In 2013-14, Missouri inducted four former athletes -- 2000s pitcher Aaron Crow, 1940s basketball star Dan Pippin, 1960s swimmer John Putnam, and 1990s track star Ashley Wysong -- into its intercollegiate hall of fame class.
Last night, for the 2014-15 class, Mizzou kind of inducted another four. Gymnast Alisha Robinson (2002-05), runner Ashley Patten (2003-06), and pitcher John Dettmer (1990-92) all got a well-deserved moment of recognition, but the fourth inductee was actually three inseparable pieces: Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, and Chase Coffman.
The most prolific pass-catching tight end in Mizzou history who was perhaps the best red zone scoring threat ever to don a Tiger uniform… Won the 2008 John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end, which made him the first Tiger in history to win a national individual award specific to a position… Also earned consensus first-team All-American honors that season, as he caught 90 passes for 987 yards and 10 touchdowns (all despite missing two games that year to injury)… For his career, caught 247 passes for 2,659 yards and 30 touchdowns, with the catches and touchdown receptions standing today as Mizzou career records, while the yardage now ranks as third-best… At the time of his matriculation, his 247 career receptions stood as the NCAA career record for tight ends… Gave the Mizzou offense a weapon that presented a huge mismatch for opposing defenders whether it was over the middle, or lined up against smaller defensive backs… Developed a move that became his signature calling card, as he would often hurdle defenders when they dove at his legs to attempt to take him down for a tackle… Won first-team All-Big 12 honors in both 2006 (58 receptions, 638 yards, nine touchdowns) and 2008, while receiving second-team All-Big 12 mention in 2007 (52 receptions, 531 yards, seven touchdowns)… Had his junior season in 2007 hampered by a foot injury late in the year, which curtailed his production, and he was unable to play in the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma, with his absence a big factor in the outcome of the game as MU’s offense stalled out in the red zone several times in the game… Earlier that season, Coffman caught 10 passes for 102 yards against the Sooners in Norman, Okla.… Won first-team Freshman All-American honors as a true freshman in 2005 (47 receptions, 503 yards, four touchdowns).
Came to Mizzou with lofty credentials, and left as arguably the greatest and perhaps most beloved quarterback in school history who led the Tigers to the #1 ranking in 2007, and just one half away from playing for a national championship...Turned the Mizzou record book upside down, leaving with virtually every passing and total offense game, season and career record of note, including career marks in passing yardage (12,515), touchdown passes (101), completion percentage (68.0%), total offense (13,485 yards) and most touchdowns responsible for (111)… Is largely credited with instilling a winning mentality in the Tiger program due to his leadership abilities, and the confidence that filtered throughout his teammates who followed his lead… Was a starter for three seasons (2006-2008), and led Mizzou to a 30-11 record, including the first two conference division titles in program history (2007-2008 Big 12 North)… Became the program’s second-ever Heisman Trophy finalist during his signature season in 2007 when he completed 384-of-563 passes for 4,306 yards and 33 touchdowns as he led Mizzou to a school-record 12 wins and a final national ranking of 4th in the final polls (a school-best)… Finished fourth in the Heisman balloting in 2007, while he was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a consensus second-team All-American… Threw for an MU-record 4,335 yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior in 2008, helping guide the Tigers to a 10-4 record and a second-straight bowl game victory… Won eight games as a first-year starter during a stellar sophomore season in 2006, throwing for 3,527 yards and 28 touchdowns (both MU season records at the time)… Played in 10 games as a true freshman understudy to fellow MU hall of famer Brad Smith, and established himself as a potential star when he came off the bench for an injured Smith to lead Mizzou to a 4th-quarter comeback Homecoming win over Iowa State in 2005… An outstanding student who was awarded an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete… Is in his sixth year in the National Football League, currently with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mizzou’s all-time career strikeout leader who was durable in addition to his flame-throwing achievements for hall of fame Coach Gene McArtor...Won honorable mention All-American honors in 1991 when he turned in one of the top individual pitching seasons in MU history… Won nine games that year, and struck out 127 batters in 120.0 innings while leading the team with a 2.63 earned run average in an time where bats were very lively… Finished his Tiger career with 374 strikeouts, which stands still as the most in program history, while his 332.0 career innings pitched ranks second to this day, and his 23 career wins are also eighth-most… Won All-Big Eight first-team honors in 1990, 1991 and 1992, as he led the Tigers in strikeouts each year, with 99, 127 and 123, respectively… Turned in 15 complete games during his career as he was a durable and dependable presence on the mound… Went on to become an 11th-round draft pick in the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft by the Texas Rangers, and eventually pitched in 12 games in the Majors.
Many would argue that he is the most electrifying player to ever wear a Mizzou uniform, as he impacted the game on offense and special teams time and again during one of the most successful periods in Mizzou Football history...Is the only Tiger to ever be a two-time first-team All-American, winning consensus honors as an all-purpose back in both 2007 and 2008, also becoming the first freshman in Mizzou history to win first-team All-American honors… In just two years with the program, broke the MU record for career all-purpose yardage, with 5,609 yards, doing all of that after missing the 2006 season due to an injury sustained during summer conditioning prior to the season… Was a first-team All-Big 12 performer in both seasons, and also took home the 2007 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award from league coaches, as he broke the NCAA single-season freshman record for all-purpose yards, amassing 2,776 yards (1,055 receiving, 1,039 kickoff return, 375 rushing and 307 in punt returns)… Scored 16 touchdowns as a freshman, including nine receiving, four rushing, two punt returns and one historic kickoff return that marked Mizzou’s first kickoff return score in 25 seasons… Followed that magical freshman season with another stellar year in 2008, as he was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as he broke MU single-season receiving records with 102 receptions, 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns… Led the NCAA in all-purpose yardage as a sophomore, averaging 202.36 yards per game (2,833 total), and he closed his career by winning the Offensive MVP honors in the 2008 Alamo Bowl, as he returned a punt for a score and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to give Mizzou a thrilling 30-23 win over Northwestern… Bypassed his final two years of eligibility to enter the 2009 NFL Draft, where he was taken in the first round with the No. 19 overall selection by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Highly-successful competitor who established herself among the top middle distance competitors in program history… Was a three-time All-American at 800 meters, placing sixth as a senior in the indoor 800 race at the 2006 NCAA Championships, while taking eighth as a junior in the same race in 2005 (indoors) and eighth as a sophomore (indoors)… Was a 13-time All-Big 12 performer in both track and cross country, including winning four Big 12 titles – indoor 800 meters (2004), outdoor 800 meters (2005), indoor 1,000 meters (2005, 2006)… Also won the NCAA Mideast Regional championship in the 800 meters as a senior in 2006… Ended her career ranked second on the school 800 meter performance lists, both indoors and outdoors… Won the 2003 USATF Junior National Championship in the 800 meters representing Mizzou… Was a multi-time academic award winner at both the national and conference level.
One of the most decorated athletes in Mizzou Gymnastics history, Robinson etched her name all over the program’s record books during her Tiger tenure...Was a two-time All-American (2002 and 2005), and was a two-time NCAA Regional Champion, winning the Regional All-Around title in 2002 as a freshman, and claiming the Regional Vault crown in 2003… Qualified individually for NCAA National Championships three times (2002, 2003, 2005)… Owns or shares the top mark in Mizzou history in three events – vault (9.975, twice), bars (9.950, twice) and floor (9.975), and currently stands third on the all-around school chart (39.650, twice), and ninth on the beam (9.925)… Won 69 event titles in all at Mizzou, including the Big 12 vault title in 2004… Other honors won included being named Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2002, and First-Team All-Big 12 in 2003 and 2004.
Rock M Nation came of age in the Daniel-Coffman-Maclin era. The first game in Rock M's existence, actually, was the 2007 Nebraska game. (For a while, we thought we were a good luck charm.) And both because of the timing of their careers and their individual brilliance, all three of them quickly made it into our own little hall of fame of sorts, the Wall of Excellence.
In 2008, Coffman could have slapped a label on his highlight tape and won an Oscar for best special effects. Almost every single week, Coffman would make a play leaving even Missouri fans in awe - Missouri fans who wouldn't have been surprised even if Coffman had developed the ability to fly. There was the hurdle against Illinois. The FIVE stiff-arm play against Nevada. The full extension against Nebraska. The catch against OSU that Pinkel called "one of the greatest catches" he'd ever seen. His lonely decision to actually show up against Texas. The one-handed jump pass snare and hurdle against Colorado. His personal field day against Baylor. Each and every week it was something special.
So, as we wrap up the 2009 inductions to Rock M Nation Wall of Excellence, we tip our cap to the man whose hurdles helped build a community here at RMN. The man, the myth, the legend, the Mackey winner, the nickname. Thrust nunchuck upward forever, sir.
Mizzou has been blessed with multiple great quarterbacks over the last decade and a half. There was Corby Jones running all over Nebraska and bringing Mizzou back to respectability. There was Brad Smith...well, running all over Nebraska and laying down Gary Pinkel's first major building block. But only one Mizzou QB was a Heisman finalist (in the last 60 years, anyway)...an SI cover boy (twice)...an ESPN the Magazine cover boy*. Only one QB won 30 games as a starter (in only three years). Only one QB ranks in the NCAA's top 10 for career receptions, yards, TD passes, total offense, and the awkwardly named "TDs responsible for." Only one QB won the North once, much less twice. And it was Chase Daniel--not Jones, not Smith--led Mizzou to its first #1 ranking since 1960.
* Okay, technically there were two Mizzou QBs on that cover. You get the point.
Jones and Smith set the bar high for what it means to be a Mizzou QB, but Daniel raised it much, much higher. He was the definition of a field general, a coach on the field. He knew the offense like the back of his hand the day he stepped onto campus, and he only improved. Before Brad Smith was able to send Mizzou on its ascent with a dramatic comeback win in the 2005 Independence Bowl, he needed Daniel's help to get there. And when Smith left and prognosticators decided Mizzou would inevitably fall back to the scrap heap, all Daniel did was take the reins and lead Mizzou to thirty wins in three seasons.
It is hard to come up with something new to say about the man Rock M Nation nicknamed "Cheat Code." In just two seasons, he put together a strong case for having been Mizzou's all-time best receiver and kick/punt returner. He managed 182 catches for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns in just 28 games as a Tiger, plus he threw in three punt return touchdowns and two kick return touchdowns for good measure. For a fanbase that went almost 15 years without seeing a punt return touchdown and almost 30 without seeing a kick return touchdown, that level of success was jarring. Lots of players are fast, but Maclin's speed was just unfair. Teams had to account for his presence at all times, and he put up sickening stats anyway.
As good as Maclin was, his love of the Mizzou program was perhaps his most likable quality. In two seasons, he proved that he was clearly, demonstrably ready for the pros (the Philadelphia Eagles agreed when they drafted him in the Top 20), but as his stay-or-go press conference approached, he was almost begging for a reason to stay. After committing to Oklahoma early in the process, he made the switch to Mizzou, became one of MU's all-time most successful players, and wanted desperately to come back for a third season. Knowing the love that he has for this place, watching highlights of him at this stage is almost an emotional experience.
We admire these three in a "you always think the SNL class from when you were in high school was the best" kind of way. Our community came of age while these three players were dominating, and some the site's earliest thrills came directly from these three. Because of what this site has come to me to (and for) me, that's valuable and unique.
Beyond this community, of course, these three were part of another first. Mizzou has won 10 or more games and finished ranked in the AP top 20 in five of the last eight seasons; that is a sustained level of success this program had rarely seen. But the first two wouldn't have happened without Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, or Chase Coffman. And without the first two, and the proceeding bump in recruiting (sort of), exposure, fan interest, etc., there's no guarantee that the next three happen. And without one's success, the other two might not have succeeded to the same level. Inducting them at different times would have been unjust. Congrats to them, and congrats to all six inductees.
On entering the hall of fame at the same time...
Daniel: "I’m still pinching myself a little bit. It’s pretty amazing -- five, six years out -- that we were able to all three go in together, as far as a football class goes. Even traveling up here today from Kansas City, going over what all I’m going to say during my acceptance speech, how much so many people have meant to me throughout my Missouri career. It’s hard to put on paper, that’s for sure. It’s an exciting time. It’s a celebration. My whole family’s here. Both sides of my family are here. It’ll be a fun night tonight."
Coffman: "We had so many great players on some of the teams I was a part of. To be able to go in with two of those guys I played with right now is a huge blessing. A huge honor."
Maclin: "Those two guys, we had a lot of games here together. Those two guys were phenomenal collegiate players. Their NFL careers now are getting started, so I wish those guys the best of luck. It’s awesome. To actually play with these guys and be able to get into this with these guys is pretty cool."
"Nobody cares what I have to say with Chase (Daniel), Jeremy (Maclin) and the other Chase (Coffman) here," Dettmer said "I'm just happy to be here."
Dettmer pitched for the Tigers from 1990-92. Under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Gene McArtor, Dettmer pitched 374 career strikeouts (most in program history), 332 innings (second most) and 23 career wins (eighth most) in his three seasons with the team. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1992, but only played 12 games at the MLB level.
In 1995, he retired from sports, went into sales and never looked back. He stayed in Arlington, Texas, to raise his family and now works for Flextech, a company that supplies staffing for electrical contractors. He's been offered a number of coaching jobs, but was much more interested in watching his four kids play sports.
"I'm supportive on the sideline," Dettmer said. "I try to keep the parents from opening their mouths and let the coaches coach."