ANNAPOLIS, Md.-Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk
announced Friday that Billy Lange will be the 19th head men's basketball coach
at the Naval Academy. Lange comes to Navy from Villanova University where he has
been a member of the Wildcats' coaching staff for the last three
"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to coach at what I believe is the finest educational institution in the country. The Naval Academy possesses the best student-athletes in the nation and together we will create a positive environment that is built on teamwork and respects the tradition of the Academy and Navy Basketball," said Lange.
"The men and women of the Naval Academy are proud to welcome aboard Coach Lange and his family," said Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt. "Athletics play a major part of how we accomplish our mission to prepare our nation's future combat leaders. Successful sports programs led by outstanding and proven coaches like Coach Lange foster decisive leadership, teamwork, character, mental toughness, a passion for winning and lifelong physical fitness. We look forward to Coach Lange's energy and contributions in leading our midshipmen to victory on the basketball court."
"To meet Coach Lange is to be immediately impressed with his energy, demeanor and enthusiasm for this important opportunity," said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. "Everyone we talked to that has worked with him, for him, or played on his teams has the highest compliments regarding his successful professional relationships and motivating style of leadership. I strongly believe our players will enjoy playing for Coach Lange and will compete to the best of their abilities for him. He will be a wonderful role model for our midshipmen, those within the Naval Academy family and throughout the community."
While at Villanova, Lange played a vital role in the daily operation of the men's basketball program where he served as both an assistant coach and coordinator of basketball operations.
In his three years at Villanova, Lange has been part of a staff which led the Wildcats to three-straight appearances in the National Invitational Tournament, including a berth in the NIT Quarterfinals this year.
"Billy Lange is one of the great young basketball coaches in the country," said Jay Wright, head men's basketball coach at Villanova. "He understands from his years at Kings Point and Villanova how to run an entire program. He was invaluable to us in everything we've done to try and build our program at Villanova in one of the toughest conferences in the country, the Big East. I've known him through his years as a high school coach, college assistant and college head coach and he has a tremendous understanding of the game, a great passion for the game and an outstanding ability to relate and inspire young players. Everyone at Villanova wishes Billy the best and we're all rooting for Navy."
"He is easily the most passionate and energetic coach I've ever worked with and I know that his teams will play with that same passion that he has," said Joe Jones, head basketball coach at Columbia University and former assistant at Villanova. "He's the whole package, he's energetic, knowledgeable and hard working."
At the age of 32, Lange already owns an impressive coaching resume. Appointed head coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1999, Lange led his team to a 39-19 (.672) record in two seasons, while claiming two Skyline Conference crowns and a berth in the 2001 NCAA Division III Sweet 16. Lange was named the New York Metropolitan Basketball Writers Division III Coach of the Year in 2001.
"During his time at the Merchant Marine Academy I thought he was a special coach," said Vice Admiral Joseph Stewart, Superintendent of the Merchant Marine Academy and a 1964 graduate of the Naval Academy. "He's a strong leader, has unbelievable energy, cares about people and is a winner. I was proud to be associated with him in his tenure at Kings Point, and in my view, he will do a great job at the Naval Academy."
"Navy couldn't have found a better person to be its head men's basketball coach," said Susan Petersen Lubow, Director of Athletics at the Merchant Marine Academy. "He has energy, he has passion and he has integrity. While at the Merchant Marine Academy, he embraced the entire military academy system and understood the mission of the institution. From what he learned about Academy life and the Academy system, it makes him a perfect fit for the Naval Academy."
"Honor, courage and commitment, the Navy's core values, along with integrity, character and discipline are a few of the characteristics required of a coach who represents the Naval Academy," said Nate Barton, who was the captain of Lange's Sweet 16 team at the Merchant Marine Academy. "Those words and their meanings are all what defines Coach Lange. You will not find another coach out there that cares more about his players, who is more passionate about the game of basketball and who is more capable of winning than Coach Lange."
A native of Haddon Heights, N.J., Lange played basketball at Bishop Eustace (N.J.) High School for his father, Bill Lange Sr., and at Rowan College before moving into the coaching ranks in 1995. In his first and only season as the head coach, taking over for his father who was in a life-threatening accident just one week into the season, Lange led Bishop Eustace to a 20-6 record and an appearance in the state New Jersey State Championship game.
In 1996, Lange joined the staff at Philadelphia University where he spent the next two seasons working for head coach Herb Magee. In 1998, he moved into the Division I ranks as an assistant coach at La Salle University where he helped tutor forward Rasual Butler, who is now in his second season with the Miami Heat.
Lange and his wife, Alicia, have a son, Will, who was born December 15, 2003.
The Lange File
Birthdate: Feb. 11, 1972
Hometown: Haddon Heights, N.J.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Rowan University (1994)
- Head Coach, Bishop Eustace Prep (1995-96)
- Assistant Coach, Philadelphia University (1996-98)
- Assistant Coach, La Salle University (1998-99)
- Head Coach, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1999-2001)
- Assistant Basketball Coach/Coordinator of Basketball Operations, Villanova