November 8, 2007
Former Creighton Star Bob Harstad Voted Into MVC Hall of Fame
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Former basketball standout Bob
Harstad of Creighton, track and field legend Kevin Little of Drake,
late head basketball coach Ed Jucker of Cincinnati, former coach and
athletics director Jim Byers of Evansville, legendary women’s
basketball coach Jill Hutchison of Illinois State and late coach and
athletics director A.J. Robertson of Bradley highlight the league’s
11th Hall of Fame induction class.
For the fifth time in six
years, the Conference will conduct its annual Hall of Fame ceremony as
part the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball
Tournament weekend on March 6-9, 2008. The 2008 Missouri Valley
Conference Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at
the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday, March 7. The event will
begin with an 8 a.m. breakfast, followed by the induction ceremony at
“The Missouri Valley Conference has always been progressive in its
approach to collegiate athletics, and our Hall of Fame ceremony
provides the stage to honor six individuals who were instrumental in
the development of the Conference and its member schools,” said
Commissioner Doug Elgin, who is in his 20th year with The Valley.
“These six individuals all played a significant role -- at the
institutional, conference, national and/or international levels -- in
the evolution of collegiate athletics. These individuals collectively
span eight decades of greatness, and we’re proud to honor them for
their accomplishments as Missouri Valley Conference ambassadors.”
Hall of Fame:
BOB HARSTAD, CREIGHTON
native of Loveland, Colo., Bob Harstad is one of only four MVC players
-- Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson, Indiana State’s Larry Bird and Wichita
State’s Xavier McDaniel -- to score 2,000 points (2,110) and grab 1,000
or more rebounds (1,126).
A first-team All-MVC choice from 1989 to
1991, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Player of the Year
in 1990 and earned State Farm MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player
honors in 1991.
He led CU to regular-season titles and postseason
tournament crowns in 1989 and 1991. He also powered the Jays to two
NCAA Tournament appearances and a win over New Mexico State in the
first round in 1991.
During his career, the Jays had an overall record of 81-47 and an MVC slate of 38-20.
KEVIN LITTLE, DRAKE
native of Ankeny, Iowa, Kevin Little is the most decorated track
student-athlete in Drake history, having been a four-time NCAA
All-American, a member of four U.S. World Outdoor Championship teams
and five U.S. World Indoor Championship teams.
Little captured nine
career Missouri Valley Conference individual titles and was the 1989-90
recipient of the MVC Medallion Award.
In the 200 meters, he set MVC
Indoor Track Championship record (21.15) in 1990 and still owns the
all-time MVC indoor track record (20.90 in 1989).
Little ranked in
the top 10 in the United States in the 200 meters a total of eight
times, beginning as a junior at Drake in 1989 through 2001. He enjoyed
his highest ranking (third) in the United States in 1999, behind world
champion Maurice Greene and world record-holder Michael Johnson.
won more medals (five) in World Indoor Track Championships than any
sprinter in the history of U.S. track and field, including the gold
medal in the 200 at the 1997 World Indoor Track Championships (Paris,
France) -- the first Anglo-American to win a major sprint title since
His gold-medal effort in 1997 matched the American mark of 20.40 seconds.
ED JUCKER, CINCINNATI
Ed Jucker of Cincinnati is arguably one of the greatest men’s basketball coaches in Missouri Valley Conference history.
saw his teams put together a single-season, school-record win streak of
22 games (1960-61) and a Cincinnati record 37-game consecutive victory
string over the 1961-62 and 1962-63 campaigns.
A two-time Rawlings
MVC Coach of the Year selection (1961 and 1963), he powered the
Bearcats to three-consecutive Missouri Valley Conference crowns and
NCAA Tournament appearances.
He was named the 1963 National Coach
of the Year by United Press International, U.S. Basketball Writers
Association and New York Writers Association.
He led UC to back-to-back NCAA national titles in 1961 and 1962 -- only the second time in league history that’s happened.
mentored a total of six All-Americans, including Ron Bonham (1963),
Paul Hogue (1961 and 1962), Tom Thacker (1963), Bob Wiesenhahn (1961),
George Wilson (1963) and Tony Yates (1962 and 1963).
A.J. ROBERTSON, BRADLEY
A native of St. Paul, Minn., A.J. Robertson is the ninth Institutional Great selection for The Valley’s Hall of Fame.
Institutional Great distinction honors a player, coach or athletic
administrator who competed or worked at a current league school, when
the institution was not a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
winningest coach in Braves basketball history, he coached the baseball,
basketball and football teams simultaneously for 26 years while also
serving as athletics director. His combined, triple-sport coaching
record was a remarkable 704-407-16 (.632).
On the basketball court,
he led BU to its first four postseason tournament appearances -- the
1930 National AAU Tournament and the NIT in 1938, 1939 and 1947. In
fact, the 1938 and 1939 National Invitation Tournaments were the first
In his role as head coach and administrator, he
successfully directed Bradley out of the small-school Little 19
conference affiliation into a nationally
recognized athletic program and eventually into the Missouri Valley Conference.
Robertson Memorial Field House is named in his honor, and it served as the men’s basketball home arena from 1948 to 1982.
JIM BYERS, EVANSVILLE
native of Evansville, Ind., Jim Byers of the University of Evansville
is the seventh honoree in The Valley’s Lifetime Achievement category.
Lifetime Achievement category honors, when appropriate, former players,
coaches, administrators or alumni who competed, worked or attended a
current league school.
Serving as head football coach from 1966
through 1976, he compiled second-highest winning percentage in UE
history, winning four conference championships and leading the Purple
Aces to the 1974 NCAA playoffs.
As Evansville director of athletics
from 1977 to 1998, Byers brought back UE’s program from a tragic
airplane crash involving the school’s men’s basketball team in 1977 --
Evansville’s first year at the Division I level.
He helped form both the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League) and Heartland Collegiate Conference.
leadership for the addition of women’s sports to the UE program and the
evolution of the Purple Aces’ 16-sport athletics department, Byers saw
Evansville qualify for 11 NCAA men’s soccer tournaments (including two
Collegiate Cups appearances), four NCAA men’s basketball tournaments
and two NITs and one NCAA baseball tournament.
The chief proponent
of UE joining the MVC in 1993, he was chosen as recipient of the 2007
Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award by the Division I-AAA
Athletics Directors Association in July.
JILL HUTCHISON, ILLINOIS STATE
native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jill Hutchison of Illinois State
University is the eighth honoree in The Valley’s Lifetime Achievement
Hutchison was a pioneer in the sport of women’s
basketball, as she influenced the game from relative obscurity to its
current level of expanding popularity.
A head coach for 28 seasons (all at ISU), she compiled a 461-323 mark and qualified her teams for 12 national tournaments.
all, her teams earned seven AIAW State Championships (1972, 1973, 1975,
1976, 1977, 1978 and 1981) and grabbed five Gateway Collegiate Athletic
Conference titles (1983, 1985, 1988, 1989 and 1990).
She guided the
Redbirds to three NCAA Tournament appearances (1983, 1985 and 1989) and
seven WNIT showings (1971, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990 and 1996).
coached two U.S. Olympians -- Charlotte Lewis in 1976 and Cathy Boswell
in 1984 -- and served as head coach of the 1978 National Junior Team
that captured the silver medal at the Pan American Games. She also led
the 1983 USA World University Games Team to a gold medal as head coach.
three-time Rawlings MVC Coach of the Year, Hutchison was chair of the
basketball rules committee and was on the front line during the
controversy surrounding the decision to switch to the “baby ball.”
She is a member of the Illinois State University and University of New Mexico Athletics Halls of Fame.