Abe Lemons

Abe Lemons (1922-2002)

Teams coached: Oklahoma City Chiefs, Texas-Pan American Broncs, Texas Longhorns
Oklahoma City record: 427-266 (.616)
Texas-Pan American record: 55-16 (.775)
Texas record: 110-63 (.636)
Overall record^: 592-345 (.632)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  8  (1956, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1973, 1979)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  4  (1956, 1957, 1963, 1965)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  1  (1978)
  • NIT Appearances:  4  (1959, 1968, 1978, 1980)
  • Southwest Regular Season Champion:  2  (1978, 1979)
  • SAC (NAIA) Regular Season Champion:  1  (1987)
  • NAIA Division I Tournament Appearances:  1  (1987)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1983-1990 Oklahoma City
1976-1982 Texas
1973-1976 Texas-Pan American
1955-1973 Oklahoma City

Abe Lemons Facts

  • A.E. Lemons
  • Born November 21, 1922
  • Died September 2, 2002
  • Hometown: Walters, Oklahoma
  • Alma Mater: Oklahoma City University (BA, 1949)
  • Started his college career at Southwestern Oklahoma Teachers College but left in 1942 to join the Merchant Marines and served in the Pacific during WWII
  • Returned to the States in 1946, attending Hardin College (TX) for one year before finishing his career and education at OCU
    • Played forward and center for the Chiefs (now Stars) under head coach Doyle Parrack
  • First head coaching job was at Oklahoma City, then a member of the NCAA University Division (now known as D-I)
    • Coached OCU for the eighteen seasons, going to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the NIT twice
    • Won 309 of 490 games during this stretch, his first stint as the head coach at his alma mater
  • Spent five years as the head coach at Texas-Pan American (now UTRGV), going 55-16 during that stint
  • Left for Texas in 1976, coaching the Longhorns for six seasons
  • Returned to OCU in 1983, coaching the Chiefs for another seven seasons (two in the Division I MCC and five at the NAIA level)
    • Won the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) title in 1987, going 34-1 overall and reaching the second round of the NAIA D-I Tournament
    • Retired from coaching in 1990; inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame that same year
  • Passed away from complications from Parkinson’s Disease in September 2002 at the age of 79
  • Along with his wife, Betty Jo, had two daughters

Abe Lemons Coaching Tree

  • Paul Hansen (Oklahoma State, Oklahoma City)
  • Ray Harper (Jacksonville State, Western Kentucky, Oklahoma City, Kentucky Wesleyan)
  • Johnny Moore (Fresno Heatwave)
  • LaSalle Thompson (San Diego Wildfire)
  • Bill White (Texas-Pan American)
  • Joe Williams (Florida State, Furman, Jacksonville)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and NAIA Division I levels, as Oklahoma City was originally affiliated with the NCAA but dropped down to the NAIA in 1985 during Lemons’ second stint there