Missouri Southern Lions

The Missouri Southern Lions are composed of 12 teams representing Missouri Southern State University in intercollegiate athletics. The Lions compete in the NCAA Division II and are members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Missouri Southern Lions
UniversityMissouri Southern State University
ConferenceThe MIAA
NCAADivision II
Athletic directorJared Bruggeman
LocationJoplin, Missouri
Varsity teams12
Football stadiumFred G. Hughes Stadium
Basketball arenaLeggett & Platt Athletic Center
Baseball stadiumWarren Turner Field
MascotRoary the Lion
Fight songSouthern Fight Song
ColorsGreen and Gold[1]

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countrySoccer
GolfTrack and field
Track and fieldVolleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


Missouri Southern has had 14 Major League Baseball draft selections since the draft began in 1965.[2]

Year Player Round Team
1981 Randy Braun 12 Astros
1984 Michael Gildehaus 20 Padres
1990 Daniel Rogers 8 Tigers
1991 Timothy Casper 55 Giants
1991 Ken Grundt 53 Giants
1991 Timothy Luther 12 Giants
1992 David Fisher 29 Phillies
1995 Scott Wright 41 Reds
1995 Bryce Darnell 40 Cardinals
1996 Bryce Darnell 58 Diamondbacks
2005 Jeffrey Taylor 24 Nationals
2009 Justin Beal 28 Phillies
2010 Joseph Lincoln 34 Dodgers
2014 Logan Moon 6 Royals
2017 Max Hogan 32 Orioles



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.


  • Warren Turner Field (opened in 2015) is named after long-time MSSU baseball coach Warren Turner. The year 2015 marked the first time the MSSU Baseball Program played on campus in more than 40 years. The first game played on the field was February 14, 2015, against Upper Iowa University. A formal dedication of the field occurred on April 18, 2015.[3]
  • 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

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, February 21, 2013 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center, only the musical score existed.[8]

Athletics tragedies

  • 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 Lions' 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. 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 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]


  1. MSSU Brand Guidelines (PDF). August 1, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  2. "MLB Amateur Draft Picks who came from "Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, MO)"". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  3. http://www.mssulions.com/facilities/?id=8
  4. "Fred G. Hughes Stadium". mssulions.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015.
  5. "Fred G. Hughes Stadium - Joplin MO - College Football Stadiums on Waymarking.com". waymarking.com.
  6. "The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center". mssulions.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2014.
  7. "Missouri Southern". mssulions.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2014.
  8. "Fight Song". mssu.edu. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013.
  9. http://www.mssu.edu/about/mssu-fight-song.mp3
  10. "Missouri Southern football coach dies". The Joplin Independent via website. September 27, 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  11. "Michael McCrimmons, Diondre Johnson Dead: Crash Kills 2 Missouri Southern Football Players". The Huffington Post.
  12. "Sports Illustrated article on 2 football players killed in automobile accident in 2011". Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  13. "MSSU assistant football coach killed in shooting". Associated Press via KTVO-TV website. November 2, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
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