Missouri State Bears football
The Missouri State Bears football program is the college football team that represents Missouri State University located in Springfield, Missouri, United States. Missouri State competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
|Missouri State Bears football|
|Head coach||Bobby Petrino |
1st season, 5–4 (.556)
|Stadium||Robert W. Plaster Stadium|
|Location||Springfield, Missouri, U.S.|
|NCAA division||Division I FCS|
|Conference||Missouri Valley (since 2008)|
|Past conferences||Independent (1909–1923)|
|All-time record||470–522–39 (.475)|
|Playoff appearances||2 (1989, 1990) (FCS playoffs)|
|Conference titles||10 (1928, 1940, 1948, 1951, 1963, 1966, 1978, 1989, 1990, 2020)|
|Consensus All-Americans||50 Associated Press|
|Colors||Maroon, Black, and White|
|Fight song||The Scotsman|
|Marching band||The Pride|
|Website||missouristatebears.com (football homepage)|
The school was known as Southwest Missouri State until 2005 when they changed the name to Missouri State. Missouri State's first football team was fielded in 1909 and the first coach in program history was Walter Langston who went 4–2 in his only season as head coach. Prior to 1923, the team competed as an Independent. From 1923 to 1980, Missouri State were members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, of which Missouri State was a founding member. During that time the Bears were classified in the NCAA College Division from 1958 to 1972. From 1973 to 1980 the Bears played in NCAA Division II. Missouri State moved up to the Association of Mid-Continent Universities in time for the 1981 season, which was their first season in Division I-AA. In 1985 the Bears became a founding member of the Gateway Football Conference which later became the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008.
Missouri State has an all-time record of 470–519–39 and have won 10 conference championships. They won their most recent conference championship in 2020. Missouri State was ranked second in the country for 3 weeks from October 15 to 29, 1990. This is still the highest ranking in school history. The team plays its home games at the 17,500-seat Robert W. Plaster Stadium which has been its home since 1941. The Bears have had 21 head coaches in their history, including their current head coach Bobby Petrino.
- 1958–1972: NCAA College Division
- 1973–1980: NCAA Division II
- 1982–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS
- 1909–1923: Independent
- 1924–1981: Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association†
- 1981–1984: Mid-Continent Conference
- 1985–present: Gateway Football Conference/Missouri Valley Football Conference†
†Founding member of the conference
Since 1909, the Missouri State Bears have had 21 different head coaches. The first coach in program history was Walter Langston who coached the team for one year. Arthur Briggs is the longest tenured head coach with two non consecutive runs as head coach. He coached the Bears for 20 seasons in total. The current coach is Bobby Petrino who was hired on January 16, 2020. There was no team for the 1913 season. Due to World War II, Missouri State did not field a team for the 1943–1944 seasons.
|1912–1917||Arthur W. Briggs||15-9-2||.615|
|1919–1933||Arthur W. Briggs||61-50-8||.546|
|1955||Harold "Tuffy" Stratton||2-6-1||.278|
Missouri State plays all home games at Plaster Stadium, which has been their home since 1941. From its opening in 1941 to 1991 the stadium was known as Briggs Stadium. The stadium currently seats 17,500 people. It has undergone several major renovations in 1991 and, most recently, in 2014. After the 1991 renovation which added an upper deck on the west side and a row of sky-boxes and press box, the stadium was renamed in honor of Robert W. Plaster who provided the major gift for the project. The Stadium was updated in 2008 with a new video board behind the south endzone. The 2014 renovation made significant changes to the East side of the stadium and the playing surface. The track was removed and the East side was completely rebuilt. The stadium record attendance is 18,386 which was at the 2014 home opener versus North Dakota. Plaster Stadium is the 4th-largest stadium in the conference and the second-largest college football specific venue in Missouri.
Top 5 largest crowdsEdit
|1||September 13, 2014||18,386||North Dakota||W, 38–0|
|2||September 12, 2017||17,835||Chadron State||W, 21–13|
|3||October 28, 1997||15,672||Pittsburg State||L, 8–9|
|4||November 2, 1996||15,878||Western Illinois||L, 17–23|
|5||September 9, 2000||15,647||Missouri Southern||W, 48–3|
Indoor practice facilityEdit
In July of 2018 it was reported that Missouri State was undergoing the process of securing funding to build an indoor practice facility. In a phone interview with the Springfield News-Leader, athletic director Kyle Moats talked at length about the facility. Missouri State would build the indoor facility entirely through private donations to the athletic department. The facility was to be built on the existing ROTC and band practice field. The school's athletic director Kyle Moats said "From a recruiting standpoint, others in the conference have one," Moats said. "We need to at least try and put people on equal bases." He also was quoted that the facility would be apart of their plan to continually upgrade team's facilities. The indoor facility would also be shared by some of the other athletic programs at Missouri State.  In November of 2019, athletic director Kyle Moats gave an update to "The Standard", the Missouri State student newspaper. He said the athletic department wasn't able to achieve the funding they needed to build the facility as some other programs became more important to address first. He said they had decided to use a more cost efficient approach and decided to build a dome over Betty and Bobby Allison North Stadium instead, to save the department over $10-$15 million. Moats said that the facility would be used by the club lacrosse team, football, Soccer, Track, Baseball and Softball. In the interview Moats said “We wouldn’t be gaining any traction, we’d just be catching up,” and We’re not trying to have the Taj Mahal, just an indoor facility.” As of February of 2021 there hasn't been anymore news on the facility.
Missouri State has retired 4 jerseys which are memorialized on the second level of the stadium's West side.
|C||Arthur W. Briggs||Coach||1912–1933|
Missouri State has won nine conference championships in their history. The Bears won 7 championships in the MIAA and 2 championships in the Gateway. The first conference championship was won in 1928 under coach Arthur Briggs. Jesse Branch is the only coach to win multiple conference championships. The 1928 and 1990 championships were shared titles.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1928†||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Arthur Briggs||7–1–1||3–0–1|
|1940||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Red Blair||10–0||5–0|
|1948†||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Tommy O'Boyle||9–2||4–1|
|1951||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Fred Thomsen||6–3–1||4–0–1|
|1963||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Orville Pottenger||9–1||5–0|
|1966||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Jim Mentis||7–4||5–0|
|1978||Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Rich Johanningmeier||8–3||6–0|
|1989||Gateway Football Conference||Jesse Branch||12–1||9–0|
|1990†||Gateway Football Conference||Jesse Branch||8–3||6–2|
|2020†||Missouri Valley||Bobby Petrino||5-4||5-1|
|Total Conference Championships:||10|
|† Denotes co-champions|
Missouri State has appeared in the FCS playoffs twice. Under head coach Jesse Branch, the Bears made two straight trips in 1989 and 1990. In 1989 they drew a first round matchup with the Maine Black Bears. Missouri State won 38–35 and advanced to play the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the Quarterfinals where they lost 55–25. Missouri State made it to the playoffs again in the 1990 season. They played at home against the Idaho Vandals and lost 41–35. Their all time record is 1–2.
|1989||Jesse Branch||First Round
Stephen F. Austin
|1990||Jesse Branch||First Round||Idaho||L 35–41|
|2020||Bobby Petrino||First Round||North Dakota||TBD|
Missouri State has appeared in four bowl games and are 0–4 all time.
|1948||Tommy O'Boyle||Missouri-Kansas Bowl||Emporia State||L 20–34|
|1963||Orville Pottenger||Mineral Water Bowl||Northern Illinois||L 14–21|
|1966||Jim Mentis||Mineral Water Bowl||Adams State||L 8–14|
|1989||Jesse Branch||Pecan Bowl||Stephen F. Austin||L 25–55|
Note: The 1989 Pecan Bowl was the Midwest Regional Championship (FCS Playoff Quarterfinal).
Record vs. MIAA teamsEdit
Record vs. former MVFC teamsEdit
Record vs. current MVFC teamsEdit
|North Dakota State||2||10||0||.167||2008|
|South Dakota State||1||11||0||.083||2008|
†note: North Dakota joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020. The Bears played them twice in non-conference and once in the FCS Playoffs.
Current NFL playersEdit
|Player||Position||1st Year||Draft Round||Teams|
|Dylan Cole||MLB||2017||Undrafted||Houston Texans|
Former NFL playersEdit
Announced schedules as of February 6, 2020
|Week 1||at Oklahoma State (FBS)||at Central Arkansas#||at Montana||at Tarleton State||at Missouri|
|Week 2||Central Arkansas||UT Martin||at UT Martin||at Murray State||at Murray State||at Kansas|
|Week 3||at Arkansas (FBS)||Murray State||Murray State|
|Week 4||South Dakota*||South Dakota State*||Dixie State||Tarleton State||at Kennesaw State|
|Week 5||at Illinois State*||at North Dakota*|
|Week 6||Southern Illinois*||at North Dakota*||Indiana State*|
|Week 7||Indiana State*||South Dakota State*||Western Illinois*||at Western Illinois*|
|Week 8||at North Dakota State*||at Northern Iowa*||South Dakota*|
|Week 9||North Dakota†*||Western Illinois*||Northern Iowa*|
|Week 10||at Southern Illinois*||at South Dakota*||at Southern Illinois*|
|Week 11||Northern Iowa*||North Dakota*||at Indiana State*||at South Dakota State*|
|Week 12||at Dixie State||at Indiana State*||at Western Illinois*||South Dakota State*|
Note: † Homecoming, # Thursday night game, * Conference match-up
- "Robert W. Plaster Stadium". Missouri State.
- "Media Guide" (PDF). s3.amazonaws.com. 2019. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
- "2015 Missouri State Football Guide". Issuu.
- "Our Colors". brand.missouristate.edu.
- "Petrino Named Missouri State Head Football Coach". Missouri State.
- "2017 Media Guide (PDF)" (PDF). Missouri State.
- "Missouri State Bears Year by Year Summary". Missouri State Bears. 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
- "FCSb Champ" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. 2012. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
- "Future Missouri State Football Schedules". FBSchedules.com.