Charlie Spoonhour

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Charlie Spoonhour
Biographical details
Born(1939-06-23)June 23, 1939
Mulberry, Kansas
DiedFebruary 1, 2012(2012-02-01) (aged 72)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Alma materUniversity of Arkansas
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1961–1963Rocky Comfort HS
1963–1967Bloomfield HS (co-HC)
1967–1968Salem HS
1968–1972Southwest Missouri State (assistant)
1972–1974Moberly JC
1974–1975Oklahoma (assistant)
1975–1981Southeastern (IA) CC
1981–1983Nebraska (assistant)
1983–1992Southwest Missouri State
1992–1999Saint Louis
Head coaching record
Overall373–202 (college)
205–63 (junior college)
Tournaments3–8 (NCAA Division I)
3–5 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
4 Mid-Continent regular season (1987–1990)
2 Mid-Continent tournament (1987, 1989)
MVC regular season (1992)
MVC tournament (1992)
Henry Iba Award (1994)

Charles Graham Spoonhour (June 23, 1939 – February 1, 2012) was an American basketball coach.

Spoonhour was born in Mulberry, Kansas, attended high school in Rogers, Arkansas, and received an education degree from the University of the Ozarks.[1] He spent seven seasons as a high school basketball coach, then fourteen seasons bouncing between Division I assistant coaching positions and junior college head coaching positions. This included a four-year stretch from 1969 to 1973 as an assistant coach on the staff of head coach Bill Thomas at then-Division II Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State).[2]

Ten years later, Spoonhour was on the staff of Nebraska coach Moe Iba, when he was hired as head coach of SMS for the 1983–84 season, a year after the Bears had moved up to Division I. He led the Bears to five NCAA tournament appearances in a six-season stretch from 1987 to 1992. His best season was in 1986–87 when the Bears won the Mid-Continent Conference with a 13–1 mark and finished 28–6. Behind future NBA point guard Winston Garland,[2] they made it to the second round of the 1987 NCAA tournament as a #13-seed, beating fourth-seeded Clemson, 65–60, before losing to fifth-seeded Kansas, 67–63.[3]

After the 1991–92 season, he went to Saint Louis University, where he led the Billikens to three NCAA tournament appearances in seven seasons. In 2001, he went to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he retired from coaching following the 2003-04 season.

Spoonhour was known for wearing sweaters and slacks while coaching.

In 2010, he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and placed on the recipient list for a lung transplant. He received the lung transplant at Duke University Medical Center in August 2010, and was said to be in good condition, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He spent the next six months recuperating at Duke.

On February 1, 2012, Spoonhour died at the age of 72.

On April 6, 2012, Spoonhour's son, Jay Spoonhour, was named the head men's basketball coach at Eastern Illinois University.

Head coaching record[edit]


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Southwest Missouri State Bears (Association of Mid-Continent Universities / Mid-Continent Conference) (1983–1990)
1983–84 Southwest Missouri State 18–10 9–5 3rd
1984–85 Southwest Missouri State 17–13 8–6 4th
1985–86 Southwest Missouri State 24–8 10–4 2nd NIT Quarterfinal
1986–87 Southwest Missouri State 28–6 13–1 1st NCAA Division I Second Round
1987–88 Southwest Missouri State 22–7 12–2 1st NCAA Division I First Round
1988–89 Southwest Missouri State 21–10 10–2 1st NCAA Division I First Round
1989–90 Southwest Missouri State 22–7 11–1 1st NCAA Division I First Round
Southwest Missouri State Bears (Missouri Valley Conference) (1990–1992)
1990–91 Southwest Missouri State 22–12 11–5 2nd NIT First Round
1991–92 Southwest Missouri State 23–8 13–5 1st NCAA Division I First Round
Southwest Missouri State: 197–81 97–31
Saint Louis Billikens (Great Midwest Conference) (1992–1995)
1992–93 Saint Louis 12–17 1–9 6th
1993–94 Saint Louis 23–6 8–4 T–2nd NCAA Division I First Round
1994–95 Saint Louis 23–8 8–4 2nd NCAA Division I Second Round
Saint Louis Billikens (Conference USA) (1995–1999)
1995–96 Saint Louis 16–14 4–10 3rd (Blue) NIT First Round
1996–97 Saint Louis 11–18 4–10 3rd (Blue)
1997–98 Saint Louis 22–11 11–5 3rd (American) NCAA Division I Second Round
1998–99 Saint Louis 15–16 8–8 5th (American)
Saint Louis: 122–90 44–50
UNLV Runnin' Rebels (Mountain West Conference) (2001–2004)
2001–02 UNLV 21–11 9–5 3rd NIT Second Round
2002–03 UNLV 21–11 8–6 T–3rd NIT First Round
2003–04 UNLV 12–9 4–6 5th
UNLV: 54–31 21–17
Total: 373–202

      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


  1. ^ Eisenbath, Mike (January 5, 1997). "As Cincy Visits, Bills Still Groping". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  2. ^ a b Novak, Thad. "Mike Anderson to Arkansas: Top 10 Coaches Who Starred Where They Were Assistants". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 7 Nov 2011.
  3. ^ 2010-11 Missouri State Men's Basketball Annual. Missouri State University. 2011. p. 158.