2015 Enshrinement Class Announced

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the individuals, teams and programs from across the state that will be honored with induction at the 2015 Enshrinement Ceremony on January 25th, 2015 at University Plaza and Convention Center in Springfield.
The ceremonies are being presented by Killian Construction, who enters their 20th year as the presenting sponsor. Associate sponsors include Advertising Plus, Hillyard, Inc., Hiland Dairy and White River Valley Electric COOP.
The 2015 class consists of 14 individuals, one team and one program. The Hall of Fame will also name Ned Reynolds the 28th Missouri Sports Legend.
During the ceremony, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will also honor Chris Hamon with the President’s Award and Advertising Plus with the Founder’s Award.
Enshrinement Ceremonies will begin at 11:00 a.m. on January 25th with a reception at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and will be followed with a reception at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center at 4:00 p.m. with the banquet immediately following.
Tickets for the Enshrinement are $150 each and reserved tables of 10 are $1,500. Tickets are on sale now and are limited, so reserve your seat today. All proceeds benefit the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. For additional information, please call Coleman Swierc at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100 or by logging on at

The following individuals, teams and programs will be honored:

Ned Reynolds – 28th Missouri Sports Legend

Ned Reynolds joined the staff of KY3 as sports director in Springfield in 1967, remaining at his post until December 1st, 2014. His 47 year run at the station is the longest consecutive tenure at the same station in Missouri broadcasting history. Along the way, Reynolds has become the most recognizable face of sports television in the Ozarks and (arguably) in the entire state of Missouri.
In 2001, he began hosting the sports radio talk show, The Sports Reporters, a job he continues to this day. He is also the television voice of the Springfield Cardinals baseball team. He is a member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS) Mid-America in 2014.

Chris CarpenterBaseball, St. Louis Cardinals

One of the great Cardinals pitchers in franchise history, Chris Carpenter was with the Cardinals from 2004 until his retirement following the 2012 season. He is a three time All-Star selection as well as two-time World Series champion, the NL Cy Young Award Winner (2006), NL Comeback Player of the Year (2009) and NL ERA Champion (2009). He is the winningest post-season pitcher in Cardinals history and amassed a 95-44 regular season record with a 3.07 ERA in St. Louis.

Billy Butler – Baseball, Kansas City Royals

Drafted by the Royals in 2004, Billy Butler made his debut for KC in 2007 and would become the face of the Royals for the next eight seasons. Butler, nicknamed “Country Breakfast,” was not only a fan favorite but was also one of the most consistent Royals during his tenure. In those eight seasons with the Royals, Butler had a .295 average with 127 home runs and 628 RBI. He was an All-Star selection in 2012 and won the Silver Slugger Award that same season as well as the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. In Butler’s final season with the Royals, 2014, he helped the team to the AL Wild Card Championship, Division Championship and ALCS title before falling in seven games in the World Series. In his first postseason, he hit .262 (11 for 42) with eight RBIs, three doubles and a stolen base in 13 games as Kansas City won its first American League pennant since 1985.

Nick Lowery Football, Kansas City Chiefs

The successor to legendary Chiefs kicker Jan Stenerud, Lowery lived up to the pressure, earning three Pro Bowl berths and scoring 100 or more points 11 times in his 14 years in Kansas City. He made 80 percent of his field goal attempts, including 20 kicks of 50 or more yards, to become Kansas City’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,466 points. Lowery kicked 329 field goals, which, at the time of his retirement, was the most in Chiefs history, none more important than the 32 yarder that ended Kansas City’s 27-24 overtime win over the Steelers in the 1993 playoffs. In fact, he had 15 game-winning field goals in his career. At the time of his retirement, Lowery was the most accurate kicker in NFL history and was named to the NFL Pro-Bowl seven times. In 1992, he received the “Justice Byron ‘Whizzer’ White Humanitarian Award,” given to one player each year for his charitable work. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Honor in 2009

Mike AldenAthletic Director, University of Missouri

The Director of Athletics at Mizzou since 1998, Alden has led the school through the most successful advancements across the athletic department in history. He led the transition of the school into the SEC in 2012 and has grown the department’s operating budget from $13.7 million at the time of his arrival, to a record $85 million and has added state-of-the art facilities and amenities at nearly every venue in the Sports Park at Mizzou. Overall, Alden has helped lead a record $233.2 million in facility developments and improvements for MU athletics since his arrival. He is the 2nd longest tenured AD in Mizzou history and has seen at least one conference championship in football, men’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, baseball and wrestling, including three league titles last season alone.

Andy Russell – Football, Pittsburgh Steelers

A native of St. Louis and a graduate of Mizzou, Russell was selected by the Steelers in the 16th round of the 1963 NFL Draft. He played his entire 12 year career with Pittsburgh and was a seven time Pro-Bowl selection. He was captain of the Steelers for 10 seasons, a team record. He helped anchor the defense to two Super Bowl championships and was named the Steelers MVP in 1971. A member of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense, he set a then NFL playoff record for a returned touchdown—93 yards in a Three Rivers Stadium victory over the Baltimore Colts. He was named to the Steelers 75th anniversary All-Time Team in 2007. Russell also earned his MBA at the University of Missouri after returning from Germany where he was an Army Lieutenant in 1964 & 1965 and won the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) in Army Division level football. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, the University of Missouri Hall of Fame and never missed a game during his 186 game career that spanned high school, college, military and NFL. Andy is currently a managing partner of Laurel Mountain Partners and an investor in Liberty Waste Tire, companies located in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the founder and former chairman of Russell, Rea and Zappala, an investment banking firm.

Winston GarlandBasketball, Southwest Missouri State University

Winston Garland was the centerpiece of the first two SMS Division I postseason basketball teams as he led the Bears to the quarterfinals of the 1986 National Invitation Tournament and the second round of the 1987 NCAA tourney. Garland had a season school record 720 points in 1987, a mark which still stands. His 1,248 points remain the best total for any two-year player in SMS history. Garland gained all-America honorable mention at SMS and went on to play six seasons in the National Basketball Association as a starter for the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets.

The Farmer FamilyMultiple Athletic Accomplishments, Jefferson City

Natives of Jefferson City and one of the great families to represent the state, the Farmer family became one of the most successful to ever walk across the sports page. It began with Elliott Farmer, a standout athlete himself. Mike Famer, son of Elliott, was a quarterback/punter for Mizzou football coach Dan Devine in 1970 and 1971. Mike’s son, Kirk, was a QB at Mizzou from 1999 to 2002 and led the team in passing in 2001. Leslie Farmer, daughter of Elliott “Bud” Farmer, was a seven-time All-Big 12 selection for Mizzou’s track and field program and holds records in the 400 and 4×400 relay. Bud’s son, Elliott, was a standout golfer. Bud and Mike’s sister Margie, an accomplished golfer, married Missouri Sports Hall of Famer Keith Weber — and their daughters, Leslie and Tricia, both lettered in tennis at Duke University.

Bob RothSports Contributions, St. Joseph

The great grandson of the late Newton Hillyard, Roth is the Chairman of the Board at Hillyard, Inc. the leader of basketball flooring in the country. Their products are now used in arenas from the NBA, colleges and all the way down to middle school courts across the country. Bob was the first President of the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986 and the initial President of the John Q. Hammons Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He received the Carrie Franke Award from the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association in 1997. Bob remains an active business member of the National Basketball Coaches Association and received the Guardian of the Game Cliff Wells Appreciation Award from the NABC. Bob was born in St. Joseph, MO, graduated from the St. Joseph Public Schools and Missouri Western State University, with a BS in Business Administration in 1973. He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969. Bob is a member of the Missouri Western Gold Club and was inducted into the Missouri Western Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, representing the Hillyard Companies.

Kathy AndersonBasketball/Administrator, University of Central Missouri

A graduate of the University of Central Missouri, Kathy was an All-American basketball player for UCM and has had her #32 jersey retired by the Jennies program. She is a member of the UCM Hall of Fame and now serves as the UCM Senior Associate Athletic Director. While wearing the Cardinal & Black, she lettered four years in basketball, three years in softball, and one year in track & field. In 1979-80 she was named second-team Academic All-American, and in 1980, she was honored as UCM Outstanding Senior Female Student-Athlete and Outstanding Senior in Physical Education. In 1977, Anderson served as captain of the USA Women’s Junior Basketball team on their trip to Taiwan. In 1978 and 1979, she was a member of the USA Women’s Senior Basketball teams that traveled to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Russia. In 1979, Anderson also was selected as an alternate to Team USA for the Pan-American Games. During the summer of 2010, Anderson was inducted into the inaugural MIAA Hall of Fame class for her outstanding accomplishments at UCM.

Keith GuttinBaseball Coach, Missouri State University

One of the most successful baseball coaches in Missouri Valley Conference history, Keith Guttin began his MSU head coaching career in 1983, and has spent the past 32 seasons building the Bears into one of the top programs in the country. Under Guttin, the Bears have won 61 percent of their games, averaging over 34 victories a year and racking up eight 40-win seasons. During Guttin’s tenure, 109 Bears have signed professional contracts, including four first-round draft picks and 14 players who have advanced to the Major Leagues. Additionally, MSU has won 11 regular-season or conference tournament championships and made eight Division I NCAA Tournament appearances, including seven in the last 19 years. In 2003, Guttin led the Bears to the NCAA Division I College World Series for the first time in school history and has been conference coach of the year 10 times. He was selected the American Baseball Coaches Association Division I Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1997 and again in 2003.

Larry AndersonCoach/Athletic Director, Central Methodist University

A student, faculty member, coach and now administrator at Central Methodist University, Anderson graduated from CMU in 1967. After coaching stints in Marshfield and Springfield, he returned to CMU in 1982. He became head football coach a year later and remained in that capacity for 12 seasons, and a couple of years later did double duty after being promoted to Athletic Director. After stepping down from football. he remained A.D. for a total of 12 years. Actually, Anderson did quadruple duty. He taught every year until 2005 and also coached the Central tennis teams when CMU still had an intercollegiate tennis program. CMU has also established the Larry Anderson Awards, which are given to one male and female student-athlete who has excelled in competition in multiple sports within the academic year.

Ann Cook – Soccer Player/Coach, Springfield Glendale

A graduate of Glendale high school in Springfield, Cook played collegiately at William & Mary where she was a three time All-American and twice was a semi-finalist for the Hermann Trophy, given to the national player of the year. She was named the 1997 Conference Player of the Year and helped the Tribe to top-10 national rankings every year of her college career. She was drafted with the 25th pick during the inaugural WUSA season in 2001 and played professionally for the Bay Area CyberRays and Washington Freedom. He was a member of the 1998 national team and was one of the final cuts of the 1999 World Cup team. She was the assistant coach at Missouri State in 2004, an assistant at Nebraska in 2005 & 2006 and has been the associate head coach at Penn State since 2007.

Ric Lessmann- Baseball Coach

Known as one of the state’s most renowned baseball instructors, Lessmann was a head baseball coach for 40+ years, including 17 at Washington University in St. Louis and 27 seasons at Meramec Community College. Lessmann, who signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees in 1955, managed to recruit talent that led his teams to construct a career record of 1,365-556 (.711).He was 963-318 (.752) at Meramec from 1967 to 1993, and 396-231 at Washington University from 1994 to 2010. He guided Meramec to the National Junior College World Series nine times, winning the championship in 1974, and is one of the winningest junior college coaches of all time.

Fred MerrellHigh School Football Coach

For more than 40 years, Merrell patrolled the sidelines as a high school football coach. In his stops at Monroe City, West Plains, Blue Springs and St. Mary’s (Independence), he collected 216 wins, winning 55% of the games he coached. Three times in his career he was named the SCA Coach of the Year (all at West Plains). He is a 1993 inductee into the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Award for the 1990-91 year. He has also served as an athletic director for 21 years, head track coach for 19 years, head golf coach for 16 years, head girls basketball coach for one year, assistant boys basketball coach for 10 years and assistant track coach for three years.

Virgil Ward – (POSTHUMOUSLY), Fishing

Ward, of Amsterdam, Missouri, became famous among fishing enthusiasts through his syndicated television show, radio show and a newspaper column. He filmed fishing trips throughout the United States and in other countries, often joined by celebrity guests. He started the Bass Buster Lure Company in 1955, gaining a patent for a weedless jig that is still copied today. The company still has its headquarters in Amsterdam. He hosted his first TV show during the 1963-64 season in conjunction with the Missouri Conservation Commission. He also taught fishing classes at Southwest Missouri State University. Ward won national and world fishing championships and received the Dolphin Award, the highest award in sports fishing. He is in the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Fishing Hall of Fame. “The Virgil Ward Championship Fishing Show” began on TV in 1964 and was syndicated throughout the country. He stopped doing the show in 1994. Guests on the show ran the gamut of American culture. Pro fisherman Roland Martin, baseball players Stan Musial and Pete Rose, actors like Glenn Ford and a host of non-celebrity fishermen and guides were among those who appeared on his show.

Webb City Football Program

The dominant power in Missouri High School Football, the Cardinals have won 13 state championships, all since 1989, including their 5th straight title in 2014. The Cardinals have not lost a regular season game to a team from Missouri since 2003 and have 11 undefeated seasons since 1989. Since winning its first state championship in 1989, Webb City has been a model of consistency over the past quarter century. Since head coach Jerry Kill took over the program prior to the 1988 season, the Cardinals have posted a gaudy 320-32 record, and an incredible .91 winning percentage.

1969 Missouri Tigers Football Team

Considered one of, if not, the greatest teams that that Mizzou has ever produced. The ’69 Tigers finished the regular season 9-1, the only setback coming in 31-24 loss at Colorado. The team recorded wins over three top-20 teams that year and beat rival Kansas 69-21 in the annual ‘Border War.’ In that game, Terry McMillian broke the Big Eight single-season touchdown pass record of 16 and the single-game school record (5) of Paul Christman. The team finished 6-1 in the Big 8, earning a co-conference championship with Nebraska, although the Tigers had beaten Nebraska 17-7. The team would lose their final game of the year, 10-3 in the Orange Bowl, to 2nd ranked Penn State. The team finished the year ranked #6 in both the AP and coaches polls.

Chris Hamon – President’s Award

The CEO of White River Valley Electric Co-Op, Hamon has been a dedicated supporter of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for many years. He is a long time member of the MSHOF board, where he currently serves as secretary and White River Valley Electric remains one of the long-time corporate sponsors of the MSHOF. In 2010, White River Valley Electric Co-Op was the recipient of the Hall of Fame Founder’s Award, recognition for their long time and continued support. Hamon is also a major supporter of the Price Cutter Charity Championship and is very active in supporting local college and high school athletic programs. Considered a true friend of the Hall of Fame, Hamon has always been one of the first to step up and lend support of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame programs.

Advertising Plus – Founder’s Award

A long time corporate sponsor of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Advertising Plus has pledged it’s support to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for 15 years. Founded by Michele Kiser in 1989, Advertising Plus is also a major contributor to the Price Cutter Charity Championship, where Kiser serves on the executive board as well as being the title sponsor of the Women’s Golf Clinic and participating in a number of PCCC events. Ad Plus is also active in area charity events and local high school athletics.


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