Six former Griffons will be inducted to the Missouri Western State University Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. Deena Murphy, Mike Cornelious, Tony Franklin, David Lau, Rodney Stephenson and Rick Leahy will be honored at the Fulkerson Center, located on the Missouri Western campus, on September 20 at 11:00 a.m.
Deena Murphy (1982-1985), a two-time all American second baseman for the Griffon softball team, was a four year starter and was part of the 1982 NAIA National Championship team. Murphy batted over .400 in the 1985 season and ranks eighth all time in career hits.
Basketball standout Mike Cornelious was part of the schools first two NCAA Tournaments appearances. During the 1990-1991 season Cornelious was selected as a second-team All-American and finished his career eighth all time in scoring with 1,153 points.
Tony Franklin (1979-83) joins the hall of fame for his stand out play with the Missouri Western football squad. After spending three years at running back Franklin moved to linebacker during the 1981 season. The Western forward earned CSIC Defensive Player of the Week honors five times and was the 1982 Fedelity Union Life Insurance September Athlete of the Month award winner.
David Lau spent a year with the Missouri Tiger baseball team before transferring to Missouri Western in 1983. Lau earned NAIA All-American honors in 1985 and 1986 making the second and honorable mention teams respectively. At catcher, Lau hit 23 home runs, placing him second all-time on the career home run list.
Rodney Stephenson (1978-81) racked up yards for the Griffons as he rushed for over 2,000 career yards. He had 546 carries and scored 172 career points for Western. Following the 1981 season Stephenson was named to the Honorable Mention NAIA All-American team.
Rick Leahy (1973-2008) rounds out the class of 2008 inductees. Leahy spent his time at Missouri Western supporting Griffon athletics any way he could. He provided technical assistance for media staff and consulted on upgrades to Spratt Stadium and the Looney Complex. After 35 years of service at Western, Leahy retired in February 2008.