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Legendary UAH Men’s Basketball Coach Lennie Acuff resigns to take position at Lipscomb

A legend is departing as University of Alabama in Huntsville head men's basketball coach Lennie Acuff has announced his resignation on Tuesday to ...
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A legend is departing as University of Alabama in Huntsville head men’s basketball coach Lennie Acuff has announced his resignation on Tuesday to accept the same position at Division I member Lipscomb University in Nashville.
During his 22 years at the helm of the UAH program, the Huntsville native Acuff established the Chargers as a national power, going 437-214 in that time to boast an overall record of 554-325 record in 29 seasons.
“I want to thank everyone associated with UAH for giving me the opportunity to serve as the men’s basketball coach for the past 22 years,” Acuff said. “It has been an amazing journey, and I will cherish every moment that I was allowed to represent UAH. I hope that all the players who have worn the Charger uniform know how much they mean to me, and they have impacted my life in so many ways.”
Acuff will leave the Gulf South Conference as the league’s all-time leader in wins, and for his success in his hometown, he was inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County Hall of Fame in 2018.
“I am so proud of the young men who have come through our program and the way they have represented the institution,” Acuff continued. “I also have been blessed with the finest assistant coaches in the country over the past two decades, and each of them are so special to me. I have also worked alongside so many coaches and staff members during my time at UAH that will be lifelong friends. Each of my co-workers are gifted, selfless, and deserving of all the success they have enjoyed.”
Under Acuff the Chargers enjoyed 20 winning seasons, appeared in the GSC tournament 18 times, won eight GSC regular season titles, captured three GSC tournament championships, and earned 11 trips to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts, Acuff was named the NABC District Coach of the Year four times (2000, 2011, 2012, and 2013), and he was honored as the GSC Coach of the Year a conference-record eight times (1999, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016).
Two of Acuff’s trips to the NCAA tournament resulted in Elite Eight appearances as the Chargers won the NCAA South Regional in both 2011 and 2012, and the national quarterfinal berths were part of a terrific span of success that saw UAH in the national polls for 44 straight weeks including a No. 2 ranking to end the 2011-12 season. Making the 2012 South Region title even more special, Acuff won his 400th career game on the sideline in that contest.
The team’s achievements were also recognized on a national level as Acuff’s team was the first Division II program invited to play in the NIT Season Tip-Off in 2012, and the Chargers defeated North Texas in the opening round of the prestigious event.
In total, Acuff’s UAH squads reached the regional final five times in seven years from 2011 to 2017, making the Chargers one of only two teams in the nation to perform that feat in the same span.
Acuff’s teams during his tenure of tremendous success featured several prominent players, including Josh Magette, Zane Campbell, and Jaime Smith who all earned All-American status during their time in Huntsville. Magette was named the Daktronics South Region Player of the Year in 2012 while setting the GSC record for career assists, and Smith earned the South Region Player of the Year award in 2013. All three went on to have professional careers after their playing days in the Rocket City, including Magette who became the first Charger to land on an NBA roster as he appeared in 18 games for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2017-18 season after playing for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA G League in the 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons.
In total, Acuff’s teams featured four first team All-Americans, five GSC Players of the Year, four GSC Freshmen of the Year, and 36 All-Gulf South Conference selections.
During Acuff’s time on the Charger bench, UAH has enjoyed immense support from the community with season tickets selling out frequently.
“Finally, I want to thank the Huntsville community, our boosters, and season ticket holders for their faithful support throughout my tenure,” Acuff said. “Our program could not function without them, and they made coaching at UAH a big-time experience.
“I wish UAH and the entire Charger community all the best.”
Lipscomb will mark Acuff’s fourth stop in his decorated career as he spent three seasons at Belhaven and four years at Berry prior to returning to his hometown, and he is taking over a team that finished as runner-up in the NIT earlier this month.