July 24, 2003

Wyaconda's John Austin Inducted Into Missouri Coaches Hall Of Fame

A former head coach for the Wyaconda high school basketball teams was among the 13 inductees in the 2003 class of the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame enshrined in the ceremony July 11 in Springfield.

The MBCA honored John Austin among the 2003 Class of Inductees, which featured 12 coaches and one sports writer, during the St. John's Midwest Sports Medicine/MBCA All-Star Games.

A luncheon was held at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for the Inductees, their families and friends. The actual induction took place at the Hammons Student Center on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University.

Austin coached at Wyaconda C-1 High School for 30 years, winning over 830 games as a high school, junior high boys, and girls coach. His teams won 13 boys tournament championships and 12 girls tournament titles. In addition his junior high teams won 12 tourney championships.

His awards include the 1985 District 1A Coach of the Year, 1991 NMOA All-Star Coach, 1994 MAPHERD Teacher of the Year for Secondary Physical Education and 1998 MIAAA 25 Year Service Award for Administration and Coaching.

Other inductees included:

KIRK CHRONISTER: He started as the first girls basketball coach at Poplar Bluff Senior High School in 1976. He is still at the job and along the way his teams have won 544 games. In addition his teams have won 8 district titles, and advanced to the Show Me Showdown 6 times. Chronister, a graduate of Poplar Bluff, has aided 38 Lady Mules who have been named all-district, 9 named All-State, and 44 who have advanced to play college basketball.

SAM POTTER: Potter started his long coaching career at Wright City High School in 1977, where his teams won conference titles in each of the three years he coached there. Two years later he began a lengthy stay at Santa Fe High School, in Alma where his teams won 5 conference titles, 5 district crowns, and finished 3rd in the state tournament twice. At Rolla High School, Potter guided the Lady Bulldogs for eight seasons, winning 6 conference titles and were ranked in the top 10 in the state 6 times. Sam's winning percentage at the three schools is a remarkable .719%.

TERRY WRITER: In 26 seasons as a varsity basketball coach his teams have won 503 games (503-187). Terry began his career at Norwood High School in 1971. In 1974, he moved to Wheaton High School for a four-year stint as both boys and girls head coach. Writer later spent 4 years at Clever and 10 years at Ozark serving as the boys head basketball coach. This past season found him at New Covenant Academy in Springfield. Terry has been named Coach of the Year several times and was runner-up Coach of the Decade for the Springfield Area in 1990. His girls team at Wheaton was the 1A state runner-up in 1978 and the Ozark boys team of 1984 was also a runner-up. In addition his teams have won 32 tournament championships and finished second 16 times.

CHARLIE WILLIAMS: Williams spent his entire twenty-seven year coaching career at Christian Colleges, starting in 1976 at Midwest Christian College in Oklahoma City before moving to Ozark Christian College in Joplin in 1985. During that period his teams have amassed 650 wins coaching both men's and women's programs. Included in that record are 4 National Bible College Athletic Association Championships. In addition, his teams have won 13 conference titles and appeared in 12 national tournaments. Charlie continues to coach at OCC in Joplin.

AL WALLER: Waller was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in February 2003. He spent six years coaching high school basketball before becoming the College of the Ozarks mentor in 1977. Upon his retirement from coaching in 2002, his teams won 562 games with a winning percentage of 69%. His high school team at Bishop Hogan in Kansas City played in the state tournament two out of four years. At the College of the Ozarks his teams won 12 conference titles and 6 times advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament including a runner-up finish in 2000. Al was named NAIA Administrator of the Year in 1999 and still serves as athletic director.

MITCH WILKINS: Wilkins has seen his teams win 557 times. This includes 13 district titles, 12 conference championships, and 18 seasons with 20 or more victories. Mitch started coaching at Parma High School, moved to Benton Kelly, and has spent the rest of his career at Troy Buchanan where his teams have amassed a record of 433-129. Included in that record is 4 appearances in the KMOX Shootout in St. Louis, 4 trips to the MSHSAA Show Me Showdown where they placed 4th each time. Eight of his players have been named to the Missouri High School All-State Team.

JIM HALL: Hall not only played in the state tournament twice as a player at Dexter High School, but has seen five of his teams compete in the Show Me Showdown. He had 2 stints as coach of the Dexter High School Boys team. He served from 1964 - 1976 and 1981 - 1996. While there his teams won 415 games. He came out of retirement to take over at Advance High School in 1998 and his teams played in the finals of the Stoddard County Tournament 18 of 27 times, winning the first nine of those contests. Jim is the only coach to have his teams win both the prestigious Bloomfield and Cape Girardeau Christmas Tourneys.

DAVID PORTER: David Porter first suggested that the MBCA start a basketball Hall of Fame, so after a long career of coaching winning basketball it is appropriate that he be inducted. With stints at Sedalia Smith-Cotton, Poplar Bluff, and now Lafayette in St. Louis County, he is still winning. His teams have won 9 district titles, been to the "Elite 8" six times and finished second in the state in 1998. However, his most important work may have been his efforts to fight testicular cancer which claimed the life of Jason Struble, who played for Coach Porter. An informational video and presentation shown to thousands of high school students has saved 9 lives that have been confirmed and maybe more. Porter is a two-time former President of the MBCA.

BOB CAMBELL: After coaching at Ballard, Tipton, and New Madrid County Central, Cambell found a coaching home in Montrose. His teams ran up 16 winning seasons in a row, which included 11 Golden Valley Conference titles, three district titles and 2 "Elite Eight" finishes. Bob was named Truman Lake Area Coach of the Year three times during his stay at Montrose. He coached 5 All-State players and the 7th leading scorer in Missouri High School history. Montrose during the last 5 years of his stay was the fifth smallest high school in the state.

JIM SUTHERLAND: Sutherland started his coaching in 1966 in South Dakota. He has spent all of that time as a head coach both at the high school and the college level. Sutherland has guided his teams to 544 victories. Since moving to Missouri ten years ago, coaching at Moberly and Columbia Hickman his teams have won three district titles. In addition, he has produced several Division I players including Lance Harris who will play for Kansas State University.

BOB CARTER: Carter severed as chairman of the Missouri Sports Writers Committee for All-State selection for many years. He was the sports editor of the Chillicothe newspaper until his untimely death due to an automobile accident in 2001. Bob worked with the MBCA for years in the selection of all-star games participants. His untiring efforts to promote basketball in the state qualified him for inclusion in the 2003 MBCA Hall of Fame.

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