Hall of Fame announces Class of 2023 for Enshrinement Feb. 5

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday announced its Enshrinement presented by Wilson Logitistics, setting the ceremony for 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 5 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

CEO & Executive Director Byron Shive unveiled the Class of 2023 and noted that KOLR 10/Fox 49/KOZL/ will be bestowed the John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award. The Hall of Fame also will honor Great Southern Bank’s Bill and Joe Turner with President’s Awards. Additionally, longtime Missouri State University Foundation leader Brent Dunn will be honored with the ACE Award.

Associate sponsors are Advertising Plus, Bryan Properties, Hiland Dairy Foods, Great Southern Bank and Hillyard, Inc. A sponsorship table of 10 is $1,500 and includes an autographed print of an artist rendering, as well as recognition at the table and in the printed program. An individual ticket is $150. Numerous sponsorships are available, including congratulatory ads and sponsorships for a 20-month calendar and Trading Card set. For tickets, call 417-889-3100.

“The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is very excited to welcome our Class of 2023,” said Shive. “We believe that this is a very deserving class of individuals, teams and eras representing a diverse number of sports, locations, schools and time periods. It should be a very memorable induction day.”

The Hall of Fame previously announced that the class would be headlined by former St. Louis Cardinal David Freese, whose heroics catapulted the Cardinals to a Game 6 win in the 2011 World Series. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, Freese reluctantly had to back out of the Enshrinement on Wednesday morning.

“We are certainly disappointed not to have David be a part of this year’s Enshrinement, but we understand the circumstances,” said Shive, who had announced publicly that Freese would be inducted at Tuesday’s annual Basketball Luncheon. “We are still very excited about our class of inductees and look forward to honoring David at some point in the future.”

The Class of 2023 is as follows:

  • Bret Saberhagen – Kansas City Royals
  • Tyler Hansbrough – Poplar Bluff High School/University of North Carolina
  • Sean Weatherspoon — Mizzou Football
  • Mike McClure – Sports Broadcasting
  • Bob Kinloch – Central High School Wrestling Coach
  • Greg Garton – Basketball Player, Coach & Athletic Director
  • Tom Rackers – Jefferson City sportswriter
  • Doug Middleton – Fast-Pitch Softball
  • Emily Scott Githens– Olympic Speed Skater
  • Jan Stahle – Missouri State University Football/Springfield Soccer
  • Daryel Garrison – Missouri State University Basketball
  • Don Knapp – Rolla High School Track & Field and Cross Country Coach
  • University of Missouri Golden Girls Program
  • Coach Mike Machholz & Missouri Valley College Wrestling Era 1996-2005
  • Blue Springs High School Girls Swimming & Diving Eras 1985-1996, 2004-2009
  • Coach Peggy Martin & the University of Central Missouri Volleyball Program
  • KOLR/Fox 49/KOZL/ – John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award
  • Bill Turner & Joe Turner of Great Southern Bank – President’s Awards
  • Brent Dunn – ACE Award

Bret Saberhagen – Kansas City Royals

Mixing incredible skill and mound presence with precise command, Saberhagen became the Royals’ ultimate big-game pitcher during their first Golden Era. The four-time Royals Pitcher of the Year won two American League Cy Young Awards: the first in 1985 after finishing 20-6 (2.87 earned run average) and again in 1989, when he posted a club record in wins (23) and led the league with a 2.16 ERA. That same year, Saberhagen also won a Gold Glove. In 1985, his nearly perfect postseason performance helped the Royals capture their first World Championship. Named World Series MVP at age 20, Saberhagen went 2-0 (0.50 ERA) with two complete games, including an 11-0 Game Seven shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals. Saberhagen was a 19th-round draft pick in 1982 and reached the big leagues at age 19. He was a two-time All-Star, started an All-Star Game and pitched a no-hitter in 1991. Overall, he pitched 16 seasons in the big leagues, including 3 ½ seasons with the New York Mets, a half-season with the Colorado Rockies and finished his career in 2001, his fourth summer with the Boston Red Sox. He was 167-117 with a 3.34 ERA, and struck out 1,715 batters in his career.

Tyler Hansbrough – Poplar Bluff High School/University of North Carolina/NBA

One of the top college basketball players of this century, Poplar Bluff’s Tyler Hansbrough was a three-time First Team All-American for the North Carolina Tar Heels. The consensus National Player of the Year in 2008, Hansbrough helped lead the Tar Heels to the 2009 NCAA Championship. The Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, Hansbrough was both a McDonald’s and Parade All-American. He finished his collegiate career as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time leading scorer with 2,872 points. North Carolina retired his uniform number 50 in 2010. He also spent seven seasons in the NBA after being selected in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in 2009 and finished with 2,881 career points and 1,808 rebounds. Hansbrough led Poplar Bluff High School to consecutive state championships, scoring more than 2,500 career points.

Sean Weatherspoon – University of Missouri Football

One of the top linebackers in Mizzou history, Weatherspoon was a big factor in the resurgence of the program into the national landscape. He was a two-time Second Team All-American (2008, 2009) and was also a three-time first-Team All-Big 12 selection (2007-09). He earned Second Team All-American, first-Team All-Big 12 and was a Butkus Award finalist for his senior season in 2009. That year, he had a team-best 111 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a team captain. He finished his career with 413 tackles, which still ranks third on the Mizzou career chart, just two out of second and just 21 behind career leader James Kinney (434). His career tackles for loss total of 43.5 ranks as second-best on the MU charts (top among all linebackers) and is second only to former great Justin Smith (MSHOF 2020). After being invited to the 2010 NFL Combine, he was a first-round NFL Draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons, with the No. 19 overall selection, becoming the first Tiger linebacker to be a first-round pick. He was also the first Tiger linebacker drafted in any round since Bobby Bell in 1984 (fourth round). Weatherspoon played seven years in the NFL, six with the Falcons, including on its 2016 Super Bowl team.

Emily Scott Githens – Speed Skating

Hillcrest High School graduate Emily Scott Githens became one of the top speed skaters in the world after first making a name for herself as an in-line skater, winning five World Championships before transitioning to the ice. Scott Githens captured a silver medal in the 3,000-meter relay at the 2012 World Championships in Shanghai, helping the United States to a second place finish overall. Scott Githens also earned a bronze medal at the 2011 World Team Championships in Warsaw, before reaching the pinnacle of her sport as a member of Team USA at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Scott Githens placed second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in both 500-meter short track races, while also finishing second in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter events. At Sochi, Scott Githens reached the finals of the 1,500-meter race, where she was clipped by a fellow skater, fell down, and managed to finish fifth.

Don Knapp – Rolla High School Track & Field and Cross Country Coach

One of the longest tenured prep coaches in any sport in Missouri history, Knapp spent 37 years as the head coach of the Rolla High School cross country/track & field programs before his retirement in 2018. In 37 seasons, Knapp coached 180 all-state athletes and 12 individual state champions. Knapp’s Rolla teams won 40 conference championships, 10 district championships and earned 27 Missouri district plaques (for first or second place). Overall, his Rolla squads won a total of 300 regular-season team meets. Knapp coached one Olympian (Chantae McMillan), and two high school All-Americans (McMillan, Val Sauer). A pole vault coaching specialist, Knapp put on summer pole vaulting clinics for years around the state and saw 21 of his vaulters earn all-state honors.

Jan Stahle – Missouri State University Football/Springfield Soccer

Born in Sweden, Stahle has been a fixture in Springfield since 1974, when he arrived at Greenwood High School as a foreign exchange student. Stahle was a placekicker at Missouri State University for football coach Rich Johanninghmeier (MSHOF 2015). In three seasons, he led the squad in scoring as a sophomore and junior, and finished just behind running back John Gianini in total points as a senior on the Bears’ final MIAA championship club in 1978, when MSU was 8-3 – including 6-0 in the conference. Stahle finished with 170 points, now seventh on the MSU all-time kick scoring list. He ranks seventh with 89 PAT conversions and eighth with 27 field goals. Stahle was the placekicker on the All-MIAA first team as a senior in 1978, signed as a free agent with the NFL’s Houston Oilers and later that year had a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints. In 1979, he had a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs. In coaching soccer, he took over the Bears’ soccer program in 1987 and, in three seasons, guided the team to a 32-30-2 record, including a first-ever winning season, 14-8, in 1989. He then started the Greenwood Laboratory School’s soccer program in 1992 and left in 2002 with a record of 187-78-5 and five Final Four appearances in Class 1-3. Stahle, who has coached Greenwood the past two seasons, also has been a big part of the Springfield soccer scene, rising to President of the Lake County Soccer Club’s Board of Directors. He has refereed MSHSAA soccer games for almost 20 years and has worked for Harry Cooper Supply for over 46 years.

Greg Garton – Republic High School/Missouri Southern State University

Overall, Garton spent 40 years at Republic High School, either as a student, coach or administrator. As an athlete, he was First Team All-State in 1982 after averaging 24 points and 9 rebounds per game. Garton played in four state tournaments and led the Tigers to a runner-up finish in 1980. He received the most votes for the 1982 All-Ozarks Team and was named to the Springfield News-Leader All-80’s team. At Missouri Southern, Garton was a two-time All-American (1985, 1986) and finished his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,140 points). Thirty-six years later, he stills holds that record. He averaged more than 18 points a game over his four seasons. He is also fifth all-time with 585 rebounds. Garton was head coach for the Republic boys basketball team from 1991 to 1995 and was the athletic director for 21 years, retiring in 2018. While coaching five seasons at Republic, he led the Tigers to two conference championships and two district championships. During his tenure as athletic director, Republic won two boys state basketball championships and two girls state basketball championships. Ten Republic teams reached the Final Four, including softball, volleyball, boys golf and boys soccer making their first appearances in school history. Garton helped oversee the construction of Republic’s new high school, and one of his final acts was being a part of the design and construction team for the new football stadium.

Missouri Valley College Men’s Wrestling 1996-2005 & Coach Mike Machholz

  • Coach Mike Machholz: He spent more than 30 years as the men’s wrestling head coach at Missouri Valley College, leading the Vikings to three national championships, four national runner-up finishes, and 11 regional championships. Under his tutelage, Missouri Valley produced 17 individual national champions, 168 All-Americans and 37 national finalists. Machholz is a three-time NAIA national coach of the year and a nine-time regional coach of the year honoree. He concluded his coaching career in 2022 with a dual meet record of 222-115-3. He now serves as Missouri Valley’s Athletic Director. In addition to his work with Missouri Valley, Machholz was President of the NAIA National Wrestling Coaches Association (1997-1999, 2007-2009), selected as a Coach of the NWCA All-Star Classic in 1997 and directed the USA Exchange trips to Sydney, Australia in 1997 and again to Beijing, China in 2002 as precursors to the Olympic Games. In 1999, Machholz pioneered the way for Missouri Valley College to become the first U.S. college to offer a women’s varsity wrestling scholarship program. In just its second season, the women became the first collegiate program to win the USA National Championship at the U.S. Open. Machholz produced 39 All-Americans in coaching the women’s team. In October 2022, he was inducted into the Missouri chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.
  • Missouri Valley College Men’s Wrestling Era 1996-2005: With fellow inductee Mike Machholz leading the way, Missouri Valley Men’s Wrestling captured three NAIA national championships (1996, 1997, 2003) while also achieving runner-up status four times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2005). From 1996 to 2005, the Vikings produced 91 All-Americans and 13 individual national titles. Since 1992, the Vikings have finished in the NAIA Top 10 an incredible 23 times, including 22 consecutive seasons from 1995 to 2016. Over the past 30 years, the Vikings have produced 168 All-Americans, and 17 individual national champions. Success hasn’t just been limited to the mat, as 35 Vikings have earned status as NAIA Scholar-Athletes with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher as a junior or senior.

Mike McClure – Sports Broadcaster

A graduate of Monett High School and the University of Arkansas, McClure has broadcast more than 4,200 games since 1985. He enjoyed an 18-year career with Monett Communications, Inc. He added additional broadcasting duties in 1996, working for Mediacom in Springfield, usually alongside broadcaster Don West (MSHOF 2020). In 2009, he became President of McClure Broadcasting, LLC, starting his own internet broadcasting company. He added to his broadcasting resume in 2013 when he was named as the radio play-by-play announcer of the Missouri Southern State University Lions football and basketball teams, a position he proudly holds to this day. In 2015, he began broadcasting Missouri Valley Conference sporting events on ESPN3 and ESPN+ covering Missouri State men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and baseball. He was recognized statewide for his basketball play-by-play and became just the sixth broadcaster to be inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017. McClure was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Monett High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021.

Blue Springs High School Swimming & Diving 1985-1996 Era & 2004-2009 Era

One of the most successful swimming and diving programs can be found at Blue Springs High School, which has had two notable eras: 1985 to 1996, and 2004-2009. Combined, they have had 16 top four finishes, including seven state championships. The state titles cover 1988, 1989, 1990, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Blue Springs finished as the state runner-up five times (1985, 1986, 1987, 1996, 2007) and placed third three times (1992, 1993, 2004) and fourth once (1991). The 1985-1996 era was coached by Bill Shalley and saw seven individuals combine for 17 state titles and five relays win state, as well. The individual state champions were Jeniel Purvis, Carrie Lalli, Cindy Taylor, Amy Jo Roberts, Wendy DeTray, Wendy Lawson and diver Kristi Stone. DeTray was responsible for seven titles alone covering the 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke and the 200 medley. The 2004 to 2009 era was coached by Robert Sturman, and featured four individuals who captured a combined 16 state titles and nine relay state titles. The individuals were Tarin Corwin, Molly Brammer, Eleanor Prewitt-Thomas and Abby Nelson. Brammer won four state titles in the 200 yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.

Bob Kinloch – Wrestling Coach

Kinloch was a teacher and coach at his alma mater, Central High School, from the fall of 1962 until retiring from coaching in 2018. He made his mark mostly on wrestling by starting the Central program and helping other city schools launch their wrestling programs. His love for the sport was even rewarded when Springfield Public Schools named its annual holiday wrestling tournament the Kinloch Classic. A number of Central wrestlers went on to qualify for state over the years, and in 2020 he was recognized with the Lifetime Service Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Additionally, he coached football, track and baseball early on, dropping football in 1978. He also coached golf for 40 years. Kinloch played football at Missouri State University and Friends University in the early 1950s. He later played baseball and wrestled in the U.S. Army Special Services, and also played one year in the Baltimore Orioles farm system. He later played AAA fastpitch softball, helping teams to world tournaments in 1955 and 1956.

Coach Peggy Martin & the University of Central Missouri Volleyball Program

  • Peggy Martin: Martin became the winningest volleyball coach in NCAA Division II history with a record of 1,064-281-8 (.789) in 33 winning seasons leading the Jennies program. That has led to her becoming the winningest collegiate volleyball coach across all divisions, with 1,350 victories, as she has coached at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., since 2009. At UCM, Martin was a 22-time Coach of the Year, including the 1987 Division II National Coach of the Year when she led the Jennies to a 42-4 record and a national runner-up finish. She led the Jennies to the NCAA Tournament in each of her final 26 seasons and to the postseason in all but one season as the head coach. Martin coached 148 All-MIAA players and 41 All-Americans during her tenure. In addition to her illustrious career as the Jennies volleyball coach, she also led the Jennies softball program to a 174-156 record and two MIAA titles in 11 years. She was twice the MIAA Softball Coach of the Year. She also was an assistant coach for Jennies basketball for the 1976-1977 season and was assistant athletics director from 1986 to 1988.
  • Central Missouri Volleyball Program: UCM Volleyball has been one of the premier programs in NCAA Division II. Since the program began in the fall of 1970, the Jennies are 1,530-428-9. Much of the success was a combination of coaching continuity, recruiting and teamwork. The Jennies were led for 33 seasons by Peggy Martin and then Flip Piontek, who coached 13 seasons before retiring after the 2021 season. Piontek also was an assistant for 23 years prior. The program has enjoyed winning seasons in 51 of its 52 years since its inception in 1970 and has made 36 trips to the NCAA Tournament. In the past 43 seasons, the Jennies have produced 73 All-Americans and 236 All-MIAA selections. The 1987 team was an NCAA
    D-II national runner-up. UCM finished in the Top 20 some 32 times, including 16 times in the Top 10.

Doug Middleton – Fast-Pitch Softball

A graduate of Kickapoo High School, Middleton starred at outside linebacker for the University of Central Missouri – he never missed a start in four years, earning four letters – but made his mark in fast-pitch softball. Middleton was a member of the USA National Team in 1992, 1996 and 1998. He was the recipient of the Herb Dudley Award for the sport’s outstanding pitcher at the 1998 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. His best pitch was the dropball, which is similar to a curveball in baseball. His dropball reached speeds in the mid-80s. He also had two other pitches, a riseball and changeup. Many in Springfield were not surprised that Middleton had success, as he played summer fastball as a teenager, playing for Empire Bank and later, for the Schlitz Bulls. The Bulls went on to win the ASA Nationals in their age group four times.

Tom Rackers – Jefferson City sportswriter

A 1980 graduate of Jefferson City’s Helias Catholic High School, Rackers has been a sportswriter at the Jefferson City News Tribune since 1985. In fact, the University of Missouri graduate was promoted to sports editor in 1988 and remains in that role today. He is the longest-serving sports editor in the history of the newspaper. Rackers is past president of the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and is a four-time winner of best columnist in the Missouri Press Foundation Awards. Additionally, he has won multiple awards from the Missouri Press Foundation, the Heart of America Awards by the Kansas City Press Club and Associated Press. He also has been the driving force behind multiple honors for the News Tribune sports section from the Missouri Press Foundation. Overall, Rackers has covered it all in Jefferson City, from traditional sports to state championships and college events, as well as finding neat stories that have been hidden gems in the mid-Missouri sports community.

Mizzou Golden Girls Program

The Mizzou Golden Girls, the official dance team at the University of Missouri, began in 1965 as a troupe of seven sequined baton twirlers. It has since grown into a nationally recognized and frequently televised dance team of 30-plus. The Golden Girls won two national championships in 1990 and 1991 and, over the years, their coaches have been Patty Kespohl, Shannon Fry and Cayla Timberlake. Through history, the team has had between 14 to 38 team members, and have competed in the National Cheerleading Association, USA Collegiate Championship and National Dance Alliance. In the 1970s, they bussed to St. Louis for the St. Louis Football Cardinals games and dressed in red-and-white uniforms. Many girls have extended their careers by dancing for teams in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, as well as on Broadway and in the movie and television business. Overall, the Golden Girls’ most coveted role is being ambassadors for the University of Missouri and the state itself. Each year, its participation in the community is a highlight for each squad member.

Daryel Garrison – Missouri State University Basketball

The all-time leading scorer in the history of the tradition-rich Missouri State men’s basketball program, Garrison played for the Bears from 1971 to 1975. One of just four players in Missouri State history to have his jersey retired, Garrison was a four-year starter for the Bears, earning first-team All-MIAA honors three times.  Garrison helped lead the Bears to a pair of MIAA championships (1973, 1974), with both teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The 1974 squad reached the national finals, where they lost to Morgan State in Evansville, Ind. Some 47 years after his MSU career came to a close, Garrison still holds program records for most 20-point games (46) and field goal attempts (1,755). He still ranks eighth all-time in MIAA career scoring. For his career, Garrison averaged 18.5 points per game.

KOLR 10/Fox 49/KOZL/ – John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award

Springfield television station KOLR 10/Fox 49/KOZL/ will be honored with the John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award. The award is presented to organizations that champion the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and sports in general in the Show-Me State. The station has long been a corporate sponsor of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, by supporting induction ceremonies and fielding teams in Celebrity Golf Classics and other events. It has gone above and beyond the call of duty in promoting the Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, as the PCCC supports more than 50 Ozarks children’s charities annually. In its history, the PCCC has gifted more than $19.4 million since 1990. The station not only sponsors teams in golf pro-ams but also provides tremendous coverage of almost all 30 fundraising events tied to the tournament. That has enhanced fundraising and, thus, helped charities meet their missions. The station was led for several years by Leo Henning (MSHOF President’s Award 2021), and now is led by Mike Spruill.

Bill Turner & Joe Turner – President’s Awards

Great Southern Bank has long been led by Bill Turner and Joe Turner, a father-son combination whose support of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is leading to the President’s Award. The honor is bestowed on individuals who champion the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and sports in general in the Show-Me State. Bill was a successful businessman for years before joining Great Southern Bank as its President in 1974. He saw to it that the bank join the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame from the museum’s inception in 1994, and Great Southern Bank has been the Hall of Fame’s official bank ever since. Bill served on the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors for years, and eventually Joe served in that role, which is now occupied by longtime Great Southern Bank executive Kris Conley, the Board Chairman of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Great Southern Bank will mark its 28th year in 2023 as sponsor of the Hall of Fame’s Springfield Celebrity Golf Classic. Additionally, Great Southern Bank has sponsored the Hall of Fame’s November Enshrinements in Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis. The Hall of Fame also has turned to the bank to transport honorees in the bank’s corporate jet on many different occassions. Along the way, Great Southern Travel, led by Bill’s late wife, Ann, was a corporate sponsor of the Hall of Fame as well. In 2004, Great Southern Bank was honored with the Hall of Fame’s John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award.

Brent Dunn – ACE Award

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will bestow the ACE Award on Dunn, the Executive Director of the Missouri State University Foundation and Vice President of University Advancement. The ACE Award is bestowed on those who champion a sports-related charity in Missouri, with the Foundation a part of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, which is managed by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Dunn has seen to it that funds from the PCCC to the Foundation are used to provide tickets and other support to deserving children of the Ozarks to attend Missouri State University athletic events. He began with Missouri State in 1985 as the Director of Annual Giving, later became Athletics Development Director and Assistant Director of Athletics from 1995 to 2007, at which point he took on the executive director role. He recently concluded MSU’s Onward Upward campaign and the Our Promise campaign, which raised $274 million. Overall, his fundraising has helped touch every facet of Missouri State University.