Missouri State Bears and Lady Bears

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Missouri State Bears
University Missouri State University
Conference Missouri Valley Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference
Mid-American Conference
NCAA Division I (FCS)
Athletic director Kyle Moats
Location Springfield, Missouri
Varsity teams 14
Football stadium Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex
Basketball arena JQH Arena
Baseball stadium Hammons Field
Nickname Bears and Lady Bears
Fight song The Scotsman
Website www.missouristatebears.com

The Missouri State Bears and Lady Bears are the athletic teams representing Missouri State University. Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) athletics date back to 1908. Missouri State is in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, and most teams compete in the Missouri Valley Conference.


A member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Missouri State University sponsors six men's and eleven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[1]

Men's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach Women's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach
Baseball Bears baseball Keith Guttin Basketball Kellie Harper
Basketball Bears basketball Paul Lusk Cross Country Jordan Fife
Football [v 1] Bears football Dave Steckel Field Hockey [v 2] Vacant
Golf Neal Stafford Golf Kevin Kane
Soccer Bears soccer Jon Leamy Soccer Rob Brewer
Swimming & Diving [v 2] Dave Collins Softball Holly Hesse
Swimming & Diving Dave Collins
Track & Field (Indoor & Outdoor) Ronald Boyce
Tennis Mallory Weber
Volleyball Melissa Stokes
  1. The football team competes as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The field hockey and men's swimming and diving teams compete as affiliate members of the Mid-American Conference.

National championships

Team (3)

Association Division Sport Year Opponent/Runner-Up Score
NCAA Division II Men's Golf[2] 1963 Aquinas 1,188–1,199
AIAW n/a Softball (Women's College World Series) 1974 Northern Colorado 14–7
AIAW Division II Field hockey 1979 Colgate 2–0

Women's basketball NCAA Tournament results

Season Eliminated
Teams Defeated Lost to
1991 2nd round Tennessee Tech (94–64) Tennessee (47–55)
1992 Final Four Kansas (75–59)
Iowa (61–60)
UCLA (83–57)
Mississippi (94–71)
Western Kentucky (72–84)
1993 Sweet 16 Oklahoma State (86–71)
Maryland (86–82)
Louisiana Tech (43–59)
1994 2nd round Northern Illinois (75–56) Virginia (63–67)
1995 2nd round Utah (49–47) Colorado (34–78)
1996 1st round Texas (55–73)
1998 1st round Notre Dame (64–78)
1999 2nd round Cal.-Santa Barbara (72–70) Colorado State (70–86)
2000 1st round Auburn (74–78)
2001 Final Four Toledo (89–71)
Rutgers (60–53)
Duke (81–71)
Washington (104–87)
Purdue (64–81)
2003 1st round Texas Tech (59–67)
2004 1st round Notre Dame (65–69)
2006 1st round Purdue (52–73)
2016 TBD

WNIT appearances

2002, 2005 (Champions), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

Conference championships

AIAW (no division 1969–1974, Large College 1974–1979, Division II 1979–1982) 5
1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981

Mid-Continent Conference (1983–1992) 2
1991, 1992

Missouri Valley Conference (1992–2012) 9
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012

Head coaches

  • Reba Sims (10 seasons, 129–116), 1969–1979
  • Marti Gasser (4 seasons, 62–60), 1979–1983
  • Valerie Goodwin-Colbert (4 seasons, 48–63), 1983–1987
  • Cheryl Burnett (15 seasons, 319–136), 1987–2002, 10 NCAA Tournament Appearances, 2 Final Four Appearances, 1 Sweet 16 Appearance. 1 WNIT Appearance
  • Katie Abrahamson-Henderson (5 seasons, 95–61), 2002–2007, 3 NCAA Tournament Appearances, WNIT Championship
  • Nyla Milleson, (5 seasons, 89–69), 2007–2013, 3 WNIT Appearances
  • Kellie Harper, (3rd season, 56–41), 2013–Present, 1 NCAA Appearance, 1 WNIT Appearance

Retired numbers

  • 10 Jackie Stiles, 1997–2001 (NCAA Division I Women's Basketball's all-time leading scorer with 3,393 points)
  • 35 Melody Howard, 1990–1994
  • 42 Jeanette Tendai, 1982–1986


Club sports

The university also sponsors several club sports teams, including ice hockey (ACHA), lacrosse (MCLA), and roller hockey (NCRHA).

Men's ice hockey

Missouri State ice hockey players celebrate a goal against University of Missouri.

Missouri State men's ice hockey, known as the Ice Bears, began in 2001 and despite not being a varsity NCAA sport receives much attention on and off-campus. The Ice Bears currently compete at the Division II level of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) in the Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA).[3] The teams play off-campus at the 2,000-seat Mediacom Ice Park.[4][5][6]

Men's varsity ice hockey finished the 2009–2010 season ranked 2nd in the MACHA DII with a record of 12–4–0 in 16 league games, the team lost in the MACHA Championship 1–5 to Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville. In addition to the ACHA DII team the University also fields a JV teams playing at the ACHA DIII level.[7] The team won the MACHA DIII championship with a 5–3 win over Robert Morris University- Peoria.[8][9][10]

Men's lacrosse

Missouri State also fields a highly successful club Lacrosse Team. Founded in 2003, it competes in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Division II in the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC). In 2009 and 2010, the Bears received an automatic qualifier for the MCLA National Championships in Denver, Colorado, after winning the GRLC championship. The Bears finished the 2010 season with a record of 11–5, including victories over Creighton, Arkansas, and a 9–3 defeat of in-state rival the University of Missouri. Since 2003, MSU Lacrosse has fielded 5 All-Americans, 41 All-Conference players, 2 GRLC Tournament MVP's, and 2 GRLC Division II Coach's of the Year.

Head Coach Year Record
Daren Turner 2002–2008 24–21
Austin Holman 2009–2010 23–9
Pat Callaham 2011– 6–5–1


  1. "Missouri State Official Athletic Site". Missouristatebears.com. Retrieved 2015-05-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship Results" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved January 14, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. [1][dead link]
  4. (PDF) https://web.archive.org/20080724171155/http://www.cfpmidweek.com/weeks/IssuePDFs/vo5i19web.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. [2][dead link]
  6. https://web.archive.org/20100601181255/http://alumni.missouristate.edu/46496.htm. Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association Home Page". Machahockey.com. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-05-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. [3][dead link]
  9. (PDF) https://web.archive.org/20080724170815/http://www.cfpmidweek.com/weeks/IssuePDFs/vo5i21web.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. [4][dead link]

External links