Missouri Southern Lions

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Missouri Southern Lions
University Missouri Southern State University
Conference MIAA
NCAA Division II
Athletic director Jared Bruggeman
Location Joplin, Missouri
Varsity teams 12
Football stadium Fred G. Hughes Stadium
Basketball arena Leggett & Platt Athletic Center
Baseball stadium Joe Becker Stadium
Mascot Roary the Lion
Nickname Lions
Fight song Southern Fight Song
Colors Green and Gold[1]
Website www.mssulions.com
MSSU wordmark.png

The Missouri Southern Lions are composed of 12 teams representing Missouri Southern State University in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, cross country, and track and field. Men's sports include baseball, football, and golf. Women's sports include soccer, softball, and volleyball. The Lions compete in the NCAA Division II and are members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.[2]


Men's Women's
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country
Cross Country Soccer
Football Softball
Golf Track and Field
Track and Field Volleyball


Missouri Southern has had 13 Major League Baseball Draft selection since the draft began in 1965.[3]

Year Player Round Team
1981 Braun, RandyRandy Braun 12 Astros
1984 Gildehaus, MichaelMichael Gildehaus 20 Padres
1990 Rogers, DanielDaniel Rogers 8 Tigers
1991 Casper, TimothyTimothy Casper 55 Giants
1991 Grundt, KenKen Grundt 53 Giants
1991 Luther, TimothyTimothy Luther 12 Giants
1992 Fisher, DavidDavid Fisher 29 Phillies
1995 Wright, ScottScott Wright 41 Reds
1995 Darnell, BryceBryce Darnell 40 Cardinals
1996 Darnell, BryceBryce Darnell 58 Diamondbacks
2005 Taylor, JeffreyJeffrey Taylor 24 Nationals
2009 Beal, JustinJustin Beal 28 Phillies
2010 Lincoln, JosephJoseph Lincoln 34 Dodgers
2014 Logan Moon 6 Royals



As of 2012 the Mascot's official name has become Roary the Lion. He made his debut at the October 6, 2012 Homecoming game against the South Dakota Mines. He is a staple at all home sporting events, as well as throughout the community of Joplin.


Fred G. Hughes Stadium (opened in 1975) is named after former Joplin Globe publisher and Missouri Southern board of regents member (1965-1981) Fred G. Hughes (1913-1994).[4] Due to a large financial donation by the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, the stadium is expected to be renamed in his honor in the near future, though the plaza at the entrance to the stadium may be named after Hughes. The stadium's artificial turf was replaced in 2003.[5]

Leggett & Platt Athletic Center (opened in 1999) is named for Leggett & Platt, a major manufacturing firm located in Carthage, Missouri. Leggett & Platt was a major donor for the construction of this facility. The facility seats more than 3,200 for basketball and other indoor sports. It also includes an indoor track and field facility.[6]

Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium (opened in 1968) is named after Robert Ellis Young (1919-1995). Young had represented the area in the Missouri House of Representatives. The 1,700 seat gymnasium was home to the university’s basketball teams from 1968 until 1999, when they moved to the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The school’s volleyball team currently uses the facility. The university’s swimming pool is also located in this building.[7]

Fight song[edit]

Southern Fight Song is the official fight song for Missouri Southern State University.[8][9] The MSSU Fight Song lyrics were selected during a contest conducted in late 2012 and early 2013. Until the winner was announced at the Lions vs. Central Oklahoma Bronchos basketball game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center, only the musical score existed.[8]

Athletics tragedies[edit]

  • On September 27, 2005 head football coach John Ware experienced a severe heart attack while working in his campus office. Coaching staff administered CPR at the scene but Ware was pronounced dead on arrival at a Joplin hospital a short time later. Ware was in his second year as the Lion's head coach.[10]
  • In the early morning on Friday, December 2, 2011, two Missouri Southern football players were killed in an automobile accident that injured two other students, the university said. Michael McCrimmons and Diondre Johnson, both 19-year-old freshmen from Springfield, Missouri died in the crash; the vehicle ran off the road on Interstate 44 about two miles east of Sarcoxie, Missouri. A vigil was being planned for the students, according to President Bruce W. Speck.[11][12]
  • On the night of November 1, 2013 Missouri Southern football offensive line coach Derek Moore was shot outside a Joplin, Missouri theater and later died at an area hospital. Moore was in his first year on the Missouri Southern coaching staff after spending the previous three seasons at Western Illinois University. Due to the shooting death school officials cancelled Homecoming activities.[13]


External links[edit]