Bill Lankford - 1990
Bill is a native of Springville, Alabama,
and graduated from Springville High School in 1953. He was a three-year starter
in basketball, playing on two teams that participated in the state tournament.
He was also an all-county and all-district player for two years.
Bill enrolled at Samford University (then
Howard College) in 1953 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. He was
a four-year starter on the basketball team. He was selected as the team’s most
valuable player for his last two years and was co-captain as a senior. He held
the single season and career scoring records until they were broken in recent
years. Bill served as president of the Varsity Lettermen’s Club during his
senior year. His graduate study at the University of Alabama led to the Master
of Arts degree. He has since done additional graduate work.
Bill’s coaching career began at Ashville
High School in 1957. He served as Head Basketball and Assistant Football Coach
and coached various spring sports during his nine-year high school career.
Other schools where he coached were Springville, Hewitt-Trussville and Banks.
He was chosen as the Jefferson County “Coach of the Year” in 1959-60 while at
Hewitt-Trussville high. His high school coaching record is 148 wins and 88
Jefferson State hired Bill in 1966 as its
first basketball coach. He became Athletic Director the following year and has
served in a dual capacity since that time. His junior college coaching record
of 437-239 puts him in twentieth place for wins among active NJCAA basketball
coaches. He has a combined high school and college record of 585-327 with a
winning percentage of .641.
Twelve of his Jefferson State teams have
qualified for the state tournament, winning the championship three times and
placing second twice. The 1970-71 team won the Region XVII (Ala. – Ga.)
Championship. The 1979-80 and 1987-88 teams won the Region XXII Championship and
participated in the national tournament at Hutchison, Kansas. The 1979-80 team
finished second in the national tournament.
Bill has been AJCCC “Coach of the Year”
four times and NJCAA Regional “Coach of the Year” three times. He has coached
in four AJCCC All-Star games and was Head Coach of the winning East team in 1980
NJCAA All-Star game in Hutchison, Kansas. Sixty-three Jefferson State players
have continued their playing careers at four-year institutions.
As Athletic Director, Bill has been
involved in a strong athletic program at Jefferson State, which won the AJCCC
All-Sports Trophy and finished high in the competition several times. He has
represented his college actively in the AJCCC, serving on various committees to
promote athletics. He is presently serving his third year as Athletic Director
Representative and Assistant Men’s Regional Director.
Bill is a member of the National
Association of Basketball Coaches and the Alabama Basketball Coaches
Association. He has participated in numerous clinics and had many speaking
engagements to promote and improve basketball. He has also been active in
physical education organizations.
Bill is married to the former Adrienne
Ray, a music instructor at Jefferson State. They have two children, Ross, 19, a
sophomore at Jefferson State and Renee, 16, a junior at E.B. Erwin high School.