MSU Pioneer Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Dies At 87


SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Missouri State University and the NCAA lost a pioneer in womens athletics.

Doctor Mary Jo Wynn passed away Tuesday in Springfield.

The 87-year old was a Missouri State icon and trail blazer.

Dr. Wynn was a part of Bear Athletics for nearly 50 years.

The Hartville native graduated from the University in 1953.

She started coaching Bears women’s sports five years later.

And in 1975 became the very first womens athletics director at what is now Missouri State.

When Title IX championed womens athletics, Dr. Mary Jo Wynn was ready.

She helped build the Lady Bears athletic teams into national powers.

The softball and field hockey teams won AIAW national championships.

She hired Cheryl Burnett as the Lady Bears coach.

And Burnett led the womens basketball team to two Final Four appearances.

Dr. Mary Jo Wynn was named a Missouri Sports Legend and is in numerous Halls of Fame.

Retired Bears Athletics Director Bill Rowe remembers the hard work she did in building the Lady Bears basketball program.

“Once they got started and the Lady Bears were winning.  It was an never ending deal.  It just kept going.  I jokingly told her one time.  I’ll never forget it and she won’t either.  If she were here she’d laugh right now.  I said Mary Jo is anybody paying?  She said they will.  And they did.  It’s like the biblical one, She’s run the race, really, really well.  She’s completed the task  in lots of different ways.  We’re grateful for the life of Mary Jo Wynn believe me,” said Rowe.

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