A friend of a friend-Buzz Williams-Bart Lundy-March 19

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for March 19, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

In the spring of 1990 I conducted a tryout for high school seniors who might be interested in attending UNC Pembroke and playing basketball. One of those young men that came to work out for my assistant coach John Haskins and I was Bart Lundy from Hickory HS. Bart’s high school coach at Hickory High School was Tom Bonebrake. Tom was somebody that I held in high esteem because he had been an assistant coach at Catawba College (NC) for the legendary Sam Moir. Tom had a good feel for what it took to play basketball on our level and gave Bart a great recommendation.

Bart enrolled as a freshman in 1990 and was on the UNC Pembroke team that went 27-5. He didn’t play much but was dependable and you could tell he loved the game. His sophomore year we still had some pretty good players in front of him and playing time was limited. At the end of Bart’s sophomore year I was offered the head basketball job at Winthrop University and left UNCP. Bart and I talked about him wanting to follow me to Winthrop but I encouraged him to stay. He left UNCP and went home to Hickory and attended Lenoir-Rhyne. He was on the team at L-R and they had a fabulous season in 1992-93. After the 1993 season Bart again approached me about wanting to come to Winthrop I told him yes but only as a student assistant coach. He did that for one year and when Mark Peeler left our staff to go to St. Andrews we moved Bart up to assistant coach while he worked on his Master’s Degree.

In 1995 before he finished his master’s degree Bart was hired by Dale Layer to become the assistant coach at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte was just 12 miles from Rock Hill, SC so it was a great move for him. In 1997 Dale Layer left Queens to accept the job as assistant coach at Colorado State. After Dale left Queens was quick to appoint Bart to the position of Head Coach and he was very successful

Bart was the Head Coach from 1997-2003 and he led Queens to a combined 115-41 record during those six years. Bart also took the program to the Elite Eight twice during his tenure at Queens. In his final season, the Royals posted a  29-4 record during the 2002-03 campaign making it to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.

In 2003 Bart was hired as the Head Coach at High Point University where he posted a 96-87 record in his six years there. In 2009 he went to Marquette University where he served on the staff with current Virginia Tech Head  Basketball Coach Buzz Williams. Buzz Williams just finished up his first year at Virginia Tech.




Buzz Williams

How Buzz Williams looks at decisions

People have a hard time when something seems out-of-place. In March 2014 Buzz Williams the highly successful coach at Marquette University left and went to Virginia Tech as Head Coach. This decision shocked the college basketball world as not logical.

If you are not a college basketball fan the analogy I can give you is that Buzz left running an Outback Steakhouse Franchise to go run a Hardee’s or Carl Jr’s. They both are restaurants but they have had different levels of perceived prestige and success.

Buzz Williams is not into what you or I perceive as prestigious or successful he defines that for himself. He has been described as fanatical in making decisions based on data and information. Buzz Williams at just the age of 42 had won more NCAA Tournament games (8) than Virginia Tech has won ACC games in the last two seasons combined (6). Virginia Tech does not have the history of recent NCAA success. Yet Buzz Williams made the move. This first season Va. Tech went 11-22 and some may still question him leaving Marquette but the Golden Eagles went 13-19 this season. Did Buzz really make a bad decision I think it is way too early to answer the question. What I like about Buzz Williams is that you have a hard time  type casting him. He may be a little weird but that is not all bad for the game. One story from his first year at Va. Tech might help us all understand.

Menswear designer Scott Barber watches Virginia Tech basketball games whenever they pop up on his television out in Colorado. Barber is a longtime friend of Hokies first-year coach Buzz Williams, since Williams was an assistant at Colorado State from 2000-2004.

This season On Monday February 9,2015  Barber was a bit surprised to see Williams emerge from the locker room at halftime in their game against Georgia Tech having changed into a sweater he recently sent his friend.

Williams said he got the sweater, made of a lightweight merino lambs wool, on Saturday February 7th. He said Barber challenged him by saying he wouldn’t wear it while coaching.

“‘You won’t wear this in a game. It’s too loud,’” Williams said Barber said. “I go, ‘No, if you send me something, and it’s free, I promise you I’ll wear it.’”

Barber said he sent Williams the sweater, a purple and orange piece with an argyle design and purple sleeves, to see what he thought. He planned to get Williams’s feedback on the design and then make him one in true Tech colors, maroon and orange. Buzz Williams doesn’t care what you and I think – he wore the sweater.

Buzz Williams Sweater

I suggest we all check back on Buzz Williams in three years or less and my guess is we will find Virginia Tech in post season play. Check back in three years and Bart Lundy at Queens University will be doing the same thing.

That’s my decision based on my data and information. Now if I can just find a friend or a friend of a friend to send me an argyle sweater in our school colors.


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