Coach’s hard work is awarded


Shelby Neuback/The Chart

Men’s track and cross country head coach Tom Rutledge is acknowledged as an inductee in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at the University Plaza Convection center in Springfield, Mo. on Sunday Jan. 27.

Missouri Southern’s long time men’s track and cross country coach Tom Rutledge was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame last Sunday.

“I just hope this brings more attention to Missouri Southern’s track and field and our cross country team, the things that we do here. We’re committed to the sports and that’s a good thing to have,” Rutledge said.  “I couldn’t have done it without all the good athletes and all the help that I’ve had getting there.”

In 1988 Rutledge started his career at Missouri Southern as an assistant football coach. Then he started the men’s and comwomen’s cross country and track teams in 1989.

Throughout  his work with the Lions, he has coached eight cross country All-Americans and 55 track and field All-Americans.

 Over his time as a lion Rutledge has received MIAA Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year five times and Indoor Coach of the Year twice.

He has also earned South Central Region Coach in indoor track and crosscountr four times.

Rutledge was inducted as a member of the MSSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

“It’s a great thing to see one of our coaches being inducted to the hall of fame. It gives us more motivation to give him a win at conference and give him more All-Americans,” Track and Field athlete Darion Boure said.

The enshrinement ceremony took place at the University Plaza Convention center in Springfield.

  Rutledge was inducted alongside of former professional wrestler Harley Race, Major League Baseball Players Mike Sweeney, David Eckstein and Scott Bailes as well as fullback Tony Richardson.

 “Very humbling experience, It’s something that you don’t expect. I just coach and work and to have this happen?  It’s a very big honor to be up there with some big name people! I mean, these guys have done great things with their life. It was quite an experience,” Rutledge said.

In November 2012 Rutledge announced that he will be retiring at the end of this school year.