Lonnie Porter
Lonnie Porter
Title: Head Men's Basketball Coach
Previous College: Adams State, 1965

Retirement Press Release

The "Dean" of Colorado men's basketball coaches, Lonnie Porter, will put together his 38th and final men's basketball team during the winter of 2014-15.  Porter has served at Regis longer than any other current men's Colorado collegiate basketball mentor.  In Division II, only one other man has coached basketball longer than Porter, Herb Magee at Philadelphia University.

Porter's longevity and success have translated into a 538-503 (.517) career win-loss record at Regis. With his 538 career victories, Porter is the state of Colorado's all-time winningest men's collegiate basketball coach.

Coach Porter is 10th amongst active NCAA Division II coaches in wins and 31st all-time.  His teams have won nearly 68 percent (354-168) at the Regis Fieldhouse.

During the spring of 2013, Porter was prestigously inducted into the Iowa High School Athletics Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Class 4A State Championship in Des Moines.

In the 1990's, Regis finished with a .655 winning percentage (184 wins, 97 losses), the second-best success rate of any Colorado collegiate men's basketball program. During Porter's tenure, the Rangers have won 20-or-more games seven times. Four of Porter's 20-win seasons came in the 1990's, with the 1994-95 and 1995-96 teams posting back-to-back 25-5 records. Both of those clubs won regular season conference championships and made appearances in the NCAA Division II Championships - the first back-to-back NCAA II Tournament qualifying teams in school history. The 1995-96 team took that success to the next level, recording the first NCAA II Tournament victory in program history - a 73-70 decision over the University of Nebraska - Kearney.

Porter, who earned both his Bachelor's Degree (1965, Physical Education) and Master's Degree (1966, Educational Administration) from Adams State College, was one of the top men's basketball players in ASC history. A four-time NAIA First Team All-District VII honoree, Porter became just the second athlete in RMAC history to garner First Team All-Conference honors (1961-62 to 1964-65 seasons) during each of his four years of competition (Earl "Dutch" Clark was the first).

Porter, who averaged 16.9 points per game (sixth all-time in the ASC career record book) during his collegiate career, earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors during his first three seasons and NAIA Second Team All-American & NCAA Honorable Mention All-American accolades as a senior. Selected as the Most Valuable Athlete at Adams State following the 1964-65 school year, Porter also served as the team captain of the ASC hoops team during his junior and senior seasons. Porter, who led the RMAC in scoring during his final three years, also guided Adams State to RMAC titles in 1962-63 and 1963-64. Porter's career scoring total of 1,624 points is second all-time in the Adams State College record book. Following his collegiate career at Adams State, Porter landed a tryout with the American Basketball Association's (ABA) Denver Rockets in 1967.

Porter also competed on the Adams State College track & field squad as a freshman, sophomore and junior, lettering all three seasons and leading ASC to an RMAC title in 1964. All told, Porter earned a total of seven varsity letters while competing at Adams State.

As a student at Adams State, Porter was a two-time Dean's List qualifier (junior & senior years). Listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1965, Porter was also listed in Who's Who Among Black Americans in 1975.

In 1992, Porter became just one of two former Adams State College athletes to have their jersey number retired (# 20). Three years later, in 1996, ASC honored Porter by starting a scholarship in his name. Porter, who was named an Outstanding Alumnus by Adams State in 1983, was inducted into the Adams State College Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2002. Porter was inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame during the summer of 2004 for his accomplishments as a player at Adams State.

Porter's coaching career began in 1966 when he coached the freshman team at Adams State. In 1969, he became an assistant coach at Denver's Manual High School. Two years later, Porter became the head coach at Manual and led the Thunderbolts to a 21-2 record, the Colorado 3A (big school) state title and a # 1 ranking in an annual U.S. Southwest Region poll. It was Porter's only season coaching at the prep varsity level.

In 1972, Porter moved back into the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant to the late Joe Cipriano at the University of Nebraska. Two years later (1974), Porter was honored with an Outstanding Young Men in America Award. In 1977, after five years as an assistant at NU, Porter was hired as the tenth men's basketball coach in the modern era at Regis. Porter's career at RU began in stellar fashion, as his initial squad compiled a 20-7 record and captured a share of the RMAC championship. His 1977-78 win-loss record represented an eight-game improvement from the previous year's mark, a 12-15 record under James Karabetsos in 1976-77. Porter earned NAIA District VII and RMAC Coach of the Year honors following his initial season.

Porter's list of awards and achievements as the head coach at Regis is vast. His accolades include a 1990 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Merit Award, an African American Spotlight Award in 1994 and four RMAC / Colorado Athletic Conference (CAC) Coach of the Year citations. In 1995, he was selected Man of the Year by the Regis University student body. Following the 1994-95 season, Porter was honored as the NCAA II North Central Region Coach of the Year. In 2001, Porter received a "7Everyday Hero Award" from Denver's KMGH 7NEWS, a "Most Caring Coach Award" from USA Weekend Magazine and a Youth Involvement Award from Colorado Black Women for Political Action. Furthermore, in March of 2001, Porter was inducted into the 37th annual class of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

In January of 2002, Porter was chosen to run the final Denver segment of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch Relay by Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. In November of 2002, Porter was honored with a BCA Images of Excellence Award (presented by Dell), an accolade that recognizes individuals for their leadership and accomplishments in the advancement of minorities in sports. Early in 2003, Porter was inducted into the East High School (Waterloo, Iowa) Athletic Hall of Fame, his prep alma mater. Later that year, Porter would also be enshrined in his former high school's general Hall of Fame. During the summer of 2003, Porter was named "Honorary Fire Chief" by the Denver Fire Department in recognition of his continued efforts to give back to the community - particularly through his efforts with the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. Porter, who received the NABC's 2003 Guardians of the Game Leadership Award, has also previously served on the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors. In the spring of 2004, Porter was selected to serve a four-year term (Sept. 2004 - Sept. 2008) on the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee. Furthermore, Porter was selected to be enshrined in the Iowa Hall of Pride during the summer of 2004. In the fall of 2005, Porter was presented with the Albert C. Yates Education Award from The Links, Incorporated, Denver Chapter.

In addition to his coaching duties, Porter carries the title of Regis University Ambassador and frequently gives motivational speeches at area schools and community centers. Porter also serves as the Coordinator of Community Service for the Regis athletic department, organizing and supervising service projects for Regis' 200-plus student-athletes.

In 1996, he began the Lonnie Porter Leadership Academy (formerly Summer Academy) at Regis University, an annual three-week academic summer program that provides at-risk youth (ages 8-to-18) from the Denver area the skills to stay in school, combat negative peer pressure, graduate from high school and attend college. Students receive training in leadership development, teamwork, conflict resolution, communication skills and technology. Subsequently, the academy, which is free to all participants, provides full scholarships to Regis University for those who successfully complete the long-term program. Six former students from the academy are presently attending Regis University.

The academy received a large boost in 2006 when NBA All-Star and 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups joined up with Porter in efforts for the academy. With the change in the academy's name to the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, came a boost in financial support as the academy raised over 575,000 dollars in 2006.

In 2009 he was awarded the Trailblazer Community Service Award from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists for his PBLA work.  Also in 2009 he was one of 12 invited to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual legislative conference in Washington D.C.

Porter is married to the former Beverly "Sunny" Hobbs. Porter's daughter, Staci, is a 1991 graduate of Regis.

Porter's Achievements

  • Inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in March, 2001
  • Most all-time victories by a Colorado collegiate men's basketball coach - 526
  • Five-time conference Coach of the Year
  • Twice Named regional / district Coach of the Year
  • Led RU to a .655 winning percentage in the 1990's
  • Led Regis to four regular-season conference titles
  • Has coached Regis to seven 20-or-more-win seasons
  • Has posted a 526-462 (.532) career record in 36 years at the helm
  • Posted back-to-back 25-5 seasons in 1994-95 and 1995-96
  • Led Regis to a pair of NCAA II Tournament appearances in 1994-95 and 1995-96
  • 2001 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2001 USA Weekend Magazine "Most Caring Coach Award" recipient
  • 2001 Colorado Black Women for Political Action Youth Involvement Award recipient
  • 2001 KMGH Channel 7 "7 Everyday Hero Award" recipient
  • Torch-Bearer for final Denver segment of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch Relay
  • 2002 BCA Images of Excellence Award recipient
  • 2003 inductee into the East High School (Waterloo, Iowa) athletic and general Hall of Fames
  • 2003 NABC Guardians of the Game Leadership Award
  • Selected to serve on NCAA rules committee from 2004-08
  • Named "Honorary Fire Chief" by Denver Fire Department in 2003
  • 2004 inductee into the RMAC Hall of Fame
  • Selected for enshrinement in the Iowa Hall of Pride in 2005
  • Selected as one of 12 players on the RMAC All-Century Men's Basketball Team in 2008-09
  • Named one of Denver's 150, honoring the top 150 individuals in the city's 150-year history in 2008
  • Earned the John Francis Regis Award for living the Regis mission
  • In 2009, was awarded the Colorado Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) "Trailblazer" Community Service Award for his work with children through the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy
  • In 2013, was inducted into the Iowa State High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Overall Conference  
Year Wins Losses Pct. Wins Losses Pct. Postseason
77-78 20 7 .741 15 5 .750  
78-79 18 9 .667 15 5 .750  
79-80 19 10 .655 11 7 .611 NAIA District VII Playoffs
80-81 17 11 .607 10 8 .556 NAIA District VII Playoffs 
81-82 17 10 .630 10 8 .556  
82-83 9 18 .333 4 14 .222  
83-84 20 8 .714 N/A N/A N/A  
84-85 15 13 .536 N/A N/A N/A  
85-86 16 12 .571 N/A N/A N/A  
86-87 15 14 .517 N/A N/A N/A  
87-88 20 8 .714 N/A N/A N/A  
88-89 10 17 .370 N/A N/A N/A  
89-90 14 15 .483 N/A N/A N/A NAIA District VII Playoffs
90-91 16 13 .552 4 6 .400 CAC Tournament
91-92 20 10 .667 7 5 .583 CAC Tournament
92-93 18 9 .667 7 5 .583  
93-94 19 9 .679 8 4 .667 CAC Semifinals
94-95 25 5 .833 9 1 .900 CAC Tourney Champs/NCAA Div. II 1st Round 
95-96 25 5 .833 7 3 .700 CAC Championship Game/NCAA Div. II 2nd Round 
96-97 14 12 .538 9 10 .474 RMAC Tournament
97-98 20 7 .741 14 5 .737 RMAC Tournament
98-99 18 9 .667 13 6 .684 RMAC Tournament
99-00 8 18 .308 3 16 .158  
00-01 11 15 .423 6 13 .316  
01-02 12 15 .444 9 10 .474 RMAC Tournament
02-03 12 15 .444 5 14 .263  
03-04 14 13 .519 8 11 .421  
04-05 14 13 .519 7 12 .368  
05-06 12 15 .444 7 12 .368  
06-07 9 17 .346 4 15 .211  
07-08 14 14 .500 9 10 .474 RMAC Tournament
08-09 7 20 .259 4 15 .211  
09-10 8 19 .296 3 16 .158  
10-11 6 20 .231 3 19 .136  
11-12 5 21 .192 2 20 .100  
12-13 9 16 .360 8 14 .364  
13-14 7 20 .259 4 18 .182  
14-15 5 21 .192 3 19 .136  
38 Years 538
503 .517 225 307 .423