall. Pyrah’s records on the state, national and international platforms are a testament to the accomplishments of the Willard, Missouri native. He is a 5 time high school track All-American and a 6 time Missouri state track champion. At one time, he held three Missouri state track records, two of which he still holds, and in 1987 ran the fastest mile of any high school athlete in the nation. Jason is a 4-time NCAA Division I track All-American and a 2-time NCAA Division I cross country All-American. He represented the United States on the 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams. Pyrah was the USA Indoor Mile Track champion in 2000. He has competed on 6 continents and in more than 20 different countries and has run a sub four-minute mile more than 30 times.
Bob Kendrick-President, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO
A native of Crawfordville, Georgia, Kendrick was a star guard on Taliaferro County High School’s basketball team from 1977-80. He left Georgia and headed to the Midwest to chase his “hoop dreams” after accepting a basketball scholarship to Park College (University) in 1980. Eventually, it would promoting baseball and the history of the sport where he has and continues to make his mark. Kendrick began his association with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) as a volunteer in 1993 and became president of the not-for-profit organization in April of 2011. The NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America.
Jack Steck – Swimming Coach, Drury and Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Drury University’s head swimming coach from 1968-1983, Jack Steck set the stage for what is today one of the most feared and respected programs in the nation. His 1968 team was little more than a club team, but within 10 years the Panther swimming team was finishing regularly in the NAIA's Top 10. Under Steck's leadership, the 1981 and 1982 teams claimed Drury's first two team national championships. Steck assumed the head coaching duties at Missouri State in 1983. He coached MSU men's swimming 29 seasons, and spent 14 campaigns guiding the women's team after he started the women's program in 1998-99. At Missouri State his men captured at total of 11 conference titles while his women’s team garnered eight conference crowns. His combined dual meet record is 486 – 219 – 1.
Becky Oakes-Director of Sports National Federation of State High School Associations, Indianapolis, IN
A three sport athlete at Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri State University) from 1972-1976, Oakes is a member of the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She started her education and coaching career at Waynesville High school where her volleyball and track teams enjoyed success and the track teams contributed several state trophies to the school. In 1982, Becky joined the staff of the Missouri State High School Athletic Association where she remained for twenty-five years, the last fifteen as the Executive Director, only the second female in this position. Currently, Becky is the Director of Sports for the National Federation of State High School Associations and oversees six sports. She has served on the Board of Directors for USA Volleyball, USA Gymnastics and is in her second term as a member of the USA Track and Field Board of Directors.
Dr. Mark Adams – University of Missouri Team Physician, Columbia, MO
Dr. Mark Alan Adams of Columbia has 28 years of experience and practices in orthopaedic consultation and surgery. A 1975 graduate of Drury University and a 1981 graduate of the University of Missouri Medical School, Dr. Adams has provided physician’s services to the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins and as a team representative at the NFL’s Pre-draft Physical Camp. In 1990, he became the orthopaedic consultant to the University of Missouri and in 1993 the team’s physician. Dr. Adams also serves as the orthopaedic consultant to five colleges in central Missouri and as the orthopaedic surgeon for the University of Central Missouri. He has also served as team physician for two USA Olympic teams.
Tom Smith – Basketball Coach, Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO
Only the third head coach to lead the Missouri Western Griffons, Tom Smith became the winningest coach in school history on Jan. 21, 1998, surpassing the first Missouri Western basketball coach, Gary Filbert. Coach Smith retired in 2013 with a 448-279 mark at Missouri Western. He is also the winningest head coach in MIAA history with 534 wins under his belt at both the University of Central Missouri (1975-80) and Missouri Western (1989-2013). In 36 seasons as a collegiate head coach at three different schools, Smith compiled a 618-463 record and was ranked among the 20 top active coaches at the Division II level. Smith is a member of the Missouri Western State University Athletics Hall of Fame and the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Warren Turner – Baseball Coach, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO
Warren Turner coached at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri from 1977-2007 and is the all-time wins leader in the history of MSSU baseball. With 852 career victories, he ranks 15th all-time in NCAA history. During his tenure, Turner took five teams to either the NAIA or NCAA national tournaments, never finishing lower than seventh. He was the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992; NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year in 1978, 1985, 1986 and 1987; and NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1978. Turner was elected to the NAIA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008. He also is a member of the MSSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Robert Penn - Football Coach, Brentwood High School
Bob Penn spent his entire teaching and coaching career at one school, Brentwood High School in St. Louis. He served as a teacher from 1967 through 1982 and then assumed the role as assistant principal for the last 12 years of his tenure. Penn made his mark on the gridiron as he served as Brentwood’s assistant football coach for six years before being named the school’s head coach in 1974, a position he held for the next 27 years. While Bob’s head coaching record stands at a lop-sided 168 – 81 – 2, his overall coaching record is equally impressive at 227 – 97 – 2. Penn was named the Sporting News Missouri Coach of the Year in 1987 and has served as president of both the St. Louis Metropolitan Coaches Association and the Missouri Football Coaches Association.
Hillcrest High School and American Legion Baseball Programs, Springfield, MO
When Hillcrest High School opened its doors in 1958, little did they know the impact its high school and American Legion baseball teams would have in baseball record books. Since the high school’s first season in the spring of ‘59 and the Legion’s in the summer of ’60, the teams have combined for a record of 2432 - 1365. Along the way, the programs netted 32 district titles and eight state championships. Over the past 55 years, the combined records of the programs have reflected only 13 losing seasons. In 1979, the teams posted an impressive record of 84 wins against only 16 loses, winning the State High School Championship and the American Legion State Championship. They finished ranked ninth in the country.
Parkway West High School Swimming Program, Ballwin, MO
Since opening its doors in 1968, the boys and girls swimming programs of Parkway West have earned an incredible 23 state championships, roughly two-thirds of the school’s state titles from all sports combined. With their first accolades coming in the 1974-75 school year, the Longhorn swimmers have also racked up 29 conference championships, 32 conference tournament titles and six district crowns. All totaled, Parkway West has averaged taking home 2.6 championships per season since winning their first in 1975. To their credit, the Longhorns also have five state runner-up titles and six third place state finishes. A balanced school effort, the boy’s teams have garnered 54 championships, while the girls have accounted for 47.
Empire Bank, Springfield, MO – John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award
Empire Bank has been serving the Ozarks since 1956 and offers a host of community based banking and financial services in Springfield and the surrounding area. Empire’s long-term motto “Come Bank with a Friend” remains true today as it has for the last 50+ years. Empire Bank’s holding company, Central Bancompany, has been ranked in the top 25 four years in a row by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s Best Banks. Empire Bank is active in their support of the Missouri State Bears, Drury Panthers, and the Springfield Cardinals. They are also the hometown bank of the St. Louis Cardinals, the official bank of the K.C. Chiefs, the official bank of the PGA Web.com Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, and Corporate Sponsor of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Charles E. Brown, Lebanon, MO – President’s Award
The second annual President’s Award will be presented to Lebanon businessman, Charlie Brown. A graduate of Lebanon High School and The University of Missouri, Charlie has long been active in sports in the state of Missouri. He served as the District Chairman for Mizzou's Tiger Scholarship Fund for 10 years and served as its National Chairman in 1986. Charlie also served a ten year term on the University of Missouri Alumni Athletic Committee. His leadership was key in bringing the Babe Ruth Baseball World Series to Lebanon. Brown began his employment with the Charles E. Brown Beverage Co. in 1962 and is currently the President and CEO of Missouri Eagle, LLC. He is a member of the Southwest Missouri Officials Hall of Fame and has been an active supporter of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for nearly 20 years, serving on both the Governing and Advisory Boards. Missouri Eagle serves as the title sponsor to the Hall of Fame’s Lake of the Ozarks Celebrity Golf Classic, and Charlie recently served as the chairman of the Mike Shannon Legend fundraising campaign and was on the leadership committee for the Norm Stewart statue campaign.
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