Hall of Fame Coach

John Lewis

John Lewis

  • Baseball, Basketball
  • 1947-1973
  • Hall of Fame Class of 1991
The NAIA inducted John Lewis into its Hall of Fame for meritorious service in baseball in 1969, the same year he was named NAIA Area 1 Baseball Coach of the Year. Lewis, who died Jan. 31, 1973 of a heart attack at 57, was Willamette's Athletic Director for 26 years (1947-1973) and coached baseball (1948-1972) and basketball (1947-1967) longer than anyone at Willamette. Lewis' baseball team won three Northwest Conference crowns and was runner-up six times en route to a ledger of 276-264, which included games against major colleges. His basketball team won or shared seven Conference championships while compiling a record of 277-239. It was his dream and planning that led to the construction of the Lestle J. Sparks Center (1974), which has hosted the John Lewis Holiday Basketball Classic ever since
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