Canyon's Lombard To Be In TABC Hall Of Fame

Few high school basketball coaches in the state have been as successful as Joe Lombard. The Canyon girls coaching legend has fashioned a 968-89 record in 29 seasons and has notched 13 state championships. His most recent team capped a 34-2 season with their fourth Class 3A state championship in the past five years.

Fittingly, it was announced that Lombard is one of the newest inductees into the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame this year.

Lombard will be among six people inducted on May 5 at the TABC's annual convention. Other inductees include former Tulia all-state star Frieda Altman-Rousseau, University Interscholastic League Director Bill Farney, former Mont Belvieu Barber's Hill star Pennee Hall, Moulton boys coach Sammy Koudelka and former Buna star Pat Stanley.

It is considered unusual, for the most part, for an active coach to be so honored, but as TABC Executive Director so aptly put it, including Lombard amongst this year's group was a "no-brainer."

Here are the reasons why: Start with a coach who will likely hit 1,000 wins before he hits 100 losses. Consider that his 13 girls state titles are the most in Texas history, with legendary coach Dean Weese next at 10. Add that his 2003 team won the USA Today national title, and that he has roamed the sidelines of a pair of powerhouse West Texas schools in Nazareth and Canyon.

The bad news for future Canyon foes is that the team will return seven lettermen, including a pair of starters.

The good news about the past of his programs is that Lombard has sent 80 players on to earn college athletic scholarships.

The best news is that Lombard is being recognized for his achievements.

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