Nixa coach Jay Osborne points to the Eagles’ consistent winning ways leading to the program’s induction to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
All past and present Eagles players and coaches will be honored as part of the Hall’s Basketball Tipoff Luncheon on Dec. 11.
“That’s the ultimate respect right there,” Osborne said. “It’s a great honor and very special. We’re pretty excited about it.”
Nixa has had two state championship seasons and made nine trips to the Final Four. The Eagles were Class 2 state champs in 1978 and Class 3 state champs in 1999. They were state runners-up in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2012, took third in 1979, 1984 and 2002 and reached the Quarterfinal round in 1994 and 2015.
Overall, the Eagles have won 26 conference championships and 18 District titles.
Over a 10-year stretch from 2008-2018, Nixa was 239-50 while reeling off nine straight seasons of 20 wins or more.
The Eagles have enjoyed success against other premier programs in southwest Missouri. Nixa has beaten Ozark 16 of their last 17 meetings, defeated Glendale 12 games in a row, handled Republic 13 times in their last 16 matchups and is 11-9 versus Kickapoo in their last 20 games.
“I know there are a lot of programs in the state that have more state titles and more career wins,“ Osborne said. “But we’ve had longevity. We haven’t been good for two or three years and then fallen off the face of the earth for 10 years like some schools have. They have peaks but their valleys are really low. We’ve had a few valleys but they haven’t lasted very long.
“This is a tribute to all the people who played here over the last 50-plus years. People realize we’re a hard program to beat.”
Nixa’s 1978 state champs were 30-1 and coached by Frank Branstetter and finished 30-1.
The Eagles’ 1999 state champs were 29-4 under Osborne.
The program has produced All-State selections in Randy Towe, Kent Russell, Shelly Sellers, Randy Pogue, Kevin Cheffey, Bob Collier, David Dye, Anthony Welcome, Zach Towe, Kevin Bartow, Glennon Hayes, Royce Moore, Zac Hill, Jalen Norman, Austin Ruder, Kameron Bundy, Jacob Ruder, Chase Allen and Christian Bundy.
The Tipoff Luncheon will be held at 11 a.m. at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield. For tickets, call 417-889-3100.
All Nixa players and coaches in attendance for the luncheon will receive a plaque engraved with their name.
Former Missouri State coach Charlie Spoonhour will be honored as a Missouri Sports Legend. Other inductees will include New Haven coach Ray Steinhoff, former Lincoln and Missouri Southern State standout Anita Rank Oplotnik and the Marshfield girls basketball program.
Also, the newest Filbert Five men and women will be recognized.
The Filbert Five men are Brent Blevins (Forsyth/Missouri Southern/College of the Ozarks), Avery Dingman (Branson/Creighton), Chris Ijames (Republic/Drury), Stan Jinks (Parkview/Missouri State) and Rob Yanders (Missouri State-West Plains/Missouri State).
The Filbert Five women are Jill Esely Durnin (Savannah/William Jewel), Tammy Erwin (Walnut Grove/Southwest Baptist/College of the Ozarks), Carrie Long Green (Skyline/Southwest Baptist), Brittany Percival Lyon (Hartville) and Kelsey Williams (Eminence/Moberly /Lincoln/Central Missouri).