Fontbonne University has named Lance Thornhill as the Griffins’ newest head men’s basketball coach. Thornhill, succeeds Anthony Hall who stepped down in May to relocate to Tennessee with his family. Thornhill will become the fourth head men’s basketball coach in Fontbonne’s history.
“Coach Thornhill has shown his loyalty and dedication to Fontbonne Athletics over the past 20 years,” says Maria Eftink, Director of Athletics. “He has been mentored by every men’s basketball coach in program history and it is now time for him to step into the head coaching role. I thank Coach Thornhill for his commitment throughout the years and we are excited to have him lead such a talented group of returning players and incoming recruits.”
Thornhill, who has been with the University since 1995, was the Associate Head Coach alongside Hall last season, as well as the head men’s and women’s golf coaches. He will take over the men’s basketball program, while also performing duties as Director of Golf Operations.
“The opportunity to be the head coach here at Fontbonne has been a dream of mine for many years,” comments Thornhill. “I am extremely excited for the future and want to thank the Fontbonne family, past and present, for their unbelievable support throughout the years. I especially want to thank President Pressimone and Athletic Director Maria Eftink for their huge support and confidence in my leadership abilities to continue to advance the men’s basketball program into this new era.”
Thornhill first came to Fontbonne as a graduate assistant while performing duties as head men’s golf coach and assistant men’s basketball coach during the 1995-96 school year. He was an assistant coach for 16 years under the late men’s basketball founder, Coach Lee McKinney before assisting Steve Schafer for three years and Hall last season. Thornhill and the Griffins look to continue their success from last season after advancing to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Tournament for the first time since 2009. Fontbonne lost three starters and looks to return to tradition and push SLIAC competition yet again with their incoming class which includes several new post players to increase their threat near the basket.
“As for what to expect of the 2015-16 Griffins, I plan on continuing the same style of basketball that has been instilled into the program by Coach Hall, while also adding a few up-tempo ideas,” says Thornhill who will also serve as Fontbonne’s Director of Golf Operations. Thornhill has led the men’s golf team to SLIAC Championships in 2002, 2004, and 2006 and has been named the SLIAC Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Coach Thornhill graduated from Pattonville High School in St. Louis County, where he was a St. Louis All-Metro performer in basketball and a 5A Missouri state champion in golf. He attended college at Missouri State University playing both sports until an injury forced him off the basketball floor. He continued to excel on the golf course, being selected to the Mid-Continent Conference 1st team three times, and also earning a Player of the Year award. prior to Fontbonne, Thornhill was an assistant basketball coach for Webster University’s women’s basketball team.
Fontbonne is an NCAA Division III program and are charter members of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Photo Courtesy Fontbonne Athletics