Missouri State to Retire Jersey for Cheryl Burnett

Missouri State will raise a fourth women’s basketball jersey to the JQH Arena rafters Feb. 3 when it honors long-time coach Cheryl Burnett at the Lady Bears’ game against Illinois State at 2:05 p.m.

Burnett’s jersey will join those of Jackie Stiles, Melody Howard and Jeanette Tendai during a busy weekend at MSU that will include the school’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies as well.

“I was extremely surprised, but very humbled,” Burnett said of the honor. “This opportunity really brings into perspective in my heart all the loving experiences at Missouri State. To be honored with a ceremonial jersey in the rafters with all those great memories is very emotional for me.”

Missouri State’s all-time winningest women’s basketball coach, Burnett accumulated a 319-136 (.711) record in 15 years at the helm. Burnett led the Lady Bears to NCAA Final Four appearances in 1992 and 2001, going to the NCAA Tournament 10 times while winning a total of nine regular-season conference championships and six conference tournament titles.

The Lady Bears were among the top 10 in Division I attendance Burnett’s last 11 seasons, including leading the nation in attendance in 1993. MSU posted winning seasons Burnett’s last 13 years in a row, including nine campaigns of 20 or more wins, and reached postseason play 11 of those 13 seasons.

Burnett was recognized as the MVC’s all-time greatest coach during the league’s centennial celebration in 2006-07, and mentored eight All-Americans, six Academic All-Americans, five league MVPs and 26 first-team all-MVC selections.

“In so many ways, Coach Burnett is Lady Bears basketball,” Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats said. “By building the program up, both on the court and off the court, she has left a lasting legacy for future generations of MSU fans to enjoy. This is a fitting tribute to a remarkable person and a legendary coach.”

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