STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

UAH head basketball coach leaving Huntsville for Lipscomb University

Lennie Acuff

He's been head coach at UAH for more than two decades

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 1:35 PM

Lennie Acuff, head basketball coach at University of Alabama in Huntsville, is leaving to take the head basketball coaching job at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

The news is expected to be formally announced at a 4:30 p.m. Tuesday press conference.

From Acuff’s bio at UAHChargers.com:

Lennie Acuff has completed his 22nd season at the helm of the UAH men’s basketball program and during that time, the Chargers have grown into a national power. While at UAH, Acuff owns a 437-214 record to boast an overall record of 554-325 in 29 seasons.

In the 2017-18 season, Acuff earned his 400th win as a head coach in the Gulf South Conference to become the league’s all-time leader in victories, passing GSC legend Ed Murphy who totaled 399 wins in stints at West Georgia, West Alabama, and Delta State.

Under Acuff the Chargers have enjoyed 20 winning seasons, appeared in the Gulf South Conference tournament 18 times, won eight GSC regular season titles, captured three GSC tournament championships, and earned 11 trips to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts, Acuff has been named the NABC District Coach of the Year four times (2000, 2011, 2012, and 2013), and he has been honored as the GSC Coach of the Year a conference-record eight times (1999, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016).

Two of Acuff’s trips to the NCAA tournament resulted in Elite Eight appearances as the Chargers won the NCAA South Regional in both 2011 and 2012, and the national quarterfinal berths were part of a terrific span of success that saw UAH in the national polls for 44 straight weeks including a No. 2 ranking to end the 2011-12 season. Making the 2012 South Region title even more special, Acuff won his 400th career game on the sideline in that contest.

The team’s achievements were also recognized on a national level as Acuff’s team was the first Division II program invited to play in the NIT Season Tip-Off in 2012, and the Chargers defeated North Texas in the opening round of the prestigious event.

In total, Acuff’s UAH squad reached the regional final five times in seven years from 2011 to 2017, making the Chargers one of only two teams to perform that feat in the same span.

Acuff’s teams during his tenure of tremendous success have featured several prominent players, including Josh Magette, Zane Campbell, and Jaime Smith who all earned All-American status during their time in Huntsville. Magette was named the Daktronics South Region Player of the Year in 2012 while setting the GSC record for career assists, and Smith earned the South Region Player of the Year award in 2013. All three went on to have professional careers after their playing days in the Rocket City, including Magette who became the first Charger to land on an NBA roster as he appeared in 18 games for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2017-18 season after playing for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA G League in the 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons.

Since taking over in Huntsville, Acuff’s teams have featured four first team All-Americans, five GSC Players of the Year, four GSC Freshmen of the Year, and 36 All-Gulf South Conference selections.

Highly respected by his peers in the collegiate coaching ranks, Acuff is one of just two Division II coaches to serve on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Board of Directors.

Prior to accepting the position at UAH, Acuff served as the head coach at Berry College (Rome, Ga.) for four seasons. He established Berry as one of the premier NAIA programs in the southeast by leading the Vikings to back-to-back 20-win seasons in his final two years. Each of those teams advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament after posting upper division finishes in the regular season.

Acuff’s first head coaching job was at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. At the age of 25, he was the youngest head coach at a four-year college in the United States. His three-year tenure proved to be the rebirth of a struggling program. Each of his teams earned conference playoff berths which marked the longest such streak in school history.

Acuff graduated from Shorter College in 1988 where he enjoyed an outstanding basketball career that led to his induction into the 2011 Shorter Athletic Hall of Fame class. The marks he set for assists in a single game, season, and career still hold to this day as Acuff led the Georgia Athletic Conference in assists and finished in the NAIA national top 10 during both his junior and senior campaigns. He was the starting point guard for the Athletes in Action college all-star team which toured Asia and represented the U.S. in the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Seoul, South Korea. Following his playing career, Acuff earned his master’s degree from the University of North Alabama.

Acuff is a native of Huntsville and is married to the former Kelly Gregory of Mobile. The Acuffs are proud parents of two children, Will and Molly.

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 47°
Muscle Shoals
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 48°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 41°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 687751

Reported Deaths: 8430
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby765191128
Davidson70950665
Knox38829400
Hamilton34687327
Rutherford33228285
Unassigned22839126
Williamson21449140
Sumner18262232
Out of TN1618380
Montgomery14450149
Wilson14449157
Sullivan12606211
Blount11914125
Washington11911191
Maury10962123
Bradley1079191
Sevier10495108
Putnam9952136
Madison9131179
Robertson764585
Hamblen6990109
Anderson6792103
Greene6598108
Tipton621065
Gibson5639111
Coffee562882
Cumberland540072
Dickson536378
Bedford532589
Roane521279
Carter5109112
Lawrence508969
McMinn508573
Warren498753
Loudon495550
Jefferson477975
Dyer474982
Monroe457162
Hawkins446268
Franklin412161
Obion399679
Fayette397851
Rhea382456
Lincoln379444
Marshall345436
Cocke343856
Weakley339948
Cheatham336230
Henderson333057
Campbell324540
Giles321772
White311343
Carroll310459
Hardeman309452
Hardin298147
Lauderdale293731
Macon288850
Wayne261319
Henry260858
Overton253843
DeKalb242341
Haywood239845
McNairy238642
Smith231327
Trousdale228814
Marion228431
Scott225431
Hickman223534
Fentress212831
Claiborne212729
Grainger209035
Johnson201832
Morgan189015
Crockett180738
Bledsoe174210
Chester173837
Unicoi167043
Cannon157719
Lake155519
Decatur147326
Polk143617
Union139422
Grundy139321
Sequatchie137118
Humphreys132817
Benton132135
Lewis127520
Meigs114416
Stewart105520
Jackson104021
Perry94725
Clay93926
Houston93922
Moore8009
Pickett67919
Van Buren6607
Hancock4056

Community Events