Har Bell Heritage Hero Administrator - Jimmy Wright

There are certain “fixtures” in the world of sports that we come to expect to see when we attend athletic contests.

Brett Favre for all of those seasons at Green Bay would be one. Joe Paterno coaching for more than half a century at Penn State would be another.

A little closer to home, a “fixture” that fans of sporting events at Missouri State University have come to expect over the years is that of Jimmy Wright sitting in his familiar spot at the officials table during university games.

For nearly thirty years Wright’s been a key part of keeping the games going at MSU, serving in various capacities as a member of the administrative team that work scoreboards and shot clocks for

A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Wright came to the MSU staff in 1980 in the role of equipment technician in the school’s Department of Health and Physical Education. His duties in the job included overseeing and providing equipment for all physical education classes, as well as managing the men’s physical education facility at McDonald Arena on campus.

Over the years he’s become however, the face of athletics in so many ways, primarily in the role that the public most often sees him in, that being his game day activities.

Jimmy Wright
Jimmy Wright
Since 1982, he’s operated the shot clock for MSU men’s and women’s basketball home games, including all NCAA (women) and NIT (men/women) games. He began operating the scoreboard for volleyball contests in 1996, baseball in 2004, field hockey in 1991 and added men’s and women’s soccer duties to his list in 2006.

You could safely say that Jimmy Wright has had his “finger” on the pulse of MSU sports, or at least on their sports clocks longer than any other person, ever.

His commitment to his job and his dedication to Missouri State have not gone unnoticed. The Missouri Valley Conference announced in December that Wright will be honored this coming March as the 2009 recipient of the Paul Morrison Award, which is presented annually to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective league-member institutions, The Valley or collegiate athletics in general.

In making the announcement, MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin said of Wright, “he has been a tremendous ambassador for not only Missouri State University, but the Missouri Valley Conference as well. It’s hard to imagine a league event at MSU without Jimmy’s involvement.”

A 1979 graduate of Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Wright will be honored on Friday, March 6 during the Presidents Hall of Fame Brunch at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis during the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament.

Big Sports salutes Jimmy Wright as well and recognizes him as our Har-Bell Heritage Hero.