COLUMBIA, Mo. – Ten former Tigers have been selected for induction into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. They represent the 31st induction class since the Hall’s inception in 1990.
The 2021 class will be officially inducted on Friday, Oct. 1, in a private ceremony with family and friends held at the Tiger Hotel in downtown Columbia. The 2020 class, announced last fall, will also be formally inducted after COVID-19 postponed its in-person festivities. Inductees from both classes will meet with members of the media at 5:15 p.m. before dinner and the formal induction program at 6:15 p.m.
The 15 members of the 2020 and 2021 classes will also be recognized on Sat., Oct. 2, at the Mizzou Football game against Tennessee. The Tigers and Volunteers are set to kickoff at 11 a.m. inside Memorial Stadium with the game airing on SEC Network.
2021 MIZZOU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
- Dick Atkinson – Baseball (1951-52)
Atkinson went 9-1 over his two seasons on the mound for the Tigers, leading Mizzou to its first College World Series appearance in 1952. He set the school record with 75 strikeouts in 1952, a mark which stood for 12 years.
- Jim Baker – Track & Field (1960-62)
A Kansas City, Mo., product, Baker was an All-American and the national runner-up in the 440-yard dash at the 1962 NCAA Outdoor Championships. By today’s All-America standards, Baker would have been a three-time selection, recording top-eight national finishes in 1960 and 1961 as well.
- Bill Constantine – Track & Field (1953-55)
A St. Louis native, Constantine captured the 1955 Big 6 Championship in the 120-yd hurdles. He recorded three top-six finishes in 1954 in the 120 and 220-yd hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the USA Outdoor Championships. Following graduation, Constantine went on to a distinguished career in the Air Force, earning a Silver Star.
- Merv Johnson – Football (1956-57)
A lightly-known prospect from King City, Mo., Johnson developed into a First Team All-Big Seven selection in 1957 for the Tigers. He also earned Academic All-Conference honors and was named the 1957 Big Seven Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year. Johnson went on to a 38-year coaching career, which includes four national championships.
- Richard Poe – Golf (1961-63, coach 78-98)
Hailing from Rolla, Mo., Poe had a hand in each of Mizzou’s four top-four national finishes, one as a player and three as the Tigers’ coach. He led the Tigers to the 1984 Big Eight Championship, the program’s second team title, and coached five of Mizzou’s nine All-American golfers.
- Howard Richards – Football (1977-80)
A St. Louis native, Richards was a second-team All-American in 1980 and a finalist for the Lombardi Award, anchoring the offensive line as Mizzou earned three-straight bowl bids to close his career. Richards went on to become the 26th overall selection in the 1981 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played six seasons with Dallas and was a part of two NFC East titles. Richards now serves as the football color analyst on the Mizzou Radio Network.
- Rob Riti – Football (1996-99)
One of the best centers to ever play at Mizzou, Florissant, Mo., native Riti was a consensus first-team All-American in 1999, just the seventh Tiger to ever earn consensus honors. During his career, he spearheaded an offensive line which blocked the rushing attack to a top-10 national finish three times.
- Joe Scott – Men’s Basketball (1959-61)
The “Gainesville Gunner” was one of the most prolific scorers in Mizzou history, finishing his career ranked fourth with 1,106 career points in three seasons. Scott still holds the Mizzou single-game scoring record with his 46-point performance against Nebraska in 1961. He is a 2013 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and was recognized for his lifetime of community contributions to local youth sports by the organization in 2016.
- Jessica Vander Kooi – Volleyball (2003-06)
A two-time AVCA All-American from Merrill, Iowa, Vander Kooi led Mizzou to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four seasons in Columbia. In 2005, she helped guide the Tigers to a 25-5 mark and the program’s first Elite Eight appearance. Vander Kooi still holds six top-10 marks in Mizzou Volleyball history and is one of seven Tigers all-time with three or more All-Region awards.
- Henry Wiebe – Track & Field (1957-59)
Wiebe was a standout hurdler during his Mizzou career, culminating in a third-place finish in the 400-yd hurdles at the 1959 NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America honors. He also captured the 1957 60-yd Big Seven Indoor title with a time of 6.2 seconds. Wiebe is a member of the University of Missouri Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Hall of Fame.
The Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame’s constitution and bylaws express its purpose – “…to recognize and honor those individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the achievements and prestige of the University of Missouri in the field of athletics, and who have continued to demonstrate in their lives, the values imparted by intercollegiate athletics.”
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