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Barmore is bar none

April 23, 2015

 

JARED KING 

KING

KING

Sports Editor

 

He reached 20 straight NCAA Tournaments, nine Final Fours — including eight in a row — and five national championship games, winning one.

 

He spent 20 seasons as the head coach or assistant head coach, never suffered a losing season and won 30 or more games in 13 seasons.

 

He was the fastest coach in NCAA history to reach 450 victories and finished his career with the second best winning percentage in basketball history with a career record of 576-87 (.869).

 

Who is he?

 

His name is Leon Barmore, you may or may not have noticed the one banner bearing his name inside the Thomas Assembly Center.

 

Barmore put Louisiana Tech athletics on the map. Without the success he and the Lady Techsters had, Tech would be known for relatively little in the world of collegiate athletics.

 

But because of Barmore’s success, Tech is known as having the third-best all-time winning percentage of any NCAA Division I program — men’s or women’s.

 

Tech is known as being one of only two NCAA women’s basketball programs to win at least 1,000 games.

 

Tech is known as having made 27 appearances in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, which is the fourth most NCAA Tournament appearances in the nation.

 

Despite all of these accolades, Barmore does not have his name on the TAC despite his teams being nearly unbeatable at home.

 

The Lady Techsters boast the third-highest home winning percentage in NCAA women’s basketball and are a perfect 36-0 in NCAA Tournament games held inside the arena.

 

Barmore’s name is not on the court either. That honor belongs to NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone, the men’s basketball team’s most successful alumni.

 

Barmore does not have a street named after him either. That honor belongs to Tech’s longest tenured university president Dan Reneau.

 

Barmore dedicated 35 years of his life to coaching the Lady Techsters; he is a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

Next time you enter the TAC look up toward the rafters and try to take notice of the one banner honoring Barmore and take a moment to understand how impactful his success was.

 

Jared King is a senior journalism major from Jena who serves as sports editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to jki008@latech.edu.

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