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Curators approve Norm Stewart statue outside Mizzou Arena

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.: The University of Missouri curators have approved the placement of a statue honoring former Mizzou Basketball coach Norm Stewart.

The statue is estimated to cost about $196 thousand dollars. The university has raised more than $218 thousand dollars with more than $70 thousand dollars pledged. The excess funds will be used to benefit capitol projects for the Men’s and Women’s basketball programs.

The artist designing the Stewart statue is the same who designed the Faurot statue on the north side of the football stadium. The statues will be similar in design and style.

The athletic department hopes the unveiling of the statue will coincide with the first game of the basketball season next week.

ORIGINAL STORY: The University of Missouri curators are meeting to discuss the placement of a Norm Stewart statue outside Mizzou Arena to honor his contributions to the university as a student-athlete, coach and alumnus.

Stewart is from Shelbyville and came to Mizzou as a basketball and baseball student-athlete.

As a baseball player, Stewart was a pitcher on Mizzou’s 1954 national championship team. In basketball, he easrned All-Big 7 honors. He was drafted by the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks and the MLB’s Baltimore Orioles.

After a seaon in the NBA, Stewart came back to Columbia in 1957 to earn a master’s degree and work with the basketball and baseball teams. He would eventually became Mizzou’s 14th head basketball coach in 1967.

According to documents for the curator’s meeting, in Stewart’s 38 years as a college head coach, his overall record was 731-375 and his teams won 21 conference championships. He also reached the postseason 24 times and won 20-or-more games 18 times.

Known as “Stormin’ Norman,” Stewart is considered the winningest basketball coach MU history. His teams won eight conference regular season championships, six conference post-season tournament titles, and made 16 NCAA tournament appearances, five NIT post-season appearances and one CCA post-season tournament appearance.

Stewart is a two-time National Coach of the Year and five-time Big 8 Coach of the Year honoree and was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He is an inaugural member of the MU Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. The court at Mizzou Arena (and previously Hearnes Center) is named in his honor.

Stewart retired from coaching in 1999. The university says Stewart is still a busy alumnus and university ambassador, promoting his alma mater with public appearances, fundraising and community service.

Stewart’s personal fight with cancer also led him to help establish Coaches vs. Cancer, an organization that continues today and has raised millions of dollars for cancer research and treatment.

Meeting documents said the statue request has the approval of the MU director of athletics, the MU chancellor and the UM president.

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