A basketball coach gives instructions to his team
Jay Spoonhour is expected to be named to the Missouri State men’s basketball coaching staff. (Photo: Eastern Illinois University)

A coach with a last name synonymous with Missouri State University men’s basketball excellence is expected to soon join head coach Dana Ford’s staff.

Credible sources indicate that Jay Spoonhour, son of the legendary, late Missouri State Hall of Fame head coach Charlie Spoonhour, is expected to fill a vacancy on Ford’s coaching staff. The move could become official by the end of this week or wait until just after Memorial Day.

Spoonhour would replace Jase Herl, who left after last season to join the staff at North Texas.

Jay Spoonhour is a Glendale High School graduate who went on to play collegiately at Pittsburg State. He was head coach at Eastern Illinois for nine seasons, with a 119-157 record, and his contract was not renewed following the 2020-21 season. He won a junior college national championship at Wabash Valley in 2001.

Rick Kindhart, Missouri State assistant director of athletics for sports communications, said the school would not have any announcement of any new assistant until the hiring is official.

Charlie Spoonhour coached the Bears from 1983-92, leading the program to five NCAA Tournaments and two National Invitation Tournaments in nine seasons. He compiled a 197-81 record before leaving after the 1991-92 season for Saint Louis University. Later, he was head coach at UNLV.

Jay Spoonhour also served as an interim head coach at UNLV after his father resigned in the final month of the 2003-04 season, going 6-4. He was an assistant at Saint Louis, UNLV, Missouri and Texas-San Antonio.

Charlie Spoonhour died of a rare lung disease in 2012 at the age of 72. His honorary jersey is retired in the rafters of Great Southern Bank Arena and he’s a member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame, Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at Lscranton755@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton