On Sunday, January 31, former coach (and athletic director) Jim Lemen and the Bomber football program will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Lemen is one of 15 individuals and the football program is the only school program to be so honored this year.
Lemen, who retired in 2011, spent 44 years at Burroughs, including 35 seasons as head football coach and 20 years as athletic director. As a football coach, he compiled a 238-123-4 record, winning eight state championships and placing second twice. His wins are 16th all-time in Missouri high school football history. He also coached baseball, leading the Bombers to the state semifinals four times and a state championship in 1991, and he coached the girls and boys basketball teams and the softball team.
In its announcement of the 2016 class, MSHF recognized the Burroughs football program “as one of the most respected programs in the state.” While the program has been successful since its inception, particularly under coaches Ray Wolfe and Tom McConnell, MSHF focused on the state playoffs since 1970. During this time, the Bombers have had only four head coaches — Lemen (1970–2004), Todd Small (2005–2010), Gus Frerotte (2011, 2012) and current coach John Merritt. Overall, the program has claimed nine state championships (two of which were ties) and placed second six times.The 2015 team under Coach Merritt won the most recent state title. Since the start of the playoff format in 1968, the Bombers are 61-11-2 in the postseason. Having a program so honored is a rare occurrence: only three other high school programs have ever been selected to MSHF.