1976-1982- COACH LEMMONS HAD A 110-63 RECORD

Abe Lemmons turned around the basketball teams at Oklahoma City University and Pan American.

About Abe Lemmons:

  • Coach Lemmons was Hired By Coach Darrell Royal As The 20th Head basketball Coach At Texas For $30,000 A Year.

  • He was the 20th head coach in the 72 year history of Longhorn men's basketball.

  • Participated in One NCAA Tournament 

  • 1977- The President Of National Association Of Basketball Coaches

  • 1978 -SWC Coach Of The Year

  • 1978 -NIT Champion

  • 1978-  National Coach Of The Year By The National Association Of Basketball Coaches. He Is The Only Head Coach At Texas To Ever Win This Honor.

  • Two SWC Championships

  • 1994 Coach Lemons  Was Inducted Into The Longhorn Hall Of Honor In 1994




Coach Is A  Great Story Teller And Quote Maker.  Here Are A Few Of His Quotes.

Finish  Last In Your League And They Call You  Idiot. Finish Last In Medical School And They Call You Doctor

Coaches  Who Shoot Par In The Summer Are The Guys I Want On My Schedule In The Winter

Doctors Bury Their  Mistakes,  But Mine Are Still On Scholarship .  

We Don't Pray After A Game ... That's Too Late.  

I wish I was a football coach so I could only lose 11 games a year. 

In his  tv show sometimes he  opened with Abe laying in a coffin. He raises up, turns to the camera and says “we ain’t dead yet “. 

"You scored one point more than a dead man".

After Frank Glieber died of a massive heart attack while jogging, Abe said "I don't jog. If I die, I want to be sick." .

Abe also said he wanted to be a track coach. All you had to do was tell the kids is run fast and stay to the left.This was also a dig at the AD Dodds who was the track coach at Kansas State.


Abe lemmon is quick witted fan favorite. When asked if his first team was worthy of a top 20 ranking he said "you mean in the state"?  Abe Lemmons T.V. show becomes a hit with the Horn fans. 

Coach Lemmons Is Not A Disciplinarian And He Says  His Job Is To Get The Player To Motivate Themselves Instead Of Him Motivating them. He Said About Curfews "You Think They Can't Get Into Sin Before 10:00 P.M."?








The "Longhorn Rebounders", A Fund Raising Organization, Is  Formed. The Success Of This Organization Evolves Into The  "Burnt Orange Club" And Eventually The Longhorn Foundation. 

He Says That 1976 Is His Toughest Year As A Coach. He Says"We're Still Looking For Someone Who Likes To Play Defense And Has That Rare Talent Of Running To The Other End And Throwing The Ball In The Basket."






Texas ended its first year in the Frank Erwin Center  by becoming the first SWC team to win the NIT. Brayan and Krivac scored a total of 49 points in the semi-finals in the NIT championship. Johnny Moore, Ron Baxter, and Krivac scored 81 point in the finals against NC State. 

Reach's #15 In The AP Polls. This Is The First Time For The Longhorns In The Top 20 Since 1949.

First 20 Game Winning Season Since 1963

Most Points Scored In Texas History (148) Against Northern Montana.  


Texas Plays Army And Coach Lemmons Says "If Anybody Could Spell His Name, The Army Guy Would Be Coach Of The Year."  Army Coach Krzyzewski Eventually Becomes The Head Coach At Duke. 

12 Games At Gregory In 1977 Net $55,000.  8 Games In The New Arena In 1978 Net $275,000.

Abe Lemmons is still the only Longhorns men's basketball coach to win National Coach of the Year honors. 




Texas ended Arkansas' 35 game winning streak in Fayetteville.

Texas average attendance of 15,886 Is a record that has not been surpassed as Of 2015. The fans love him and his coaching style.

There Is A Verbal Battle Between Coach Sutton Of Arkansas And Coach Lemmons. Lemmons Tells The Media If Sutton Ever Dares Address His Players Again He Will "Liquidate His Ass".  (John Moore Is The Player.)


I will liquidate your ass...........








Johnny Moore 1979 All SWC started 113 games

Invited to the NCAA regionals the Horns lost to OU for the second time.   Abe says we did not have a big guy so it hurt our season.   Lemmons praising Phillip Stroud handling of the center position.   Abe said about basketball in the state of Texas "You are looking at a state that keeps all of the gyms closed in the summer. When there's no place to shoot a goal. It gives you some kind of idea about the attitude towards basketball.  If Texas ever gets  interested in it, we'll be one of the most fruitful states in the nation."






Coach gets two tall men- LaSalle Thompson and Steve Frederick. 






Team starts at 7-1 and four weeks later they are 10-7.  Lemmons says this year's team is no good and even though they were invited to the NIT , he was right. Horns finished 3rd in conference.

Still the Horns almost beat top-ranked De Paul and the Hogs and were one game away from another 20 game win season. 





Ron Baxter ends his career as SWC player of the year and as the all-time school leader in scoring and rebounding. 







John Krivac- In 1979 he sets the all time scoring for the Longhorns,  is CO- MVP in NIT tournament, and a academic All American






Team was invited to the NIT and lost in the second round.  This was Coach Lemmons last trip to the NIT or NCAA.  






In tournament play against Texas Tech Coach Abe tells his players "play or leave"




LaSalle thompson - All American Center




Frank Erwin Passes Away And The City Mourns The Regent Who By Force Of Will Leads The Drive To Expand The Prominence of UT Sports.

Starter Henry Johnson for academic reasons leaves the team.

Abe Lemmons refusal to discipline players and his habitual sarcasm and acid tongue remarks start to offend both fans and  many In the UT Administration.  This year marks the beginning of the end for the colorful Coach.

A Subpoena For Coach Lemmons And His Two Assistance To Discuss Gambling results Into A Media Feud Between Asst. Coach Moeller And Coach Lemmons.  Moeller Gets Fired And Goes On The Offensive By Stating Lemmons Criticism Of The Players Publicly And Privately Is Hurting Recruiting.       

According To Bill Little's Book TEXAS LONGHORNS MEN'S BASKETBALL Hoop Tales  Many Texas Players Thought Coach Lemmons Was Funny. One Of Lemmon's Players (Krivacs) Said He Had  "People Dying Laughing On The Sideline, ....Everybody We Played Against Was Bigger, Faster, Stronger, And Quicker,. But That's Not What Winning Is All About. We Had A Smarter Coach."

Ovie Dotson  Said "Coach Took The Losses And We Got The Wins. He Treated Us Like Men." His Big Deal Was "Can You Win In Life?"



Jan 26th 1982 Wacker gets hurt against Baylor and the team loses for the first time that season. Mike shatterss his knee and  Ken Montgomery replaces him. 








Team Starts 14-0 and for the first time in Longhorn basketball history the AP ranks Texas at #5.   But An Injury To Wacker turns the Season Into A Horror Story that finally results in first year Athletic Director Deloss Dodds firing Abe Lemmons. 



16,000 fans see Texas end Arkansas winning streak.  Team was #5 in many polls.  The best start for a Longhorn basketball team since 1935. 

On March 9th 1982 Coach Lemmons was fired and Lemmons was totally shocked. He said " I could not have been more shocked if you had told me I had been named governor."

The players are stunned and the fans  are upset with the announcement.  Wacker said Lemmons was a "masterful technician who knew how to get the best out of his players.  Thompson threatened to leave the program and go pro if assistant coach Barry Dowd did not get the head coaching job.  


According To Bill Little's Book TEXAS LONGHORNS MEN'S BASKETBALL Hoop Tales  Many Texas Players Thought Coach Lemmons Was Funny. One Of Lemmon's Players (Krivacs) Said He Had  "People Dying Laughing On The Sideline, ....Everybody We Played Against Was Bigger, Faster, Stronger, And Quicker,. But That's Not What Winning Is All About. We Had A Smarter Coach."

Ovie Dotson  Said "Coach Took The Losses And We Got The Wins. He Treated Us Like Men." His Big Deal Was "Can You Win In Life?"


The UT administrations and powerful boosters felt that Abe Lemmons demeanor did not reflect the future of the UT basketball program. Lemmons indiscriminate offensive cutting remarks, his inability to discipline the players,   and a graduation rate that totaled "ONE" UT graduate during his tenure were some of the reasons he was fired.

Coach Lemmons did not leave quietly.  He commented that he wanted a glass-bottom car so he could he could see Dodd's face as he ran him over, and adding, "I hope they notice the mistletoe tied to my coattails as I leave town which was a not to subtle way of saying to the UT administration they could kiss his a....    

Years later when Texas invited Abe back to celebrate the NIT Champions Coach Lemmons Is A No Show.  He Says "Just Tell Them To Put My Picture On A Poster And Parade It Around The Gym."

Coach Lemmons made some mistakes that were costly to his career, but no one can dispute that  he  turned U.T. basketball around and showed the Longhorn administration the formula necessary  to reaching  the next level in college basketball. A Level Missed The Previous 30 Years.