After four stellar years as a two-sport athlete at Illinois State from 1981-1985, former Redbird Mike Prior was selected as one of the six honorees to be enshrined in the 2020 Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame.
"I'm extremely honored to be a part of the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame class of 2020," Prior said. "I will be forever grateful to Illinois State for taking a chance on me, when there weren't many other offers out there, and giving me the opportunity to play both football and baseball for the Redbirds. I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with my family and friends in March and will represent ISU proudly as a member of this wonderful class of honorees."
Today we welcome six new inductees into the MVC Hall of Fame! Larry Humes, @UEAthleticsKylie Hutson, @IndStAthleticsItchy Jones, @SIUSalukisBill Mueller, @MissouriStBearsMike Prior, @ISURedbirds Phog Allen, @KUAthleticsRead more 👉 https://t.co/EKtlLNmCLf pic.twitter.com/puSeHftR7T— Missouri Valley Conference (@MVCsports) August 13, 2019
Prior, who was a four-year letter winner in football and a three-year letter winner in baseball, is the 14th ISU representative named to the MVC Hall of Fame.
During his time at ISU, Prior flourished in both sports. Most notably, in football Prior was a three-time All-American and MVC First Team All-Conference selection as a defensive back. He is the ISU career leader in interceptions (23) and punt return yards (906 yards). Along with this, he is second in ISU history in career punt return touchdowns (three) and tied for second with three interceptions in a game.
In baseball, Prior was a two-time MVC All-Conference First Team selection. He currently holds the ISU records for career batting average (.388) and slugging percentage (.715).
Following his senior year in 1985, Prior was drafted by both the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the MLB Draft and by the Tampa Bay Buccanneers in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
Prior made the decision to stick to football, where he had a 13-year NFL career with Tampa Bay, Indianapolis and Green Bay. He tallied 691 tackles, 35 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles while also winning a Super Bowl with Green Bay in 1997.
Shortly after his collegiate career concluded, Prior was inducted to ISU's Percy Family Hall of Fame in 1991. His No. 15 jersey is one of three ISU football jersey numbers to be retired.
The MVC Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the class of 2020 will take place March 6 as part of the MVC men's basketball tournament in St. Louis, at the Stifel Theatre.