Coaching legend Joe Lombard selected for the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame
Career record (1,379-133) at Nazareth and Canyon
CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame will induct the class of 2021 this weekend, and the nation’s most successful high school girls basketball coach in history headlines the class of five. 1,379 wins and only 133 losses, High School Girls Basketball Head Coach Joe Lombard retired with a 91 percent winning percentage while taking home 19 UIL state titles in 42 seasons. His love for coaching came from his wife Babs.
“I enjoyed helping her, so I got the bug. Decided I wanted to do it full time,” said Lombard.
Then in 1979 he won his first championship at Nazareth, the same year his wife won her last title with Hale Center in her last season coaching.
“I got the calling to go into coaching, so I had seven unbelievable, wonderful years at Nazareth,” said Lombard. “Still have many friends over there.”
Lombard led the Swifts to six state titles before traveling north to Canyon where he coached for 35 years and won 13 basketball championships. In 2003 his Lady Eagles were named the USA Today National Champions, and then in 2014 and 2016 Lombard added two more titles the same seasons his son Tate won for Wall High School.
“You know there was two years where we both won state titles individually at the same time which was really neat,” said Tate.
“We had all the fans from the two towns stay and watch each others games,” said Lombard.
The Canyon head coach announced his retirement in 2020, handing the reigns to his son Tate.
“Yeah we flipped roles and I kind of like this role that I’m in now although I obviously enjoyed coaching all of those years,” said Lombard. “This year was one of my all time favorite seasons and a lot was because Tate was the head coach and I was the assistant.”
Lombard built a coaching legacy, but it was his character that qualifies him for the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame.
“It just represents the type of people I got to work with and be associated with everyday, so it’s a huge honor,” said Lombard.
Chloe Callahan, 2021 State Champion
Kalee (2000 and 2003 Champion) and Kacee Carter (3-time State Champion 2003-05), 2003 USA Today National Champions
Nikki Cluck, 1996 State Champion
Chelsie Friemel, 2-time State Champion and 2003 USA Today National Champion
Brooke Walthall, 2000 and 2003 State Champion and USA Today National Champion
Courtney Sims Woodward, 1996 State Champion
Kenadee Winfrey, 2021 State Champion
Kyla Cobb, 2021 State Champion
Other inductees for the Class of 2021 include the late Noel Johnson who played basketball at Nazareth and Texas Tech, former Pampa and Texas Tech basketball great Rayford Young, Pampa native and Texas Tech’s first female All-American Sharon Moultrie-Bruner and Groom and TCU lineman Steve Garmon who was also a longtime Secret Service Agent.
Lombard has a book coming out on Amazon soon called “More than a Coach”. It’s written by Jon Mark Beilue and will be released in 2-3 weeks. Keep an eye on book signings with Lombard.
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