Lynn Nance, long-time successful head coach on both the Division I and II levels, has joined the Tiger coaching staff for the 2010-11 season.
LSU head coach Trent Johnson served under Nance as assistant coach when Nance was the head coach at the University of Washington.
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 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 National 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 1959. 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.
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 at Washington where he served as freshman coach for one year and two years as varsity assistant to Tex Winter. 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.
The member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, he is the author of the novel “Bridger: Deadly Peril” about an FBI agent in the post-9/11 world of terrorism.”
The Lynn Nance File
Years at LSU: First
Wife: Sally Ann
Hometown: Granby, Mo.
College: Washington, 1965
Head College Coaching Experience
1977-80 Iowa State University
1981-85 University of Central Missouri (1984) Div. II National Champs
1987-89 St. Mary’s (Calif.) College
1990-93 University of Washington
1996-99 Southwest Baptist University