Southeast Missouri State University alumnus Don Berry of Springfield, Missouri was recently named to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Berry was recognized by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to fishing as a fisherman, radio show host and company owner. He was recognized at the Outdoor Sports Luncheon held Feb. 25 at the Oasis Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri.
Berry’s fishing career was inspired by a boyhood love of fishing in area creeks and farm ponds near Advance, Missouri.
“Being named to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is a great honor,” said Berry. “I was thrilled with the recognition and banquet presented by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. 21 years of promoting fishing really paid off.”
Berry graduated from Southeast with a Master of Arts in education: guidance and counseling option in 1979 and a specialist degree in education with a major in educational administration in 1987. He has worked as an educator in the Carter County R-1 and Willard School Districts.
Berry said, “My time at Southeast took me to higher levels in my educational career. First, I moved to a counseling position after coaching and then to an assistant superintendent role.”
In addition to working as a coach, counselor, principal and assistant superintendent, Berry founded Don Berry Pro Fishing LLC Productions, a company that aims to promote the sport of fishing. Berry’s eldest son, Scott Berry, now manages the company and hosts the radio show, which has had more than 800 guests since its founding in 2000. Berry’s youngest son, Sutton Berry, is now president of the company.
Additionally, Berry has been a writer for ReSpoolin’ Magazine and established the Ozark Mountain Team Trail to give prizes to fishing tournament anglers. Though he retired from education in 2002, Berry is still an active co-host of “The Fishin’ Radio Show” and participates in fishing tournaments.
“Fishing is an exhilarating sport,” Berry said. “People who fish professionally are a rare breed who need a means of promotion other than when they win, so I saw that opportunity and seized it. It has been a very rewarding opportunity which allowed me to visit with and meet over 800 different anglers in my 21 years.”