LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc. has agreed to become title sponsor for Transylvania’s men’s basketball holiday tournament, an event that will now be known as the Don Lane Classic in honor of the Hall of Fame coach.
Transy athletics director Jack Ebel made the announcement during a Friday news conference that was also attended by FHTM President and Founder Paul Orberson and FHTM CEO Tom Mills. Based in Lexington, the direct selling company allows Independent Representatives to build their own businesses selling products and services in a variety of industries.
FHTM was also the title sponsor for last summer’s Bluegrass State Games.
“We are excited about Paul and Tom’s decision to sponsor our holiday tournament and at the same time honor a true Kentucky coaching legend in Don Lane,” said Ebel. “Their generosity will enable us to make a fantastic college event even better. We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with FHTM.”
Lane coached at Transy from 1975-2001, compiling a record of 509-241. He retired after guiding the 2000-01 team to a No. 1 ranking and a 27-2 record. When he retired, his 524 wins overall ranked fourth in the NAIA. Also during his tenure, 92 of 97 four-year players earned degrees. “Paul Orberson has been a loyal supporter of Transylvania basketball for many years,” said current Transy head coach Brian Lane. “He attends many of our games and has supported us individually in a lot of ways. He enjoys the excellence that is Transylvania athletics and we are proud to be partners with FHTM.”
Orberson is a former coach and teacher who worked in the Don Lane summer basketball camps. He founded FHTM in 2001.
This year’s Classic is scheduled for Dec. 20-21 and will feature Transy, Piedmont (Ga.), Millikin (Ill.), and Westminster (Pa.). Transy faces Millikin on Monday at 7:30 p.m. after the Piedmont-Westminster contest. The consolation and championship games are on Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m.
“Don Lane serves as a blueprint for integrity, high values and success.”
–Tubby Smith, former Kentucky and current Minnesota head coach
The classic’s namesake certainly left his mark at Transylvania. Don Lane served as an assistant coach to Lee Rose from 1972-74. Following one year as head coach at Indiana University Southeast, he returned to Lexington and led the Pioneers to an unprecedented 509 wins in his 26 years at the helm.
During his last season (2000-01), the team finished 27-2 and was ranked No. 1 in the country for much of the year.
The No. 1 ranking was the first in school history. Lane was named national Coach of the Year by the NAIA, NABC, and Basketball Times Magazine following that season.
The accolades and awards earned by the all-time-winningest coach in Transy history are as endless as they are impressive. The list includes 2004 Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inductee; NAIA Hall of Fame Inductee; NAIA District Coach of the Year in 1993; Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s Kentucky College Coach of the Year in 1989, 1991 and 1996; and coach of 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival Team. Lane is also a member of the Transylvania Athletic Hall of Fame and the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame (his alma mater).
Lane continues to conduct the longest-running basketball camp in the state of Kentucky. Since 1974, over 47,000 campers have attended a Don Lane camp with every state in the U.S. and 13 foreign countries represented.
As extraordinary as his coaching career was, Don Lane’s legacy is not limited to the basketball court nor is it complete. Lane served as athletic director for 20 years, from 1975-96 and during his tenure, Transylvania doubled the number of sports it offered. Lane continues to teach as a tenured exercise science professor at Transy.
Coach Don Lane embodies all the best principles of a coach professionally, ethically, and morally. He expects excellence on the court and in the classroom, making him a perfect ambassador for Transylvania University and for basketball.
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