Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the resignation of Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Lentz, effective immediately.
Lentz has been the Bears’ mentor for the past 29 years and has led Lenoir-Rhyne to a 432-374 record as Head Coach.
During his tenure, Lenoir-Rhyne captured eight South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championships and four Food Lion SAC Tournament Titles and led the Bears to five trips to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. In addition, Lentz was named South Atlantic Conference Coach Of The Year six times.
Lentz also coached Daniel Willis to All-American honors in 2000-01 while four of his players were named SAC Players Of The Year: Jody Petty (1990-91), Brian Lewis (1994-95), Willis (2000-01) and Roman Davis (2003-04 and 2004-05).
As a member of NAIA, Lentz coached the Bears to four consecutive trips to the playoffs (1990-93) and was named the District 26 Coach Of The Year in 1989-90.
The 1992-93 squad may have been Lentz’s best ever. The Bears went 25-7 that season, won the league tournament and the NAIA District 26 Championship and advanced all the way to the NAIA Elite Eight in Kansas City, Mo.
Lentz, the winningest men’s basketball coach in Lenoir-Rhyne and South Atlantic Conference history, also led the Bears to 20 or more wins in six seasons during his tenure.
Lentz, a 1999 inductee into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall Of Fame, was also one of the best players in school history. Lentz ranks first in assists (524) and fifth in points (1,755) on the program’s career lists and was a three-time first-team all-conference selection.
Lentz also coached three years at Pfeiffer (1983-84, 1984-85 and 1985-86) and finished with a 53-33 mark with the Falcons before becoming Lenoir-Rhyne’s Head Coach prior to the 1986-87 season. Lentz’ career coaching record stands at 485-407. Lentz, a native of Willingboro, N.J., graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1974. Lentz was also inducted into the Catawba County Sports Hall Of Fame this past May.
Photo Courtesy Lenoir-Rhyne