by Mike Landis, KY3 News
9:42 PM CST, February 1, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Before the tip-off between MSU and Wichita State at JQH Arena on Wednesday, there was a moment of silence for the legend.
“Charlie had such vitality and life. To think somebody like Charlie [passing away], it is hard to believe,” said longtime Bears fan Darryl Bueker.
Charlie Spoonhour, former Bears head basketball coach, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72. He's being remembered for helping put (what was then) SMSU on the map.
“He took us to the NCAA tournament five times in six years. So, he took us to the big time,” said Bueker.
“His loss is obviously a point of sadness for everyone, but a great time to reflect on some very good memories,” said fan Bill Francis.
Those memories were made over ‘The Spoon's’ nine years leading the Bears to win after win.
Bringing the coach on board in 1983 was former athletic director Bill Rowe.
“He is exactly what we needed. He related to our people. He was a good coach. He was a good person,” said Rowe.
“He made everybody feel at ease, and Charlie was a great speaker- just a good old boy,” Bueker said.
“He fit in very well in the Ozarks and the Ozarks always claimed him,” said Francis.
Those who knew Spoonhour say two things that will be missed the most include the coach’s his laugh, and his ability to make others laugh.
“The board meetings took forever because Charlie told non-stop jokes. He was an amazing guy,” chuckled Bueker, who led the ‘Papa Bears’ booster club during Spoonhour’s tenure.
But it was Charlie Spoonhour's serious side and dedication that left a legacy on MSU and the Ozarks.
“He coached our players hard but, yet, deep down, they respected and loved him," Rowe said.
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