ST. LOUIS – Former Indiana State director of athletics and men’s basketball coach Bob King has been selected for induction into the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Athletics Hall of Fame, the league office announced today.
King joins six other Indiana State athletes and coaches who have been inducted into the MVC Athletics Hall of Fame including Larry Bird (1997), Holli Hyche (1999), Bruce Baumgartner (2003), Duane Klueh (2006), John Wooden (2009) and Kurt Thomas (2011).
“The Missouri Valley Conference has great tradition and a rich history dating back more than a century,” said Commissioner Doug Eglin. “Our Hall of Fame has provided the league with the opportunity to honor individuals who have played an important role in intercollegiate athletics in the Conference."
Joining King in the 17th MVC Hall of Fame class are World Series champion and five-time MLB Gold Glove Award winner Steve Finley of Southern Illinois, track and field coaching great Chris Bucknam of Northern Iowa, four-time men’s soccer All-American Gavin Glinton of Bradley, and longtime administrator and coach Dr. Linda Herman of Illinois State.
“The Class of 2014 is comprised of former student-athletes, coaches and administrators who brought significant recognition and honor to their institutions and to themselves,” Elgin said. “We are humbled at this opportunity to salute them for their legendary contributions to athletics in the MVC.”
The annual MVC Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony will take place in St. Louis on Friday, March 7, 2014, as part of the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Championship weekend next March 6-9. The March 7 festivities will begin with an 8 a.m. (CT) breakfast followed by the induction ceremony at 8:30 a.m. (CT).
Tickets to the 2014 Hall of Fame event – scheduled to take place in the Peabody Opera House adjacent to Scottrade Center – can be obtained by calling the league office at 314-444-4300. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
King, a native of Gravity, Iowa, enters the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame as an Institutional Great selection.
The Institutional Great distinction recognizes coaches, student-athletes and administrators who represented a current league school, when their institution was not a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
King served as the Sycamores head basketball coach from 1975 to 1978, where he produced an overall record of 61-24. His .718 winning percentage ranks third all-time in school history, trailing only John Wooden (.746) and Glenn M. Curtis (.724), while his 61 victories rank eighth in Sycamore men’s basketball history.
In his three seasons as the head coach at Indiana State, King steered the Sycamores to NIT berths in 1977 and 1978 while assembling components for the acclaimed 1978-79 NCAA men’s basketball runner-up team.
King also served as the director of athletics at Indiana State from 1974-1980. In seven eventful years, he transformed Indiana State’s image as a small college athletics power, rich in tradition, into a formidable national force.
During King’s tenure, the men’s gymnastics team was the NCAA co-champion in 1977, while the baseball, football and wrestling programs expanded and thrived.
Before coming to Indiana State, King was the head coach at the University of New Mexico from 1962-1972, where he compiled a record of 175-89 (.663).
In 13 seasons as a head coach, King produced an overall record of 236-113 (.676), taking five teams to the NIT Tournament and one team to the NCAA Tournament.
King’s teams won over 20 games four different times, and he had just one losing season in his 13-year career.
He coached the likes of Larry Bird and Carl Nicks at Indiana State, as well as Mel Daniels, Ira Harge and Willie Long at New Mexico.
King suffered a stroke before the start of the 1978-79 basketball season and was forced to step down as the head basketball coach. Bill Hodges was named the interim coach and led the Sycamores to the NCAA Championship game. King would not return to coaching due to health reasons.
He previously was inducted into Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame (1982), the University of New Mexico Athletic Hall of Fame (1987) and the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame (1999).
On Dec. 1, 1992, the basketball court at New Mexico, “The Pit,” was dedicated and named Bob King Court in honor of the man who built the program and made “The Pit” possible.