Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern athletics department will officially induct four individuals into its Hall of Fame as part of Hall of Fame Weekend this Saturday. The list includes four former student-athletes from the sports of football, baseball, men's track and field and softball/volleyball.
Yancy McKnight (Football, 1993-95), Seth Isringhausen (Men's Track and Field, 2000-03), Bryce Darnell (Baseball, 1994-96) and Stacey (Harter) Smith (Volleyball & Softball, 1991-93) will all be enshrined into the 2013 class of the Hall of Fame.
The newest class will be present at a social on Friday night, Sept. 20 and will be inducted at a brunch on Saturday morning, Sept. 21. The group will be introduced as new Hall of Fame members at halftime of the Lions football game vs. Lincoln on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Lions will host the Blue Tigers for a 2:37 pm kickoff in a game featured as the MIAA TV Game of the Week.
Below are short biographies on each of the four Lions to be inducted into the Hall of Fame:
Yancy McKnight (Football, 1993-95) – McKnight was a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Lions in the early to mid-90's. He was a three-time All-MIAA pick, while earning All-American honors as a senior. McKnight played in the 1995 Snow Bowl (the Division II All-Star Game) and was the team captain in 1995, while also being a member of the Lions' 1993 MIAA Championship team.
Currently the head strength and conditioning coach for football at Iowa State University, McKnight is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a certified strength and conditioning coach, as well as a USA weightlifting level 1 certified coach. A 2001 graduate of Southern with a major in general studies, McKnight was an assistant strength coach at Oklahoma State from 2003-05, before moving on to Louisiana Tech as the head coach from 2005-06. He was the head strength coach at Rice from 2006-09 before moving on to his current position at Iowa State.
McKnight and his wife Lynn, have two sons Brock and Brody. He and his family reside in Ames, Iowa.
Seth Isringhausen (Men's Track and Field, 2000-03) – Isringhausen is one of the most decorated track and field athletes at Missouri Southern. A 15-time All-MIAA honoree, Isringhausen won the 2003 NCAA Division II National Championship in the indoor pole vault. Isringhausen was a seven-time national qualifier and was a five-time All-American earning second-place honors in the indoor pole vault in 2002.
A two-time MIAA Champion in the pole vault, Isringhausen was an accomplished sprinter, as well, earning All-MIAA honors nine different times in various sprints ranging from the 55m, 100m and 200m. A 2003 graduate from Southern with a degree in criminal justice, Isringhausen is currently a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Isringhausen has a wife, Krystal, as well as three children, Kyshin, Ryzen and Zayden. The family resides in Forsyth, Mo.
Bryce Darnell (Baseball, 1993-96) – Darnell is one of the best catchers in the history of Missouri Southern. A three-year starter for the Lions after transferring from the University of Minnesota, Darnell hit .366 in his career at Southern with 100 runs scored, 169 hits, 111 RBIs, 40 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 75 walks.
Darnell hit .436 as a sophomore in his first season for the Lions, which ranks as the sixth-highest single-season batting average in the history of the program. His best season came in 1995 when he helped the Lions to a 43-13 record. He had a .364 batting average that season, earning first-team All-MIAA and All-Region honors. As a senior, Darnell hit .339 with 20 doubles, a mark that is fifth all-time in Southern history. Darnell was selected twice in the Major League Baseball Draft in his career at Southern, once after his junior season by the St. Louis Cardinals and again after his senior season by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went on to play in the Diamondbacks minor league system.
Darnell coached high school baseball at Webb City High School where he would win two Missouri State Championships. He succeeded longtime Southern head coach Warren Turner in 2008 as the head coach for the Lions. In six seasons, Darnell has led the Lions to four MIAA Tournaments, as well as the 2013 MIAA Baseball Tournament Championship and a spot in the 2013 Division II Central Regional. He has a career record of 172-145 at Southern.
Darnell is a 1997 graduate of Missouri Southern and he earned a master's degree in 2000 from Missouri State University. He and his wife Pamela, have a daughter Darcy, as well as a son, Cy. The family resides in Joplin.
Stacy (Harter) Smith (Volleyball & Softball, 1991-93) – Harter is a 1995 graduate of Missouri Southern where she participated in both Volleyball and Softball for the Lions.
As a softball player, Harter earned All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American honors in 1993 when she helped the Lions to a 38-12 record and the MIAA Championship. She was also part of the 1992 NCAA Division II National Champion team at Southern, while helping the Lions to a 50-7 record that season. During her time at Southern, the Lions were 124-27 and won two MIAA titles in a three-year span.
Harter holds the second-highest career batting average at Southern (.392), while ranking fifth in career stolen bases with 43. She is tied for the single-game runs scored record, while ranking fourth in the single-season runs category. She also ranks fifth in single-season hits, stolen bases and batting average, while ranking ninth in single-season putouts.
As a volleyball player, Harter ranks sixth in total games played in Southern history. She played from 1991-94, and helped the Lions to an 89-55 record in those four seasons. After her playing days, Harter served as a student-assistant for the softball team in 1994, and was an assistant coach at Olathe South High School from 1996-1998, helping the team to the 1996 Kansas State Championship. She coached volleyball at Basehor-Linwood High School during that time, as well. She currently is co-owner of Wildcat Siding in Blue Springs, Mo.
Harter and her husband Ron have three children, Luke, C.K. and Katie. The family resides in Blue Springs, Mo.
The Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute and give deserved recognition while enhancing school tradition by honoring former athletic letter winners and/or coaches who have shown distinctive, unique or exceptional ability while at Missouri Southern or since graduation. The honorees must be graduates of Missouri Southern and there must have been a lapse of at least 10 years since the individual last participated in athletics at Southern.
With the addition of the 2013 class, the MSSU Athletics Hall of Fame now includes 105 members and two teams.