Former Coleman coach earns honor
Lombardi will be enshrined in MAAC Experience at Hall of Fame
Kingston resident and former John A. Coleman High standout coach Les Lombardi will be enshrined in the MAAC Experience exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Oct. 15 at the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball Honor Roll event.
After an 18-year coaching career, Lombardi was selected by John Stote, a Coleman High alum, to head up “The Rock” Team at Anaconda Sports. During his tenure, he made “The Rock” synonymous with basketball. He continues in that capacity today.
After spending most of his time at Marist College playing basketball on the college’s junior varsity squad, Lombardi was hired as JV basketball coach. He also coached track and taught English at Coleman Catholic High School in the town of Ulster.
Four years later after completing an undefeated season, he moved to Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland, to coach its basketball team.
Within five years, he took the team to two consecutive AA County Titles and a Maryland State AA Championship. In 1978, he coached the Capital All-Stars over the U.S. All Stars in the McDonald’s Capital Classic.
He then moved onto the Division III Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he served as head coach for seven years and taught speech and mass communications. In addition, he headed the liberal arts cultural program and served as director of residence life for two years.
The MAAC became one of the first Division I Conferences to adopt “The Rock,” and many others followed suit.
In 2005, while in Ireland with his wife, Mary Ann, who was teaching there as a Fulbright Scholar, Lombardi established “Hoops acorss the Ocean,” an international exchange program.
With the support of then-Coleman Coach Alex Albany and parents of students at the high school, teams from Ireland and China have visited Kingston and lived with host families. In turn, exchange students from Coleman travelled to Ireland to play basketball while experiencing another culture.
Lombardi is also involved with the Kingston Boys & Girls Club and newly
formed Ulster County Italian-American Foundation.
The Lombardis have two married children. His daughter, Joslyn, and her husband, Greg, have a 6-year-old son Nicholas, already a basketball lover. His son, Jared, and
his wife, Amanda, have a daughter, Harriet, also a basketball enthusiast.
Ron Foxcroft, who served as a FIBA and NCAA basketball official and worked four NCAA
Tournaments and games across 30 countries during a career that spanned from 1963-1999, is also slated to be inducted to the MAAC Experience exhibit.