RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The name Art Lanham has been synonymous with Rio Grande athletics for more than 50 years.
The 80-year-old former multi-sport coach, athletic director and Athletic Hall of Fame member will be honored Saturday, Jan. 26 with “Art Lanham Day” as the University of Rio Grande hosts a basketball doubleheader against Georgetown College.
“He touched the lives of so many people during his time here,” said Jeff Lanham, Art’s son and current Rio Grande athletic director. “It’s an opportunity for him to come back and reminisce with those people. Dad played an integral role in the development of the athletic programs and facilities here at the University of Rio Grande.”
Festivities are scheduled to begin at noon with a wine & cheese social, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Archon Alumni Association, in the Ron Glover Booster Room at the Paul R. Lyne Center.
The women’s basketball game against the 13th-ranked Tigers tips at 2 p.m. Lanham, or “Coach Man” as he was known during his 21-year tenure as the men’s coach and athletic director (1960-80), will be honored shortly before the tip of the men’s game scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
Art Lanham Day concludes with a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Rhodes Student Center food court. Dinner tickets are $15 and can be purchased through the athletic department at 740-245-7293 or 740-245-7485.
Along with coaching men’s basketball, Lanham also served as coach of the baseball, golf and track & field teams. Whether serving as a coach or athletic director, Lanham also helped usher in the women’s basketball, softball, golf, swimming and track & field programs. Golf and swimming no longer exist.
He also oversaw construction in 1969 of the Lyne Center, which now houses two gymnasiums, an indoor pool, a fitness center, racquetball courts, classrooms and the Rio Grande Athletic Department. Rio’s original track and baseball facilities also were built under his watch.