Springfield, Mo. — Former Missouri Southern men’s basketball coach and current Director of Development for Athletics Robert Corn will be one of 15 individuals, a sports program and a team that will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on January 31, 2016.
The Enshrinement is 5 p.m. Sunday, January 31 at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield. An 11 a.m. reception presented by Meeks The Builder’s Choice is scheduled at the Hall of Fame, 3861 E. Stan Musial Drive. Afternoon activities begin at 4 p.m. with a reception at University Plaza, and the program will follow immediately afterward. Individual tickets are $150, and a table of 10 is $1,500. For tickets, call the Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100.
Corn coached the Missouri Southern men’s basketball program for 25 seasons, compiling a 413-305 record before retiring in March 2014. His 413 wins are the most in school history. He also has the third-most wins among coaches in the history of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. He has led the Lions to 16 consecutive trips to the MIAA Tournament, 21 overall, and in 2014 earned his fourth MIAA Coach of the Year award. That award followed his ninth 20-win season.
Overall, Corn has guided five teams to the NCAA Division II Tournament. One of his best seasons was 1999-2000, when the Lions reached the national semifinals and finished 30-3. That team cut down the nets three times inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center – after the MIAA regular-season championship, the MIAA Tournament championship and the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament title.
Since his retirement, Corn has worked in both the Alumni and Development offices at Missouri Southern, his current roll being the major fundraiser for the Missouri Southern Athletics Department.
Corn joins Pat Lipira, Rod Smith and Tom Rutledge as former Missouri Southern athletes or coaches in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Missouri Southern Hall of Fame in 2000.
A native of Benton, Ill., where he was twice a special mention prep All-State performer, Corn played basketball for two seasons at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), including one year under Bartow, before transferring to Missouri Southern. As a senior, he was co-captain of the 1977-78 squad that went 27-9 to capture both Central States Intercollegiate Conference and NAIA District 16 crowns and advance to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Tournament.Corn was honored for his athletic and academic efforts that year as he was named honorable mention All-CSIC and All-District, as well as Missouri Southern’s outstanding physical education major. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1978.
Corn returned to his alma mater following ten years as an assistant under one of the game’s most respected coaches, Gene Bartow, at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.Corn went to UAB as a graduate assistant in 1979, just one year after Bartow had been hired to start the Blazers’ basketball program, and was later promoted to full-time assistant in 1981.
He is married to the former Cindy Little of Muscle Shoals, Ala. They have two sons, Rob and Scott Michael.