Hall of Fame Missouri Western Griffon Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Smith will receive one of the highest honors bestowed on a state citizen this Saturday night in Jefferson City as he will be a recipient of the 2013 Missourian Award as announced by Governor Jay Nixon who is the honorary chair for The Missourian Awards, along with Mr. Ralph Slavens, Missourian Award Founder and Chairman.

Smith receives the award after retiring from MWSU last March after 25 years at the helm and over 45 years in the coaching profession. He won 618 career games, six MIAA regular season championships, four MIAA postseason championships and took his teams to 12 NCAA Tournaments. He is the winningest coach in MIAA history and is a member of four Hall of Fame’s including; the MWSU Athletics Hall of Fame, Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, Valparaiso Athletics Hall of Fame and last June was inducted into the MIAA Hall of Fame.

The Missourian Award is a prestigious honor that acknowledges the most accomplished citizens of Missouri. To be selected, one must be born in the state of Missouri, or under exceptional circumstances, a person may qualify by having spent at least fifteen years of their life in the state. Nominees must have made an outstanding contribution to the state or nation in one of the following fields: civics, business, arts or politics.

The 2013 Missourian Awards ceremony will take place this Saturday, August 10 at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City at 7 PM.  Proceeds of this annual event benefit the American Heart Association.

Past Missourian Award recipients include; Walter Cronkite, George Washington Carver, Thomas Hart Benton, John Q. Hammons, Walt Disney, Harry S. Truman and Mark Twain.