Central Missouri Mules and Jennies

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Central Missouri Mules & Jennies
Central Missouri athletics logo.png
University University of Central Missouri
Conference MIAA
NCAA Division II
Athletic director Jerry Hughes
Location Warrensburg, MO
Varsity teams 14
Football stadium Audrey J. Walton Stadium
Basketball arena UCM Multipurpose Building
Mascot Mo the Mule
Nickname Mules & Jennies
Fight song 'Go Mules'
     Cardinal       Black
Website www.ucmathletics.com

The sports teams at the University of Central Missouri are known as the Mules (men) and Jennies (women). They participate in the NCAA's Division II and in the MIAA Conference.


Origin of 'Mules'[edit]

When the 1921-22 school year began, school officials decided "Normals" and "Teachers" were no longer appropriate nicknames for Central's athletic teams. Therefore, the school's athletic committee established a contest that promised the winner a three-year postgraduate subscription of the school newspaper. More than 80 suggestions were received, but the winning entry was submitted by John Thomason of Chilhowee, Missouri, Class of 1924, who felt that at least one Missouri team should be known as "Mules".

The "Jennies" nickname for Central Missouri's women's athletic teams was officially adopted in February, 1974 after the school's student newspaper, The Muleskinner, offered a prize of $50 in a contest to choose a nickname for the women's athletic teams. Cynthia Almaguer of Knob Noster, Missouri, Class of 1974, was chosen winner from 34 entries. Almaguer told the contest judges, "The reason I picked the name is because of the obvious feminine kinship of the jenny to our mule mascot. It is a fact that a mule is a descendant of a female donkey -- the jenny."

Men's basketball[edit]

The Mules have been playing basketball since 1905, and are among the top two teams in all-time wins on the NCAA Division II level.[1] The Mules have won four national titles: in 1937, 1938 (both NAIA, before the NCAA sponsored a Division II tournament), in 1984 (when UCM, then Central Missouri State University, was the first school ever to win NCAA men's and women's basketball championships in the same season), and in 2014. UCM swept the Division II titles in 1984. (The feat was later duplicated by Northwestern College (Iowa) in NAIA Division II in 2001 and the University of Connecticut in NCAA Division I in 2004 and 2014, although the Mules are the only team to win both championships on the same day and on the same court.)

Entering the 2008-09 season, Central Missouri was second in Division II history in wins, with 1,469. Only Central Washington has more.[2]

The Mules were under the leadership of Head Coach Kim Anderson until the end of the 2014 year , a standout player in the late 1970s at the University of Missouri under coach Norm Stewart.

2006-07 season[edit]

In the 2006-07 season, the Mules returned to the Division II Elite Eight in Springfield, Massachusetts. They defeated Montevallo to move on to the semi-finals, where they faced the then-unbeaten defending Division II champion Winona State. The Mules lost to Winona in overtime 90-85, ending the season 31-4, which set a new school record for most wins in a season.

After the season, the NCAA announced that UCM led all of Division II in attendance for Men's Basketball, at 3,640 fans per home game.[3]

2008-09 season[edit]

After an 18-10 record in 2007-08, Central again looked to have a strong team after rebuilding. After attaining a 23-4 mark in the regular season, the Mules won the conference tournament in Kansas City. Central used that momentum to win the NCAA South Central regional.

As they did in 2007, the Mules traveled to the 2009 Elite Eight. Central defeated Gannon University 86-77 to advance to the semi-finals. To this point, the similarities to the 06-07 season were many. However, just as they did two years earlier, the Mules were defeated in the Final Four by Findlay 67-65.

2013-14 season[edit]

The Mules, led by then head coach Kim Anderson, went 30-5 and captured the Division II National Championship in Evansville, Indiana. It was The University of Central Missouri's first National Championship since the 1984 season.

Prominent men's basketball coaches[edit]

  • Phog Allen - coached at UCM 1912-1919; compiled 84-31 record before returning to coach his alma mater, the University of Kansas.
  • Tom Scott - coached at UCM from 1939-1942 and 1945-46. Scott was lured away by the North Carolina Tar Heels, where he was head coach from 1946 to 1952, when replaced by Frank McGuire.
  • Gene Bartow - coached three seasons at UCM, 1961-1964; coached for 34 seasons at the collegiate level, including succeeding the legendary John Wooden at UCLA in 1975 and creating the basketball program at UAB.
  • Joe B. Hall - followed Bartow as coach for the 1964-65 season before going to the University of Kentucky, where he would eventually succeed the legendary Adolph Rupp in 1972.
  • Lynn Nance - came to UCM from Iowa State in time for the 1980-81 season. Nance led the Mules to their third national championship in 1984. He stayed at the helm until 1985 and finished with a record of 115-35. He went on to coach at the University of Washington.
  • Jim Wooldridge - followed Nance, coaching 1985-91, in which he compiled a record of 131-48. His final three squads made the Sweet Sixteen in Division II. He coached in the Big 12 at Kansas State University from 2000-2006.

Season by season results[edit]

For the entire season-by-season results, see Central Missouri Mules men's basketball seasons.

Under Kim Anderson:

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Central Missouri (MIAA) (2002–present)
2002–2003 Central Missouri 13-15 6-12 8th
2003–2004 Central Missouri 18-10 10-8 4th
2004–2005 Central Missouri 24-7 14-4 1st (tie) NCAA Tournament - Round of 64
2005–2006 Central Missouri 24-8 11-5 2nd NCAA Tournament - Round of 32
2006–2007 Central Missouri 31-4 15-3 1st (tie) NCAA Final Four
2007–2008 Central Missouri 18-10 11-7 3rd (tie)
2008–2009 Central Missouri 30-5 16-4 2nd NCAA Final Four
2009–2010 Central Missouri 27-4 18-2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2010–2011 Central Missouri 18-11 13-9 5th
2011–2012 Central Missouri 19-7 15-5 3rd
2012–2013 Central Missouri 22-8 13-5 1st (tied)
2013–2014 Central Missouri 30-5 16-3 1st NCAA DII National Champions
Central Missouri: 274-94 156-67
Total: 274-94

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Women's basketball[edit]

The University has sponsored women's basketball since 1970. The Jennies began competing on the NCAA Division II level during the 1982-83 season. Prior to that, they were members of the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women). In the 35 seasons of Jennies basketball, only one season has ended with a sub-.500 record, that season being 2002-03. Besides the national title in 1984, the program has a history of great postseason success.

  • 1983 - Final Four
  • 1984 - Won Title
  • 1985 - Lost title game
  • 1986 - Elite Eight
  • 1987 - Sweet Sixteen
  • 1988 - Sweet Sixteen
  • 1989 - Final Four
  • 1990 - Elite Eight

Overall, the Jennies have a record of 19-14 in the NCAA Division II Tournament. They last participated in the Division II tournament in 2006.

In the 2006-07 season, despite one of the worst season's in school history at 14-14, UCM was 10th in all of Division II in home attendance.[4]


The Mules baseball program has been arguably the most successful program in the school's history. The team has taken part in the Division II World Series 13 times, 12 of those being since 1989. They have been to the title game three times, winning the title in 1994 and 2003. The Mules have a large number of current pro players, especially considering that UCM is a Division II school. In the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, five Mules were selected in the first 11 rounds.[5]

Current/Former professional players[edit]

Currently, there are 14 professionals that attended Central Missouri.[6]

  • Morgan Burkhart (played 1994) - Manager - Windy City Thunderbolts (Frontier League)
  • O.J. Rhone (1993-1995) - Outfielder - Rockord (Class A - Royals)
  • Brad Plackemeier (1996-1998) - Catcher - Chillicothe (Independent League)
  • Francisco Leandro (2004) - Outfielder - Southwest Michigan (Class A - Devil Rays)
  • Steve Sharpe (2004) - Right-handed Pitcher - Midland (Class AA - Athletics)
  • Josh Outman (2005) - Left-handed Pitcher - Oakland (MLB - Cleveland Indians)
  • Mike Phelps (2004–05) - Right-handed Pitcher - Daytona (Advanced A - Cubs)
  • Danny Powers (2003–05) - Right-handed Pitcher - New Brittan (Class AA - Twins)
  • Jason Schutt (2005) - Right-handed Pitcher - Lake County (Class A - Cleveland)
  • Nick Webber (2003–05) - Right-handed Pitcher - Springfield (Mo.) (Class AA - Cardinals)
  • Bridger Hunt (2006) - Third Baseman -Great Lakes (Class A - Dodgers)
  • Brent Lacy (2004–05) - Catcher - Mahoning Valley (Short A - Indians)
  • Phil Sobkow (2003) - Right-handed Pitcher - Calgary (Independent League)
  • Steve Murphy (2003) - Outfielder - Frisco - (Class AA- Rangers)


Football has been sponsored by the university since 1895. Historically, it has not enjoyed the consistent success that other athletic teams have had. However, with the hiring of head coach Willie Fritz before the 1997 season, the Mules became relevant again. Since coming to UCM, Fritz has a record of 82-40. That includes two postseason appearances. In 2001, the Mules went 10-2 and won the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. In 2002, they made their first ever trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs, losing to Northern Colorado 49-28.

Prior to the NCAA sponsoring a playoff in Division II, Central Missouri played in three bowl games.

The Mules have won or shared eight MIAA conference titles in football. (1926, 1956, 1970, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2003)

Prominent coaches[edit]

The Mules have had two prominent coaches who have guided them. Phog Allen coached football at Central from 1912-1917, with a record of 29-19-2. Al Molde came on in 1980. Molde only stayed three seasons, but his tenure turned around a program that wished the 1970s never happened. Central's record from 1971-79 was 27-63-2. Molde left in 1983 after compiling a 17-9-4 record in his three seasons. After leaving Central Missouri, Molde coached at Eastern Illinois, followed by Division I Western Michigan.

Mules in the pros[edit]


  1. ^ "2006-07 UCM Mens Basketball Media Guide Page 20" (PDF). UCM Athletics. October 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  2. ^ "2008-09 Central Missouri Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  3. ^ "2006-07 NCAA Men's Basketball Attendance Figures" (PDF). NCAA. 2007-05-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  4. ^ "2006-07 NCAA Women's Basketball Attendance Figures" (PDF). NCAA. 2007-05-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Powers Leads Division II Charge". Scout.com. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  6. ^ "The Official Site of Minor League Baseball - MiLB.com Homepage". MiLB.com. 

External links[edit]