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1988-2000 MBCA Hall of Fame Inductees

Apr 5, 2000 9:16:00 AM



Fred Pohlman Jr. , Penn Valley

Born in Natoma Kansas, graduated from Fort Hays State College in 1950. From there he moved on to the University of Missouri, where he received his master's degree in 1956, interrupted by four years in the United States Navy. Pohlman’s coaching career began in Vandalia, Missouri in September of 1956, where he coached baseball, basketball and track. From Vandalia, he moved to coaching at various high schools in Kansas City Missouri, and in 1967 he was hired to start the Penn Valley Community College basketball program. Thirty-two years later, Pohlman has established an impressive record with over 600 wins and no sign of stopping. When asked about retirement by a Kansas City reporter, Pohlman responded, “Why would I retire? I have the greatest job there is. I get to coach the game I love.” Coach Pohlman’s teams have won 6 Regional titles out of the last seven years, placing 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the nation. After two personal wins over cancer, a 67-year-old Pohlman took his underdog team to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II tournament and won the title in 1996. His team’s have been to the national tournament five out of the last seven years. Although  no longer coaching, his current wins total over 600.  Fred was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.


John Earl Chase, Branson

Sue Schuble, Kickapoo


Carroll Cookson, Advance

Carroll Cookson’s basketball career began when a young coach by the name of Arnold Ryan moved to the community of Puxico where Carroll was born and introduced the Cookson boys to the game. A love for this game was instilled in Carroll, and with his teammates, brought two state championships to Puxico in 1951 and 1952.

He has coached in Arkansas and Missouri and accumulated an impressive record of success, which includes state championships at Advance, Missouri in 1972 and 1975, a state runner-up in 1973, a state fourth-place finish in 1974, seven sectional championships and many district championships.

Throughout his years of coaching, he has received regional, district and conference Coach of the Year many times. His career record is 524-128.


Larry Jansen, Lee's Summit

Larry Jansen began his successful career in basketball by playing for National College in the early 1960’s. After graduation from Central Missouri State University, he began his career in education as a teacher in Lee’s Summit, Missouri in 1969, serving as head coach of the girl’s basketball team from 1975-1996. His coaching record over 21 years was 446-123, including the following: 20 winning seasons in a row, two state championships, one undefeated season, 20 or more games won in a season 15 times, district champion 17 times, conference champions 12 times and seven final four appearances. His career record average was 22 wins per season.


Charlie Spoonhour

Wayne Winstead, Northwest Missouri


Jim Ball - A native of Camdenton, Jim Ball was a three-year basketball letterman at SMS from 1941 through 1943 and he was one of the numerous Bruin athletes whose playing career was interrupted by World War II.  The SMS center, Ball led the 1942 SMS team in scoring with 222 points as the Bears won seven of 10 MIAA starts to tie for second place in the league standings.  Official league competition was suspended the following year but a series of games was played and the Bruins again wound up in the runnerup spot behind the Indians from Cape Girardeau.  Ball was to go on to a long and successful career as a high school coach in southwest Missouri, including nearly three decades with the Springfield Central Bulldogs.  His teams recorded over 500 victories and he produced many players who went on to play for SMS and other college teams."

603-326 career record

Sedalia Smith-Cotton (1947-1950)
1950 A Quarterfinalist

Senior/Central High
1962(28-3) & 1963(25-5) Class L 4th Place
Seven State Tournament Appearances (1956 L First Round, 1961 L Quarterfinalist, 1962 L 4th, 1963 L 4th, 1980 4A First Round, 1981 4A First Round)

Jerry Buescher - A career coach, Buescher spent 40 years in several stops leading his teams to 802 victories.  Spending his last 8 seasons at Helias (Jefferson City), Buescher compiled a 159-55 record leading the Crusaders. 

Buescher led seven different schools starting in Owensville in 1968. Including one year as the boys and girls basketball coach at Republic, Buescher compiled a varsity record of 802-323.

Jack Roberts  - Rogers played high school basketball at Buffalo High and then continued his playing career at Drury University in Springfield.  During World War II, he served in the Army earning Good Conduct Badges, a Distinguished Unit Badge, five Battle Stars, and left as a private first class.

He received his first coaching job at Camdenton High finishing with an overall record of 135-95 in eight years at the school. His lasting legacy will be leading the way in changing the school mascot and team colors. He asked the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA for permission to use their name and colors.

In 21 years at Glendale, he never had a losing season with his teams captured five Ozark conference titles and seven regional/district championships. Rogerts built a 499-246 overall record in 29 seasons.

Bob Wilhoit - A Clopton graduate, Bob Wilhoit played college basketball at Union University, in Jackson, Tennessee.

His coaching career began in Elsberry in the mid-1950’s where he had a very successful tenure. He returned to Clopton for the 1960-61 season, in 11 years he built a 253-76 record, earning 7 conference titles, 4 regional titles, and earning third place in Class M in 1963.

Following a stint as Principal in Clopton, Wilhoit began coaching in Troy in the 1972-73 season. He guided the Trojans to a 206-99 record , leading them to 3 district championships and 4th place finishes at the MSHSAA basketball championships in 1976 and 77.

Wilhoit completed his career with a 491-198 record. 


Gil Hanlin

Lee McKinney

For more than 50 years, Lee McKinney helped shaped lives on and off the basketball court. McKinney, former basketball coach and athletics director at Fontbonne University, died in 2011 after a long battle with cancer. He was 76.

McKinney began his coaching career in 1959 at Qulin High, near Poplar Bluff, then moved to Dupo and Worden high schools in Illinois. He earned his first college coaching job at Missouri Baptist in 1978, where he went 188-126. McKinney became Fontbonne's first men's basketball coach and athletics director in 1988.

His Griffins compiled a record of 330-281, making McKinney the winningest coach in the history of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They won three regular-season league titles and five SLIAC tournaments and made four appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

At the same time, McKinney guided Fontbonne in the transition from the NAIA to NCAA and expanded the athletic department from three sports to 19.

During his first two bouts with cancer, McKinney became active in the NCAA's Coaches vs. Cancer initiative. A third round with the disease proved too much, though, and McKinney retired as coach and athletics director in February to spend time with family.

He was honored this weekend at the Final Four in Houston, receiving the National Association of Basketball Coaches Outstanding Service Award. His three children — Dennis, Dino and Dena — accepted the award on his behalf. McKinney also is survived by his wife, June, and five grandchildren.

Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson coached for 25 years at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, 19 years with the men’s team and six years with the women. Along the way, “Mad Dog,” as his former players affectionately know him, amassed a record of 509-240.  

His men's teams won or shared four Midwest Junior College Athletic Conference championships. He sent 125 players to Division I schools in the NCAA and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. 

Nelson's coaching background has an international flavor. He coached the British national team in 1966-67. In 1968, just before coming to Forest Park, he coached a team in a summer league in Puerto Rico.


George Wilson

Wilson coached the College of the Ozarks Lady Cats for 16 years, with a record of 447 wins and 89 losses. In his final year he reached 1,000 wins with both his high school and collegiate careers combined. The 2008 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee was also named the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year 10 times.

Wilson coached high school boys’ basketball for 31 years before coming to College of the Ozarks.  At the collegiate level, his teams won 13 MCAC regular-season titles and 15 conference tournaments titles, while being the NAIA DII Women's Basketball National Championship runner-up four times


Bill Barton--Coached the SFCC men’s basketball team from 1970-2005. Under his guidance the Roadrunners won more than 600 games. He led teams to Region 16 championships and two appearances at the NJCAA tournament in 1972 and 1976 and was honored as Region 16 Coach of the Year those two seasons.

In 1991 Barton was elected to the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame, and in April 2010 he is scheduled to be inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Former SFCC President Dr. Steve Poort, who nominated Barton, said the coach cared deeply about SFCC and the student athletes he coached.
“For 35 years Coach Barton set the standard for hard work and coaching excellence at SFCC,” said Poort. “He was not only a leader but also a friend and confidant, and he taught his team members that it takes both athletic ability and heart to become great players.”

Ronnie Cookson--registered an overall record of 660-137 during his illustrious coaching career at Scott County Central. He led his teams to 13 Final Four appearances, 14 Missouri State titles, 19 District Championships and 20 Conference Tournament Championships. Cookson was named the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year nine times. He was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. 

Walt Shublom- An avid athlete, he played minor league baseball and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates Farm Organization prior to joining the Navy in 1942. After his discharge from Naval service in the Philippines during World War II, he completed his Bachelor Degree at South East Missouri State Teachers College. In 1946 he married Lillian Pulliam of Bloomfield MO and started his teaching career at Bloomfield High School. In 1952 after earning his Masters Degree from the University of Kansas, he joined the faculty of Wyandotte High School in Kansas City KS as history teacher and assistant baseball and basketball coach. He was appointed head basketball coach in 1954 and in the subsequent 15 years developed the Wyandotte basketball program to a level of national recognition with 10 State Championships, 3 runners up and a win loss record of 296-26. Leaving Wyandotte after the 1969 season, he went to the University of Missouri as Assistant Coach in charge of Freshman Basketball. He stayed there two years with a combined record of 21 wins and 2 losses, returning to Kansas City, Ks in 1972 as Basketball Coach and Athletic Director for Kansas City Kansas Community College. He retired from coaching in 1982 and as Athletic Director and Assistant to the President in 1985. During his coaching career, he was in great demand as a speaker at coaching conventions and athletic events though out the country. He authored three books on basketball coaching and for many years operated the Clinic of Champions coaching clinic. He was a member of National High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and was the recipient of many other awards and honors. His most cherished recognition was the 2003 naming of the Wyandotte High School Gymnasium in his honor. 

Tyke Yates-- Yakes started his coaching career at Elvins High in 1945, leading that team to a 20-6 mark in his only season.

Yates then tool the head basketball coaching position at Webster Groves for 19-seasons from the 1940s through the '60s. He won nearly 70 percent of his games (331 wins, 149 losses) and had only one season with a losing record. He was named coach of the year in 1953, when his team's record was 28-1. He also coached the school's golf team, which won three state championships. Yates is a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the WGHS Hall of Fame.


Richard Fairchild

A 28-year veteran of the coaching profession, Richard Fairchild has complied a .661 winning percentage with an overall record of 463 wins and 237 losses. He began his career in Skidmore, Missouri, then spent six years in Oregon, Missouri, where he won two conference championships, three district titles, and placed fourth in the state. After a year at Nishna Valley, Iowa, Fairchild led Treynor, Iowa, to five consecutive conference titles, four district championships, placed second in state once and fourth in state twice. He returned to Missouri in 1974 and during his 14-year tenure at Chillicothe High School the Hornets win five district championships, 11 district titles, and one state championship, and made five other state tournament appearances while coaching nine teams with 20 or more wins.


Max Hayes

While coaching for several years in the Sherman, Kansas, community schools, Max Hayes complied a record of 163 wins, 42 losses, and one undefeated Kansas State Championship in 1959. He began his stint as head basketball coach at Center High School in Kansas City in 1961, where he spent 19 years as boys' coach and doubled as girls' coach from 1982 to 1987. Hayes twice led the boys' teams to state championships; once in 1965 and again with an undefeated in 1976. He took the girls' team to the state title in 1983.


Burl "Bud" Henderson

After playing basketball at Southwest Missouri State University for Andy McDonald, Bud Henderson started an illustrious coaching career of his own beginning at Mt. Vernon, Missouri-- a school that did not even have a gymnasium. When the gym was built in 1929, the basketball program was started from scratch and his team lost all but the last game of the season during that inaugural year. Two years later they won the championship. Henderson spent two years at Monett before moving on the Bagnell High School in 1933 where the still played on a dirt court. The following year, the new facility at School of Osage was completed and Henderson spent the next 24 years compiling a winning percentage of over .700 in the past 13 years Henderson's teams had a record of 264-77.

Erv Leimer

Erv Leimer began his 32-year coaching career at Bismark High School in 1942. He led the Indians to the Missouri Championship with a total enrollment of only 84 students when the tournament consisted of only one class. After a year at Brentwood High School, Leimer initiated the basketball program at Lutheran Central and had a five-year winning record of 97-52. He spent three years at John Burroughs High School before beginning the basketball program at Priory in St. Louis. In 1958 Leimer carried the game of basketball to Parkway Central where he guided his team to a 16-year record of 241-187 and a career coaching record of 467-286.

James Nelson

Jim Nelson served as head basketball coach at William Jewell College from 1950 to 1968 during which time his teams won 298, lost 200, and won seven conference championships, three district championships, and participated in the NAIA tournament in 1957, 1960, and 1962. His 1960 team finished fourth in the national tournament. In 1981, Nelson became the William Jewell women's basketball coach and so far has led the Lady Cardinals to three conference championships and to district competition four times. His overall record is 432-306 for a .585 winning percentage.


Arvel Popp

After graduation from Southeast Missouri State University in 1938, Arvel Popp began his coaching career with a three-year stint in Puxico, Missouri. After a year at DeSoto and six years at Dexter, Popp moved on to Crystal City High School in 1948 where he won 474 games and lost 229. Sixteen of Popp's teams went to the state tournament with one second, third, and forth place to finish credit. While at Crystal City, Popp instructed future U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, who went on to become an All-American at Princeton University and a Naismith Hall of Famer.

Claude Samson

Claude Samson's success as the boys' and girls' basketball coach at Northeast Nodaway High School is nearly unequalled. His boys' team won 15 conference championships and nine district titles. They won seven final four state tournament appearances, including three second place finishes, for a total record of 536-129. The northeast Nodaway girls had similar success with an .880 winning percentage and a 556-67 record. This unbelievable run includes 16 conference titles, 12 district championships, a 78-game winning streak, and three  undefeated seasons. In 10 Final Four state tournaments appearances the Lady Blue Jays have six state titles. Samson's combined career coaching record is 1,199 victories against 239 losses for a winning percentage of .833.

Robert Sechrest

Robert Sechrest's coaching career began with four years at Van Buren High School and a record of 8-41. After a 26-5 year at Thayer, Sachrest coached at Flat River High Schooll for six years before spending 24 years a Mineral Area College. In addition to compiling a 465-273 record, he was chosen three times as Regional Coach-of-the-Year. He served on the player selection committees for both Pan American Games and the Olympics in 1970-1980 and was assistant basketball coach for the gold medal-winning U.S. team in the World University Games in Mexico City in 1979. He also was the assistant basketball coach with the NJCAA all-star team in Brazil and Argentina.

Charles "Chuck" Smith

In 1959, Chuck Smith moved into the collegiate coaching ranks at his alma mater, Washington University, and in six years his teams complied an 84-59 record. They reached the NCAA College Division finals in 1965. For a single year at Central Missouri, Smith led the Mules to a 14-8 season and a second place finish in the MIAA. He began 13 years at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he complied a record of 171 wins and 143 losses. His 1969 team was in the NAIA finals and the 1972 team reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II tournament. Two of Smith's players at Washington University and three at UM-St. Louis were all-Americans.

Don Williams

Don Williams spent his entire 32-year coaching career at Paris, Missouri High School coaching both boys' and girls' basketball teams. In 28 years, the boys' teams complied a record of 434-261 while the girls' have a 12-year record on 177-88. Williams' boys' teams have seven conference titles, three district championships, three final four appearances and one undefeated season to their credit. The girls can claim five conference titles, three district championships, and one second place state finish. His overall combined record is 611-362, giving him a .650 winning percentage. This small school with a present enrollment of 181 produced five all-state players (including Williams' son Mitch) and eight players who have gone on to play college basketball.


Larry Atwood

Larry Atwood began his 28-year coaching career at Weoubleau High School in 1961. After a three-year stint at Clever High School he moved on to Buffalo High School for four years where he guided his team to the Class M state title in 1965. He retired from Springfield Greenwood High School following the 1988-89 season with a career record of 547-242.

Jodie Bailey

Jodie Bailey's career winning percentage of .760 makes him one of the winningest coaches in Missouri basketball. His overall record of 824 wins against 198 losses includes a stretch at his alma mater, Vashon High School, where he accumulated 400 wins and only 76 losses. He led led O'Fallon Technical High School to a 1968 state championship and a record of 128-22. Bailey finished his coaching career at Northwest High School in 1983, where his basketball teams won 296 games while only losing 100. During his high school tenure, Bailey coached several all-Americans, including Jo Jo White and Hercle Ivy.

Rex Bailey

After coaching for six years in Arkansas, Rex Bailey began his 25-year Missouri career at Caruth. After the initial season he spent three years each at Steele, Wardell, and Couch High School. Bailey then began his illustrious 18-year tenure as head coach and athletic director at Potosi High School. After 31 years of coaching, he retired with a record of 560-222.

Gene Bartow

A Missouri native and Northeast Missouri State University graduate, Gene Bartow began coaching seasons at Greentop High School and Shelbina High School. In 1955 he moved onto St. Charles High School where his team won the Class L Missouri state basketball championship in 1957. His high school record of 145-39 gives him a .788 winning percentage. His college coaching career began at Central Missouri State University in 1961, where he was 47-21 over three seasons. Six more successful years at Valparaiso University, four at Memphis State University and one at the University of Illinois led Bartow to succeed John Wooden at UCLA. After two winning seasons with the Bruins, he took on the task of initiating the basketball program at the University of Alabama- Birmingham in 1977. After 10 seasons, the UAB record stands at 210-109. Bartow's 32-season coaching record is 637 wins and 297 losses for .682 winning percentage.

Ray DeGreef

He spent 27 years as a coach at St. Francis Borgia High School in Washington, Missouri, where he posted a record of 545-240. Prior to his time at Borgia, he coached at Browning High School, Southside Catholic High School, St. Marys High School in St. Louis, Arlington Heights High School, State Teachers College in South Dakota, Quincy College (Illinois), and Hickman High School in Columbia. After a 38-year coaching career, DeGreef's record stands at 703-349.

Gary Filbert

After playing basketball for St. Joseph Benton High School, the US marines, and the University of Missouri, Gary Filbert began his coaching career at Mexico Senior High School. In 14 years, Filberts teams complied a record of 280 wins and 110 losses. He took over coaching duties at Missouri Western State College in 1969. During his 14-year tenure, the Griffons were 210-160. Filbert was named NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year in 1972, 1974, and 1982. In 1985, Filbert initiated the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, which now includes over 500 Missouri coaches. In 1987, he took the first steps toward the creation of the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame.

Edgar S. Hickey

Eddie Hickey began his coaching career at Creighton Prep School where he remained for nine seasons before moving on to Creighton University, St. Louis University, and Marquette University. In 1948, Hickey's St. Louis University team, led by all-American "Easy" Ed Macauley, won the NIT championship. He was named national Coach of the Year at Marquette University in 1959. Throughout his years of coaching, Hickey's teams won seven Missouri Valley titles, participated in five NCAA tournaments and nine NIT's. Hickey, who won 436 games, received the NABC/MIBA/NIT award in 1970 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1978.

Maruice E. John

Maurice John's illustrious coaching career began at Moberly Junior College in 1946. In his twelve years as coach of the Greyhounds, John had a 285-58 win/lose record. His tenure at Moberly included two consecutive national championships in 1954 and 1955, six consecutive regional championships, and a .784 winning percentage. He took over the helm at Dake University and in 1969 his Bulldogs finished third in the nation. John won three straight Missouri Valley titles from 1968 to 1970 and was the MCV Coach of the Year for times. John coached the Iowa State Cyclones from 1971 until his death in 1974. He was also honored by he NJCAA Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1984.

Boyd King

Boyd King's coaching career began at Pittsfield, Illinois, in 1937 and continued in Hannibal until 1946. He then returned to his alma mater, Northeast Missouri State University (previously Northeast Missouri Teachers College), where he had earned 11 varsity letters in football, baseball, and basketball. He retired in 1977 with a career record of 475-233. King was inducted into NMSU Hall of Fame in 1983 and received the Distinguished Merit Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1968.


P.B. "Pop" Springer

"Pop" Springer, as he was affectionately known, spent 34 of his 44 years of coaching at St. Joseph Benton High School. Springer's expertise extended beyond the basketball court, serving as head football and track coach as well. His basketball teams claimed seven city championships and won the Missouri Interscholastic State Tournament in 1931 and 1941. When he retired in 1959, Springer was the winningest basketball and football coach in Missouri. He collected more than 530 basketball victories during his reign at Benton High School. Springer once explained his unique philosophy by saying, "We go into a game not to win and not to lose, but to play the bet we possibly can according to the rules. Then at the end of the game we see what the score is."


"Charter Members"

Missouri Basketball Coaches Association

Hall of Fame Induction

Fred Biesemeyer Booneville H.S.

Bud Lathrop Raytown South H.S.

Jack Bush Kansas City Central H.S.

Tom Stanton Beaumont H.S.

Denver Miller Kirkwood H.S.

Gene Steighorst Hillsboro H.S.

Ronald Jones Eminence H.S.

Franklin Smith Van Buren H.S.

Bob Brown Parkview H.S.

D.C. Wilcutt St. Louis Christian Brothers H.S.

Russ Kaminsky Joplin Senior H.S.

Gene Bess Three Rivers Community College 

Billy Key, Wellsville, H.S.