ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Missouri Valley Conference will honor its past on Friday, March 7, 2014, when the league conducts its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in St. Louis.
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, men’s basketball coach and administrator Bob King of Indiana State and longtime administrator and coach Dr. Linda Herman of Illinois State comprise the 17th MVC Hall of Fame class.
For the 11th time in 12 years, the league will conduct its annual Hall of Fame ceremony as part the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Championship weekend next March 6-9.
The March 7 festivities will begin with an 8 AM breakfast, followed by the induction ceremony at 8:30 AM.
Tickets to the 2014 Hall of Fame event – scheduled to be held in the Peabody Opera House which is 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.
“The Missouri Valley Conference has great tradition and a rich history dating back more than a century,” said Commissioner Doug Elgin. “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.”
“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 continued. “We are humbled at this opportunity to salute them for their legendary contributions to athletics in the MVC.”
STEVE FINLEY, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS A native of Paducah, Ky., Steve Finley becomes the first Saluki baseball player to enter the Missouri Valley Conference’s Hall of Fame and is the seventh overall inductee for Southern Illinois University.
A first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice in 1986 and 1987 and a third-team All-American selection in 1986, he was also a member of the 1986 Team USA squad that won a bronze medal during international competition in the Netherlands.
A member of SIU’s Hall of Fame, Finley still ranks among the Salukis’ career leaders in runs scored (3rd, 175), hits (10th, 246), triples (T-7th, 13), total bases (T-7th, 352) and stolen bases (T-2nd, 69).
In 1986, Finley was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round but did not sign.
Finley made his Major League debut with Baltimore on April 3, 1989.
He played for eight different Major League Baseball organizations, including the Baltimore Orioles (1989-90), Houston Astros (1991-94), San Diego Padres (1995-98), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2004), Los Angeles Dodgers (2004), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005), San Francisco Giants (2006) and Colorado Rockies (2007).
Throughout his 19-year MLB career, he was a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star selection (1997 and 2000), a five-time Gold Glove Award winner (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2004) and a World Series champion (2001, with Arizona).
In 2006, at the age of 41, Finley became the oldest player ever to play more than 100 games in center field.
He played his last Major League game on June 3, 2007. At the time of his release, he was first in triples (124), third in games (2,583) and at-bats (9,397), fourth in hits (2,548), seventh in runs (1,443), eighth in total bases (4,157), and ninth in doubles (449) and stolen bases (320) among all active players. He also had the fourth-most center field appearances in Major League history and was the 6th-oldest player in the National League.
Finley’s career numbers include a .271 batting average, 301 home runs, 2,548 hits and 1,167 runs batted in.
He currently resides in San Diego, Calif., where he works in business development for Apheta and GS Levine Insurance Services, Inc.
Finley has three sons (Austin, Reed, Blake) and two daughters (Franchesca and Sophia).
CHRIS BUCKNAM, NORTHERN IOWA A native of Beverly, Mass., Chris Bucknam becomes the third track and field coach to be inducted into the MVC Athletics Hall of Fame, joining Lew Hartzog of Southern Illinois (2003) and John Coughlan of Illinois State (2009). Bucknam served as UNI’s head men’s track and field coach from 1984-2008 and the women’s head coach from 1997-2008, after beginning his career as a men’s assistant at UNI in 1979.
In his 25 seasons at UNI, Bucknam guided UNI to 35 league titles, including two top-10 and six top-20 finishes at NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
A 33-time Conference coach of the year, Bucknam produced three national champions and an outstanding 34 All-Americans, who collected a total of 85 All-America distinctions. In all, Bucknam has sent 146 qualifiers to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
UNI earned 69 All-America honors from 2000–08, including 51 total from 2005-2008. UNI’s 47 men’s All-Americans from 2005-08 ranked as the 10th-most in the nation over that time.
During his time as assistant and head coach, UNI won or shared 38 league titles (Mid-Continent and Missouri Valley), including winning nine-straight MVC men’s indoor crowns (2000-2008), and also guided the Panthers to 25 MVC team titles and 231 MVC individual crowns.
In Bucknam’s final season with the Panthers, he tallied an all-time best outdoor showing for the program with an 11th-place finish (22 team points) at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
UNI also posted back-to-back ninth-place finishes at the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships.
In men’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, his team’s best finishes were 11th in 2008 and 17th in 1997, while at men’s NCAA Indoor Championships, top placings were ninth in 2007 and 2008, 12th in 2002, 18th in 2006 and 20th in 2001.
Bucknam’s men’s teams won 11 MVC indoor titles, six Valley outdoor titles and four cross country championships, while his women’s squads took two indoor titles, an outdoor crown and a cross country title.
He was named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year nine times, including five-straight selections.
His top UNI student-athletes included MVC Hall of Famer and national champion Joey Woody (400-meter hurdles), national champions Tyler Mulder (indoor 800 meters) and Jacob Pauli (pole vault) and multi-time All-Americans Dirk Homewood and Balazs Csillag.
Bucknam is now in his fifth season as the head coach at the University of Arkansas men’s cross country and track and field teams.
He and his wife, Cindy, have a son, Eric, and a daughter, Kate.
GAVIN GLINTON, BRADLEY A native of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, Gavin Glinton is the second men’s soccer player inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame.
Glinton remains the only four-time All-American in Bradley Athletics and Missouri Valley Conference men’s soccer history, joining women’s basketball legend Jackie Stiles as the only four-year All-Americans in all sports in league history.
He also remains the only four-time, first-team All-MVC selection in Valley men’s soccer history.
Glinton is far and away Bradley soccer’s all-time leader in total points (133, second is 84) and goals (53, second is 32), and he ended his career as The Valley’s all-time leader in both categories and his 133 points and 53 goals both remain second in league history through 2012.
Glinton led the league with 15 goals as a freshman in 1998, lifting the Braves from a last-place league finish in 1997 to their first-ever Valley regular-season title.
He added 15 more goals in 2000 to lead the Braves to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
In addition to leading the Braves to their first MVC regular-season title (1998) and first NCAA Tournament appearance (2000), Glinton led the Braves to a four-year overall record of 51-26-5 (.652), including a 21-12-1 (.632) MVC record.
Selected in the second round of the 2002 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the LA Galaxy, Glinton played parts of four seasons in MLS with the Galaxy, Dallas and San Jose, and he played eight professional seasons around the world.
Glinton also earned six international CAPS playing for his native Turks & Caicos, including one in the island nation’s first-ever international victory during the 2006 Digicel Caribbean Cup.
He currently resides in Brentwood, Calif., where he works as the Program Coordinator for Impact Soccer Club.
DR. LINDA HERMAN, ILLINOIS STATE A native of Valparaiso, Ind., Dr. Linda Herman of Illinois State is the 13th honoree in The Valley’s Lifetime Achievement category.
The Lifetime Achievement category honors, when appropriate, former players, coaches, administrators or alumni who competed, worked or attended a current league school.
Herman dedicated 30 years of service to the Illinois State University Athletics Department, including time as both an administrator and coach.
During her time as an administrator, the Redbirds won 117 Valley championships and 16 league all-sports trophies.
Herman served as senior women’s administrator and served four separate stints as Illinois State’s interim athletics director.
Before serving as an administrator at Illinois State, Herman coached the Redbird volleyball team for seven seasons and posted a 267-112 record, including a pair of national finishes in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Tournament, highlighted by an eighth-place finish in 1977.
A national pioneer in women’s athletics, Herman was named the 1995 National Associate of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) District V Administrator of the Year.
Her leadership skills were recognized as the 1996 ATALANTA Award winner from Athletics Management magazine for her service to intercollegiate athletics.
Herman served on the NCAA Volleyball Committee for seven years, the NCAA Softball Committee for three years and was a member of the NCAA Championships Committee for two years.
She was a recipient of the Bloomington-Normal YWCA Women of Distinction Award for outstanding leadership and excellence in education in 1997.
In December 2003, she was tabbed a member of the inaugural American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame class. Herman was also inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.
Now enjoying her second retirement from Illinois State University, Herman spends her time traveling, visiting friends and family and supporting Redbird Athletics.
DR. MARTIN PERLINE, WICHITA STATE Dr. Martin Perline retired in May of 2013 as faculty representative for athletics at Wichita State. His main task was to certify, after consultation and documentation by the director of admissions, the athletic eligibility of all Shocker student-athletes.
He also served on the board of directors of the Wichita State-Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and represented Wichita State to the NCAA and Missouri Valley Conference.
Perline became Professor of Economics at Wichita State in 1971, also serving as Associate Dean of the School of Business Administration from 1971-73. He joined the Wichita State faculty as an assistant professor in 1965. He was a 1969 recipient of the Wichita State Regents’ Excellence in Teaching Award, a 1987 recipient of a W. Frank Barton School of Business Administration Outstanding Teacher Award, a 1993-94 Mortar Board Educator Appreciation Award, a 1997 Academy for Effective Teaching Award and a 2000 WSU Alumni Association Faculty Recognition Award. In 2004, he was named a Bloomfield Foundation Fellow.
Perline has published articles in the areas of labor economics and sport economics in various professional journals and presented papers at international conferences. He is also past-president of the Missouri Valley Conference.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Perline received a B.A. in economics from Arizona State University in 1960 and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio State University in 1962 and 1965, respectively.
BOB KING, INDIANA STATE A native of Gravity, Iowa, Bob King of Indiana State 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 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 December 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.