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Northeast Louisiana University's ex-coach Lenny Fant dies
Posted: Monday October 12, 1998 08:05 PM
MONROE, Louisiana (AP) -- Lenny Fant, whose 326 college basketball victories are the most in Northeast Louisiana University history, died early Monday of cancer. He was 74.
Fant had been battling colon cancer since early 1997 and died at Glenwood Regional Medical Center in Monroe. A funeral was scheduled Wednesday at 4 p.m. CDT. in Ewing Coliseum on Northeast's campus.
Fant was head coach of the Indians from 1958-79, going 326-221 in 22 seasons. He led the team to the Gulf States Conference championships in 1961-62 and 1964-65 and took Northeast Louisiana from the NAIA level to NCAA Division I status.
In 1978-79, Fant led his final team to a 23-6 record and earned NLU's first NCAA post season appearance playing in the National Invitation Tournament. NLU lost in the first round at Virginia, 79-78.
Fant was born in Hamilton, Alabama, on October 25, 1923, and graduated from Lee High School in Columbus, Mississippi. In 1950, he graduated from Centenary College and coached at Delhi High School for three years before being named athletic director and head coach at Louisiana College. After one year, he went to East Texas Baptist for three years, winning two conference and two NAIA district titles, before heading to Northeast.
Fant is survived by his son, Lynn; daughter, Wanda Fant Smith; and two grandchildren.
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