SPRINGFIELD — The widow of former men's basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour has established a scholarship fund in his memory at Missouri State University.
Spoonhour coached the Springfield school's team from 1983 to 1992 before moving on to Saint Louis University and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He died last February at age 72 of complications from a lung disease.
His widow, Vicki Spoonhour, said Tuesday that she created the fund for the university's men's program because the school gave her husband his first Division I coaching job and the couple made many friends in Springfield. The Springfield News-Leader reported that she declined to say how much she donated.
Spoonhour compiled a 197-81 record at Missouri State, which was then known as Southwest Missouri State University, and guided the Bears to five NCAA tournament appearances.
Vicki Spoonhour plans to host a fundraiser, probably in late spring, in Springfield, to add to what she has donated.
"We are hoping that we can make this substantial," she said.
Brent Dunn, Missouri State's vice president for university advancement, said it takes an endowment of about $250,000 to earn enough in interest to pay one player's scholarship for one year. The number and dollar amount of Division I athletic scholarships are limited by the NCAA and private donations help the university free up general fund money, Dunn said.
Spoonhour coached at Saint Louis University from 1992 to 1999 and coached at UNLV from 2001 to 2004. His lifetime record was 397-202. He then became a television commentator for men's basketball for the Missouri Valley Conference and the University of Oklahoma.
He underwent a lung transplant in August 2010.