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Wynn Named Missouri Sports Legend

Former Missouri State women's Athletic Director Mary Jo Wynn was named a Missouri Sports Legend.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo--The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has been naming Legends for years now.

But never before has a female been bestowed the red-coated honor.

That all changed Thursday when the Hall named Mary Jo Wynn a Missouri Sports Legend.

In addition, three other women who were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

But it was Wynn who started everything when she arrived at Southwest Missouri State in the 1950's.

Athletic opportunties for women were non-existent back then.

Wynn grew from student to coach to womens athletics director in her 41 years with SMS.

She help grow not only Lady Bears basketball, but womens athletics nationwide.

Thursday, the Hall gave her a long deserved red blazer and her bust was unveiled that will be on display at the Hall of Fame.

"What can you say to have such an outstanding honor," said Mary Jo Wynn. "And to represent all the wonderful outstanding women in the state of Missouri.  There are no words to describe it."

"Dr. Wynn was instrument in the AIAW and the transition to the NCAA. And of course womens athletics at Missouri State from the very beginning," said former Lady Bears coach Cheryl Burnett.

"Mary Jo's a hero of mine," said new Hall of Famer Mechelle Voepel.  "And I feel like if it wasn't for women like her and women of her generation, I wouldn't have the job that I have.  Because they moved the needle so far forward as for womens's participation in sports."

Veteran sports journalist Mechelle Voepel was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame along with Washington University volleyball coach Teri Clemens and Missouri Southern softball coach Pat Lipira. 

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