Spoonhour in at Missouri

Columbia, Mo. – University of Missouri Head Basketball Coach Quin Snyder announced on Monday that Jay Spoonhour will join the Tiger program heading into the 2004-05 season. Spoonhour, who is originally from Missouri, is excited to join one of the top programs in the country and return to his home state.

"I am extremely excited to be joining the University of Missouri program." Spoonhour said. "I have always had a great deal of respect for the history and tradition here at Mizzou and I am honored to now be a part of it. Coach Snyder has assembled a tremendous, experienced staff and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them."

Spoonhour's duties at Mizzou will include carrying out various administrative tasks, such as scouting and recruiting video coordination, and assisting the coaching staff in permissible practice activities. For the past three seasons, Spoonhour was an assistant coach at UNLV. He helped the Runnin' Rebels to a 60-35 mark while qualifying for the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Last year, Spoonhour assumed the role of interim head coach for the last nine games of the regular season and the Mountain West Tournament, leading UNLV to a 6-3 mark during that stint. In fact, the Runnin' Rebels were just a last-second shot away from advancing to the NCAA Tournament, falling to Utah 73-70 in the MWC Tournament Championship game.

"I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Charlie and Jay Spoonhour and particularly the legacy Charlie has created in college basketball," Snyder said. "Like his father, Jay brings terrific integrity, work ethic and passion for the game of basketball and wants to continue to develop his career. We look forward to him doing so as a member of our program."

Spoonhour, who is the son of Charlie Spoonhour, came to the Runnin' Rebel program after serving one season as a junior college head coach at Wabash Valley College of Mt. Carmel, Ill. While he was at the helm at WVC for only one season, he coached the Warriors to the 2001 NJCAA National Championship with a record of 36-1. For his efforts, he was named the NABC National Coach of the Year, the NJCAA National Coach of the Year, the Region XXIV Coach of the Year, the District IV Coach of the Year and earned the NJCAA Coach of the Tournament award.

"This is a great chance for me to continue both my professional and educational development," Spoonhour said. "The opportunity to pursue my master's degree in administration while at the same time learning a different system and new ideas from one of the top coaches in the country like Coach Snyder will be invaluable to me as I continue my coaching career."

Spoonhour was an assistant at Saint Louis University from 1996-99. While at SLU, he helped lead the Billikens to a high level of success, highlighted by the 1998 squad, which finished 22-11. SLU defeated the University of Massachusetts in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky in the second round. The 1999 campaign also had its share of highlights including a 78-64 win over the University of Kansas in St. Louis.

Prior to working at SLU, Spoonhour was a graduate assistant coach for two seasons at Division II Central Missouri State University. The Mules were 46-17 in those years and made it to the NCAA Tournament twice - making the Elite 8 in 1995 and the regional semifinal in 1996.

Spoonhour earned his bachelor's degree from Pittsburg State (Kan.) University in 1994. He was and honorable mention all-conference performer for the Gorilla's as a senior and finished second in the league in three-point shooting. He played his high school ball at Glendale High School in Springfield, Mo. The 33-year old is married to the former Nicole LaMia. The couple has a daughter named Grace, who turned one this past April.

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