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Former Bears Basketball Coach, Charlie Spoonhour, Passes Away

Former Missouri State University men’s basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour passed away at his home in Raleigh, North Carolina Wednesday morning at age 72. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has details.


According to a press release from the MSU Athletic Department, Spoonhour received a lung transplant from Duke University Medical Center last year after being diagnosed with a chronic lung disease. Since his diagnosis, Spoonhour’s health fluctuated with a number of trips in and out of the hospital. Kyle Moats, Director of Athletics at MSU, says the MSU family will always remember the coach.

“Charlie was a great coach, and he led us to the NCAA tournament. But I think more importantly, was the effect he had on people. Charlie was a great people person; he had the ability to convey stories, and his folksy personality was really what I think people remember him most by. Certainly a great basketball coach, but a great person.”

Spoonhour coached the Bears from 1983-92, during which time he compiled a 197-81 record. He led MSU, which at that time was still called Southwest Missouri State University, to five NCAA Tournament appearances. From there, he went on to coach at Saint Louis University (1992-99), also leading them to three NCAA tournament appearances, and the University of Las Vegas (2001-04). In his 19 years as a Division 1 head coach, Spoonhour had a record of 373 wins and 202 loses.

According to the release, Spoonhour is survived by his wife and two sons. He died peacefully in his family’s condo, surrounded by his family. Funeral service arrangements are still pending.

A moment of silence will be a part of a pregame tribute to Spoonhour at tonight’s (2/1) Missouri State men’s basketball game against Wichita State.