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Art Hains talks MSU with Monett Kiwanis

Monday, June 18, 2012

His voice is unmistakable, his name is synonymous with Missouri State Bears athletics and if you have ever listen to sports talk radio in southwest Missouri you have heard Art Hains.

Hains recently spoke to the Kiwanis Club in Monett at their quarterly night meeting held at Big Bawldy's.

"I grew up in Marshall," said Hains. "A town that was big enough to have a radio station and small enough to let a high school kid on the air."

Hains love of radio broadcasting and sports has led to a broadcasting career that has spanned over three decades. By the time he graduated high school Hains was the play-by-by voice of his high school football team.

Hains sports talk show on JOCK 98.7 weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. features a call-in style format with featured interviews with sports and media figures from around the area. Hains takes a conversational approach to his broadcast and stays away from the confrontational rhetoric that many sports shows have adopted.

"I grew up listening to sports host and media who were polite when they were on air," said Hains. "I try to treat all my guest and callers with courtesy and respect. It is the style that works best for me."

Hains attended college at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.

"Those early years on the radio in Marshall gave me an advantage when I went to college," said Hains. "I remember calling SMU baseball games in the 70's. Back then SMU had horrible teams, there were a lot of 20-0 and 17-1 losses and I really devolved a skill for filling time, spinning stories and covering those games."

Monett holds a special place in Hains' life, his wife Lisa (Davis) is a Monett High School alumni.

Thrity-two years ago they were married at First Christian Church, in Monett and held the reception in his new in-laws Jack and Wilma Davis' backyard.

Hains spent four-years broadcasting in the Dallas area when he received a call from Southwest Missouri State University mens basketball coach and friend Charlie Spoonhour.

"Charlie wanted me to come back to Springfield and be the voice of the Bears," said Hains. "He didn't have to twist my arm very hard. Once Charlie made his mind up he usually got what he wanted."

For 21 years Hains has been the voice of the Bears and has embraced his new role as the Missouri State University Marketing Specialist.

Missouri State

Hains updated the Kiwanis on the current status of Missouri State's athletic program.

Hains stated that with the efforts of five conference championships and four league runner-up finishes during the 2011-12 school year, Missouri State won the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy.

The trophy is determined by the average finish in each of the sponsored Valley sports. That total is then divided by the number of sports in which each school participates. For baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, the finishes are determined by regular season standings.

The Bears won Valley titles in women's swimming and diving, women's indoor track and field, women's basketball and women's golf this year along with a co-championship in men's soccer. Volleyball, baseball, men's golf and women's soccer each finished second in their respective MVC standings, while men's basketball tied for third place. Eleven of MSU's sports placed in the upper division of their respective conference races.

"I believe the MSU athletics is in a strong position going forward," said Hains.

One area of concern for the university was the lack of wins by the football team.

"Football has been an area of concern," said Hains. "It operates at a million dollar plus deficit. That is why the Bears traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. and Eugene, Ore. to play guaranteed money game to eat into the deficit."

Hains discussed several theories of why the Bears struggle on the football field. But he believes that the program is making strides to right the ship and become a power in the conference.

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