Father-Son Duo Create Legacy At TU

by Abby Ferguson

Head Coach Brian Lane has been the Transylvania men’s basketball head coach for 10 years. But this is not the first time that a member of the Lane family has been the head coach at Transy. Don Lane, Brian’s father, coached basketball at Transy for 26 years and had over 500 victories during his time.

The pair said they’ve had a strong father-son relationship that goes back to when the younger Lane was growing up.

“My son and I have had a tremendous relationship ever since he was born,” Don Lane said. “I’ve enjoyed every stage of development of his entire life, from when he was in college, through elementary school, middle school, high school, and of course he played for me [at Transy] for four years.”

As a child, Brian Lane would sit on the bench with his father while he coached, and he would occasionally sneak into the locker room with the team.

Don Lane had high expectations for his son and wanted him to play to the best of his abilities.

Don Lane, right, coached at Transy for 26 years while his son, Brian Lane, left, began coaching at Transylvania University in 2001.

“When I played for my father we had some very good teams,” the younger Lane said. “I knew that he was going to demand more from me than any other player on the squad. We talked often about it, and I was 100 percent in agreement. If we were down at halftime, I knew I was the first guy that was going to be corrected and challenged. I could handle it and he knew that, and it made our relationship stronger and our teams better.”

Lane said that he looks at his father as a coaching mentor and has taken what he learned from him and applied those things to his teams.

The elder Lane said he tried to instill in his son that, as a coach, “You never want to get too high and you never want to get too low. Coaching is one of (those) things (where) it’s never as great as it seems and it’s never as bad as it looks.”

Brian Lane also said he has learned how to be a good parent from his father. As a child, he had to deal with his father’s absence several days a week during the basketball season.

He explained, “The tough thing about growing up with a college basketball coach as your father is the amount of time from October to March that (he is) gone. What you have to do at this level to be successful puts a tremendous burden on a family. Nobody knows how hard it is to do to keep a program in the top 25 consistently.”

Lane said that his father made the extra effort to spend time with him and his sister during the offseason.

“He was able to find that balance of being a Hall of Fame coach, while maintaining a tremendous home life,” the younger Lane said.

Lane said that his father would be prepared for every game and would study tape for hours to make sure he knew the opponent. He learned from his father that “you can’t just work 9 to 5 p.m. and be a great coach.”

Although Don Lane enjoys seeing his son coaching and supports him in whatever he does, he does not consider himself to be his son’s biggest fan.

“I would say his wife and his children are his biggest fans,” he explained. “I’m sure I’m close to being his biggest fan. I would hope his wife and children are. I know they are.”

Brian Lane considers his father to be more than just a coaching mentor.

“I think the biggest thing is a role model. … I tell people all the time at speeches that I give that I am one of the fortunate few that rarely, if ever, hear a negative comment about their father that was a coach. I take that legacy very seriously but I also know that the work ethic he instilled in me was instilled in him by his father,” Lane said.

In this relationship, both reported a great amount of mutual respect and admiration.

“Not often does a son follow a legend as basketball coach and it turns out to be a success,” said the younger Lane. “There are many chapters to be written to see if it turns out to be a father-son success story. I can tell you this: I would not trade the time I have had learning how to be a coach and a good person from my father for anything.”

The men’s basketball team finished their season with a 14-12 record after losing to Manchester College in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament this past Tuesday.


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