By: Stephanie Bell
College of the Ozarks will induct two former student athletes into the C of O Sports Hall of Fame on February 2, 2008. This year's honored inductees are Mitzi Wells Wynn, a former standout in basketball from 1991 to 1993, and Russell Smithey, a standout in baseball from 1996 to 1999.
Mitzi Wells Wynn, a 1994 C of O graduate, was a starter for the Lady Cats Basketball Team for two seasons after playing two years at North Arkansas Junior College. Wynn performed exceptional scoring and rebounds and gained NAIA All-District 16 honors both years. She received the C of O Outstanding Female Student Athlete award as well as several other athletic and academic honors during her time at College of the Ozarks.
Russell Smithey, a 2001 graduate, was a four-year starter on C of O's Baseball Team. He was a versatile player as shortstop and pitcher with a solid batting average of .310. He was twice named team MVP and received an NAIA Regional All-Tournament Team honor his senior year. After graduation, Smithey played professionally for two years with the Ozark Mountain Ducks and scored the first-ever run at Price Cutter Park.
The selection process for inductees entails nomination and popular vote. Ballots are sent out to all past inductees, the alumni council, and certain individuals on campus. The top two nominees with the most votes are then inducted. The west hallway of the Keeter Gymnasium permanently displays the pictorial plaques of the inductees.