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Rio Grande to host Art Lanham Day

January 24, 2013

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – The name Art Lanham has been synonymous with Rio Grande athletics for more than 50 years. 

The 80-year-old former multi-sport coach, athletic director and Athletic Hall of Fame member will be honored Saturday, Jan. 26 with Art Lanham Day as the University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College hosts a basketball doubleheader against Georgetown College.

“He’s a great man, and he was a father figure and a coach to all of us,” said Mike Burcham, a 1965 Rio graduate and member of the baseball team. “I’ve been a coach for 47 years and I’ve continued a lot of the things he did, because he made kids want to play and he treated them right. I love him dearly, and I’m tickled to death that they’re doing this for him.”

Burcham retired this year after 47 years with Ironton High School, where he served as athletic director, head baseball coach and assistant football coach. The 69-year-old, however, will miss Art Lanham Day as he will be among the inaugural class of Ironton High School Athletic Hall of Fame inductees at a ceremony also on Saturday.

Festivities are scheduled to begin at noon with a wine & cheese social, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Archon Alumni Association, in the Ron Glover Booster Room at the Paul R. Lyne Center. The women’s basketball game against the 13th-ranked Tigers tips at 2 p.m. Lanham, or “Coach Man” as he was known during his 21-year tenure as the men’s coach and athletic director (1960-80), will be honored shortly before the tip of he men’s game schedule for a 4 p.m. start.

Art Lanham Day concludes with a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Rhodes Student Center food court. Dinner tickets are $15 and can be purchased through the athletic department at 740-245-7293 or 740-245-7485.

“He touched the lives of so many people during his time here,” said Jeff Lanham, Art’s son and current Rio Grande athletic director. “It’s an opportunity for him to come back and reminisce with those people. Dad played an integral role in the development of the athletic programs and facilities here at the University of Rio Grande.”

Along with coaching men’s basketball, Lanham also served as coach of the baseball, golf and track & field teams. Whether serving as a coach or athletic director, Lanham also helped usher in the women’s basketball, softball, golf, swimming and track & field programs. Golf and swimming no longer exist. He also oversaw construction in 1969 of the Lyne Center, which now houses two gymnasiums, an indoor pool, a fitness center, racquetball courts, classrooms and the Rio Grande Athletic Department. Rio’s original track and baseball facilities also were built under his watch.

For more information about the University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College visit Rio.edu or call 800-282-7201.

The University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College is the only combined private university and public community college in the country. Serving more than 2,400 students annually, dreams become reality while nestled into the beautiful rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio.

For media inquires please contact Eric McKinney, Director of Marketing & Communications, at emckinney@rio.edu or 740-245-7225.