Recently, Pittsburg State University named its 2018 induction class to the school’s Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
On that list of seven Pitt State greats was former Neosho High multi-sport standout Doug Gillispie, who had quite a distinguished basketball career for the Gorillas from 1996 through 1999.
Gillispie’s joined by Lizzy Anyigor-Abitogun (volleyball 2001-04), Renee (Dunlap) Newbanks (softball 1992-95), Gene Iba (men’s basketball coach 1996-2010), Josh Lattimer (football 2002-05), Chad Weeks (football 2002-05), and Gary Pepin (meritorious achievement), plus the 1965 men’s cross country team.
The group will be inducted at a special banquet at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5, in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center on the Pitt State campus. They will also be honored at halftime the next day when Pitt State takes on bitter rival Northwest Missouri at Carnie Smith Stadium, which should be a memorable game.
While at Pitt State, Gillispie finished his 114-game career with 1085 points and 652 rebounds, plus records for career and single-season field goal percentage (both over 60 percent). Gillispie earned all-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association honors three seasons (1997-99 with honorable mention in ’97, second team in ’98, and first team in ’99) and NCAA Division II all-region honors once (second team in 1999).
Gillispie finished his outstanding career ranked fifth in career rebounding and 10th in career scoring, categories that he now ranks sixth and 16th in respectively on the Gorillas’ charts.
Gillispie played on some historic teams — including the 1997 squad that made Pitt State’s first appearance in the national tournament and reached the Sweet 16. Two seasons later, the Gorillas earned a No. 1 national ranking and won the school’s first MIAA title.
It will be a special moment for both coach (Iba) and player (Gillispie) to be inducted at the same time.
Gillispie follows in the footsteps of former teammates Marc Eddington (1995-97) and Oscar Gonzalez (1996-99), who were inducted, respectively, in 2009 and 2011.
Gillispie and Iba — the school’s all-time second winningest coach with 261 — will be the 10th men’s basketball player and the second basketball coach inducted with Iba joining John Lance, the namesake of the Gorillas’ arena.
Lance logged over 600 career wins and he’s notable for being the head coach during a 47-game winning streak from 1929 through 1932, a winning streak topped later by Bill Russell’s San Francisco teams of the 1950s (latter topped by UCLA in the 1970s).
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame includes one Pitt State player, Ernest “One Grand” Schmidt, who earned his nickname for scoring exactly 1,000 points during his collegiate career.