Lonnie Gaylor named to 2016 TABC Hall of Fame class

Lonnie Gaylor has spent 15 of his 19 years in Waxahachie dedicated to the city’s youth, coaching two of the high school’s sports during his tenure.

The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches will induct Gaylor into the 2016 Hall of Fame class during the organization’s annual clinic at 6 p.m. May 21 at the Tropicana Hotel in San Antonio.

“It is a very humbling and a tremendous honor to be chosen by your peers,” Gaylor said. “It is shared with all the assistant coaches and players that I have had the privilege to work with throughout the years.”

Gaylor began coaching in 1972 at Nacogdoches High School, where he became head basketball coach two years later. He also served as a varsity assistant for the football team until he relocated to Marlin High School to accept head basketball and varsity football assistant head coaching positions.

Before bringing his experience to Ellis County, he coached girls golf at Graham High School for seven years. Gaylor said he was motivated to coach by his head coaches at Jacksonville College and Stephen F. Austin State University.

“Al Barbre was my junior college basketball coach at Jacksonville College and later at Stephen F. Austin State University, and was a major influence on me wanting to become a basketball coach,” Gaylor said. “I love kids. Coaching has always been a commitment and not a paycheck to me. You have the opportunity to be around some really great people and a chance to help mold, change and get young people ready for their next step in life.

“One of the main reasons I retired from coaching basketball was to watch my son coach. I have three grandchildren, too. I didn’t want to miss out on their activities.”

While working with WISD, Gaylor has coached the sports of basketball and both boys and girls golf. He credited his family with the length of his career, saying his wife and children are big reasons why he stayed in love with the profession.

“My family has been the backbone of my coaching career,” he said. “I have a ‘Hall of Fame’ wife that has been behind me all these years. She has encouraged me, kept the book at games, kept a scrapbook of every article written during the last 44 years, baked cookies, washed uniforms, given up holidays and traveled lots of miles to support me.

“Some coaches get out of coaching to spend more time with family, but coaching was our family. My daughter was my stat keeper in basketball and played golf and my son was the ball boy and played for me for four years in high school. He grew up spending much of his summers at basketball camps with me. Our family surrounded my coaching. The motivating factor behind me coaching so long is that I love it and I love being around young people. It is the best feeling to see a student-athlete accomplish a goal, not only in sports but in life. Hopefully, I have motivated, encouraged and helped someone smile along the way.”