Nance Named Men's Basketball Assistant

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Nance Named Men's Basketball Assistant

BATON ROUGE – LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson announced on Monday that long-time successful former head coach Lynn Nance would join the men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach.

Johnson served under Nance, who has had success on both the Division I and Division II levels, as assistant coach when Nance was the head coach at the University of Washington.

“Obviously we could not have gotten a better person or a more experienced person than Lynn Nance,” said Johnson Monday. “Coach Nance has a wealth of knowledge about the game of basketball and college athletics and we are excited that he coming here to be a part of the LSU basketball program.”

Nance, who for the last several years has been a consultant and clinician at many high school and college events as well as in Australia for their National Basketball League teams and their national sports academy,  has previous coaching experience in the Southeastern Conference as an assistant under Joe B. Hall at Kentucky from 1974-76. In that time as recruiting coordinator Nance helped recruit many of the players that would bring the Wildcats a runnerup NCAA finish in 1975, an NIT championship in 1976 and an NCAA title in 1978.

His first head coaching position was at Iowa State for four years before returning in 1980 to his home state of Missouri as the head coach of the University of Central Missouri Mules, a position he held for five years. In 1984, he led the Mules to the NCAA Division II Championship with a 29-3 record. His efforts earned him the Division II Coach of the Year award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. In his five years, his team won 20 games twice, 23, 29 and 22, a total of 114 wins.

Nance served the 1985-86 season as an assistant coach at Fresno State before returning to the head coaching chair for three years at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. The school enjoyed its greatest season in 30 years in 1988-89, winning a school record 25 games en route to a West Coast Athletic Conference championship.

The Gaels’ season ended in the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1979. That team ranked second nationally in scoring defense (56.7 ppg), field goal defense (39.9%) and scoring margin (+19.6).  Nance won 61 games in those three years before taking the job in 1989-90 as the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Washington.

That is where the connection came with Coach Johnson as he joined Nance in his second Division I assistant’s job for the 1989-90 season. In becoming the 16th head coach at Washington, Nance became the first Husky to make the full circle of player, assistant coach and head coach. Nance won 50 games in four seasons at Washington.

He later returned to the head coaching position in 1996 at Southwest Baptist University where he served for three seasons.

Nance has a 19-year-Division I and II head coaching mark of 302-224.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Trent Johnson again,” said Nance. “I know we will continue the great relationship that we have enjoyed for many years. Our thoughts are very similar when it comes to the fundamentals of the game of basketball. I’m excited about coaching again in the Southeastern Conference. The SEC is a great league. LSU basketball has a history and tradition that speaks for itself and I am looking forward to coming to Baton Rouge and joining the LSU staff.”

A native of Granby, Mo., Nance was a junior college All-American player at Southwest Baptist Junior College in 1963. He was inducted into the Southwest Baptist University Hall of Fame in 1983. Following his junior college career, he transferred to the University of Washington, where he was an All-Pac 8 selection and honorable mention All-American in 1965. He was chosen in the second round of the 1965 NBA draft by the St. Louis Hawks, but a knee injury ended a possible pro basketball career.

Nance entered the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Washington where he served as freshman coach and varsity assistant coach for two seasons. In 1970, he decided to leave the coaching profession and joined the FBI, serving three years as a special agent. He then served one year as an assistant director for the NCAA before returning to coaching.