NEW ORLEANS, La. | Former Florida A&M University track and field coach Bobby E. Lang will be one of six coaches who will be inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The six coaches will be honored at the 2019 USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Fla. at the Grande Lakes Resort and Spa.
Lang began his historic journey in 1953 and stayed at the institution for the next 46 years.
From 1966 to 1999, Lang’s teams combined to win 38 conference championships between the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
Most of that success came as a member of the MEAC, which Florida A&M joined in 1979 and since then has spent all but two years as a member. The Rattlers struck for 29 conference titles with Lang leading the way, with 16 going to the women’s programs and the men garnered 13 titles.
Lang became the first coach in MEAC history to complete the vaunted triple crown, earning conference titles in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field.
Along with coaching cross country and track & field, Lang also headed FAMU’s National Youth Sports Program, a government-funded summer athletics program, and served as an assistant coach on the on the football team, most notably in 1978 when the Rattlers won the inaugural Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship.
The Jacksonville, Fla. native retired from the university in 1999.
Started in 1995, the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame exists to recognize coaches who have brought great distinction to themselves, to their institutions and to the sports of cross country and track & field. Each of the honorees exemplifies the qualities of dedication to the sport, leadership and passion for their profession and serves as an inspiration to coaches everywhere.
LANG THROUGH THE YEARS
Known by fellow coaches and athletes as a “strong disciplinarian,” Lang’s coaching acumen and leadership skills were noticed by the legendary coach and athletic director, A.S. “Jake” Gaither, who hired him in 1966, to be head track coach, assistant football coach and professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation,
As track coach at FAMU, Lang was credited with producing one U.S. Olympian, several All-Americans and nationally ranked teams, during his 33-year tenure.
His contributions to athletics merited induction into two Halls of Fame – the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame and the Florida Track Hall of Fame, and in addition, he was named “Man of the Year” by the Atlanta-based 100% wrong Club in 1969. Lang was also named conference Coach of the year 14 times – four (4) times in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), and 10 record times in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
From 1966 to 1979, Lang won a total of eight conference championships in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).
From 1966 - 1968, his 440-relay team of James Ashcroft, Nathaniel James, Major Hazelton, and Eugene Milton won the event three times in a row at the prestigious Penn Relays, retiring the J.C. Patterson Cup for the first time in the history of the track meet.
In 1972, Lang produced one of the fastest sprinters in U.S. history, Reynaud “Rey” Robinson. Robinson tied the world record in the 100-meter dash and later qualified for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
In 1980, FAMU departed the SIAC, to join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), where Lang won an unprecedented 30 championships (both men and women) in cross country (8), indoor track (8), and outdoor track (14).
In 1999, his women’s track team won the first MEAC Triple Crown by winning the cross country, indoor and outdoor championships in the same year.