Feb. 1, 2012
Missouri State men's basketball coaching legend Charlie Spoonhour passed away this morning at his family's home in North Carolina, at age 72.
"The entire Missouri State University family is deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Spoonhour," said MSU Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. "His legacy is one of class, distinction and achievement, and he will be dearly missed by the many lives he touched in his many endeavors."
Spoonhour received a lung transplant from Duke University Medical Center in 2010 after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. His health had fluctuated since then with with a number of trips in and out of the hospital.
He coached the Bears from 1983-92 and compiled a 197-81 record while leading MSU to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He went on to coaching stops at Saint Louis University (1992-99) and UNLV (2001-04). He was 373-202 in 19 years overall as a Division I head coach.
Coach Spoonhour is survived by his wife, Vicki, and two sons, Jay and Stephen.
According to close family friend Bob Ramsey, Jay Spoonhour said his father died peacefully this morning surrounded by his family and was able to spend his final moments with them at the family's condo near Raleigh-Durham, N.C. He had returned home from the hospital just a couple of days before.
Arrangements are pending. A moment of silence will be part of a pregame tribute to Spoonhour at tonight's Missouri State men's basketball game against Wichita State.
Current Bears Head Coach
"When I think of Missouri State, I think of Charlie Spoonhour. Even when I played in the league, I have always had a great deal of respect for him and this program. He has meant a lot to this university and to college basketball."
Former Missouri State Director of Athletics (1982-2009)
"My first year as AD, we hired Coach Spoonhour, and in my mind I knew he was going to be the most ideal candidate we could have. He was the best thing that could have happened to our program. He got us to the (postseason) quicker than I thought he could do and really put us on the map. He loved this area, was always friendly, everybody related to him, and his players loved him."
Commissioner, Missouri Valley Conference
"Charlie was an original. He put (Missouri State) on the Division I map. He was a great coach, a great person and certainly a tremendous ambassador for Missouri State University and the Missouri Valley Conference. He had a wonderful down-home sense of humor and was a family member to our staff and the people of the Missouri Valley Conference."
MSU Lady Bears Head Coach (1987-2002)
"Charlie is who I consider one of my greatest mentors. He let me sit in on practices every single day, and as a young coach, it was invaluable for me to learn something every day. Many people thought he was a defensive mastermind, which I agree with, but he was amazing offensively. That's where I picked up the motion offense and players playing to their strengths. He was a dear friend and mentor."
Bears Player under Spoonhour (1985-89)
"He was probably one of the greatest teachers that I ever had the privilege to be involved with. The lessons he taught me helped me, not just on basketball court, but life in general. If I can mean anywhere close as much to people as he did, that's the greatest thing you can leave other people. He did as great a job as can be done in that respect."