Sept. 15, 2008 – John and Melissa Ware, Gerald Burditt, Alec Meinke and Steve Schieppe will be the 2008 Inductees into the Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame. The induction will take place on Homecoming weekend Oct. 3-4th.
John & Melissa Ware
The Ware’s put nearly 39 combine years of service to the Truman community from the mid 1980’s until 2004.
John came to Kirksville as an assistant football coach under Jack Ball in 1985 and he served in that capacity until 1994. The next year, John was named the 19th Head Coach in Bulldog football history and won 54 games over the next nine seasons which is third all-time behind Maurice “Red” Wade’s 99 and Don Faurot’s 63 coaching wins.
John left the University to become head football coach at Missouri Southern State University for the 2004 season. John passed away on Sept. 27, 2005, the week the Bulldogs were to play the Lions in Joplin.
Melissa was a graduate of Truman in 1987 and began working for the University full-time as Publications Coordinator and Office Manager in 1988 under Sports Information Director Bill Cable.
When Cable retired in 1995, Ware was named only the second SID at the school and she served in that capacity until May 2004.
Under Melissa’s direction, the Sports Information Office was the recipient of over 40 national awards for media guides from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Melissa passed away on November 30, 2007 after a long battle with cancer.
Alec Meinke - Football/Track & Field
Meinke was a two-sport athlete for the Bulldogs participating in football and track from 1979-1983. As a member of the Bulldog football team, Meinke was a four-year letterwinner and named second team all-MIAA in 1981 and 1982. He was a member of back-to-back conference championship squads in those years. The 1982 squad went 9-2 under Coach Bruce Craddock and were ranked fourth in the nation and participated in their first NCAA Division II playoff game against Jacksonville St.
As a shot putter for Coach Kenny Gardner, Meinke won seven MIAA titles from 1980 to 1983. He was a three year Division II shot put finalist with seventh-place finish in 1983. Meinke currently holds both the Truman Indoor and Outdoor shot put record, set back in 1981 at 17.88 m (Indoor) and 17.69 m (Outdoor).
Steve Schieppe – Men’s Basketball
Schieppe averaged 17.1 points per game during his four-year Bulldog basketball career. He finished in 1991 at the all-time leading scoring in Truman history with 1,796 points only to be eclipsed by Cory Parker’s 1,835 in 2000. The three-point sharp shooter still owns the school record with 300 triples made and is fourth all-time in three-point field goal percentage at 43.6%. Schieppe is also the career leader in field goals made with 652, 42 more than second place David Winslow.
Schieppe’s 528 points during the 1990-91 season is tied for fourth all-time as he hit 101 three-pointers that season. He ended the year fifth in the league in points per game at 18.8 and was first in three-pointers per game at 3.61. Schieppe was named all-conference second team for the second time in his career and to the National Basketball Coaches Association all-district second team that season.
Following his Bulldog career, Schieppe played and coached one year for Gimle, a team in the Norwegian professional league.
Gerald Burditt – Men’s Basketball
Burditt was the second leading scorer for a Bulldog team that captured the MIAA championship and advanced to the NCAA small college quarterfinals in 1959-60. Burditt earned first-team all-MIAA honors averaging 15.1 points per game.
The Bulldogs won the conference championship that season and won 13 of their last 14 games after starting the season with a 4-3 record.
Kirksville and Pershing Arena were selected as the host for the NCAA Southwest Regional, in which Truman defeated Abilene Christian 79-76 in the finals. Burditt had 21 points in the game as the Bulldogs rallied from a six-point deficit midway through the second half.
The Bulldogs lost to Cornell (Iowa) 83-81 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in Evansville, Ind..
Burditt was previously a two-time second team MIAA pick under Head Coach Boyd King and was named to the “Who’s Who in Small College Basketball” following the 59-60 season.