The MIAA unveiled its 11-member 2018 Hall of Fame Class on Monday.
There will be three inductions of players from in-state schools — Pittsburg State men’s basketball player Oscar Gonzalez (1996-99), Pitt State football player Brian Hutchins (1990-93) and Washburn football player Trey Lewis (2003-06).
Gonzalez twice earned All-America honors for the Gorillas, starting all 119 career games at point guard and compiling 1,482 points and a school-record 592 assists. He was the MIAA player of the year in 1999 and earned all-conference honors in each of his four seasons.
Hutchins was a three-year starter at quarterback for Pitt and helped the Gorillas win a national championship in 1991. He was an All-American as a junior and a two-time All-MIAA pick. Hutchins compiled a 27-5 record as PSU’s starting quarterback and finished his career with 2,007 rushing yards and 3,053 yards passing.
Lewis was an All-American defensive lineman for Washburn and was the MIAA defensive player of the year in 2006. He finished his career with 156 tackles and 10 sacks before going to play with the Atlanta Falcons.
Central Missouri will have three inductees this year — Shawn Callahan (baseball, 2004-05), Drew Frizzell (track and field, 2008-11) and Katie Tarka (volleyball, 2003-06).
Other inductees are Richard Jordan (Missouri Western football, 1993-96), Xavier Omon (Northwest Missouri football, 2004-07), Yasmine Osborn (Northwest Missouri football, 1997-99), Becky Reichard (Missouri S&T and Missouri Western women’s basketball, 1996-99) and Lamonte Pruitt (Lincoln men’s basketball) 1970-74.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held June 4 at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library.
Western hires new basketball coach — Missouri Western State university announced last week the hiring of Sundance Wicks as the program’s fifth men’s basketball coach.
Wicks comes to Missouri Western after serving as associate head coach at Northern State, which reached the NCAA Division II national championship game this past season before falling 71-69 to Ferris State in the title game.
"This job, in my opinion, is a sleeping giant and I'm ready to wake up the beast and help transform this program into one the St. Joseph community will rally behind for years to come,” Wicks said in a Missouri Western news release. “This is an exciting time for Griffon Athletics. You can tell by all the energy and enthusiasm throughout the athletic department and the campus community that Missouri Western is ready for the fight and about to take flight."
Wicks, who played at Northern State from 1999-2003, also made assistant coaching stops at Colorado, Northern Illinois and San Francisco.
"When this search process started, our mission was to find a coach who possessed two defining characteristics: a relentless recruiter, and someone who has been part of building a championship culture at the NCAA Division II level. These characteristics were non-negotiable," Missouri Western athletic director Josh Looney said. "With Sunny, we not only found a proven recruiter and winner, but we also found someone with an unwavering commitment to engaging and motivating communities through basketball. His energy and passion for basketball are unmistakable and he is the perfect fit to lead the resurgence of our men's basketball program. We can't wait for St. Joseph to meet our next head coach."
Wicks, 37, replaces five-year Griffons' head coach Brett Weiberg. The Griffons went 6-21 this past season.
UNK athletic director leaves for CSU-Pueblo — University of Nebraska-Kearney athletic director Paul Plinske has resigned at UNK to accept the same position at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Plinske has spent the last five years as AD for the Lopers.
“I am honored to be named director of athletics at CSU-Pueblo,” Plinske said in a news release. “I will work tirelessly to establish a unified culture that will proudly represent a first-class institution while bolstering student-athlete academic performances, competing for championships, and engaging in meaningful community endeavors.”
FHSU-WU baseball game moved to Wednesday — The Fort Hays State baseball team's matchup with Washburn has been pushed back a day to Wednesday because of predicted low temperatures and high winds for Tuesday. First pitch on Wednesday is set for 3 p.m.
The winner of Wednesday's game will move out of the MIAA cellar. Fort Hays enters 12-21 and Washburn 10-21, with both teams 4-16 in MIAA play.