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Missouri State University President Clif Smart poses with Mary Jo Wynn five years ago at a dedication ceremony. She died yesterday at age 87.
Photo courtesy Clif Smart
Missouri State University President Clif Smart poses with Mary Jo Wynn five years ago at a dedication ceremony. She died yesterday at age 87.

MSU sports legend dies at 87

Posted online

Former Missouri State University sports administrator Mary Jo Wynn died yesterday at a local hospital, school officials said in a news release. She was 87.

The release did not state her cause of death.

Wynn in 1975 became the university’s first director of women’s athletics. In 1992, she became senior associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator after the MSU men’s and women’s athletics departments merged. She held those roles until she retired in 1998.

“The impact she had on our campus, particularly within intercollegiate athletics, is felt every single day,” MSU Athletics Director Kyle Moats said in the release. “She was a visionary and true champion for student-athletes.”

At MSU, Wynn led the formation of intercollegiate volleyball and tennis teams, which she previously coached starting in 1958. She was a driving force behind MSU’s growth of women’s intercollegiate programs to 11 sports.

Wynn’s also credited with playing a key role in the creation of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, an organization in which MSU is a charter member. She later helped form the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1982. In 1992, when MSU joined the Missouri Valley Conference, Wynn was named the National Association of College Women's Athletic Administrators District 7 Administrator of the Year, according to the release.

In 1996, she was named Administrator of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, and three years later, received Lifetime Achievement Award honors from the Women's Athletic Administrators. In 2007, she was recognized with the first Bee Payne Stewart Award from the Women's Intersport Network. Wynn was inducted into the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and MSU also named its top academic award for female student athletes the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar-Athlete Award.

Wynn’s family is finalizing her arrangements, according to the release.

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