Finis Horne, Athletic Director & Head Men's Basketball Coach (Deceased)
Finis Horne, who passed away on June 2, 2013, completed his 29th and final season as Lander's head basketball coach on June 30, 1997 and established himself as the winningest active coach in the state of South Carolina with a 491-379 overall record following that year's 15-12 campaign.
Upon Horne's June 30, 1997 retirement, the Lander Board of Trustees awarded him the title of Athletics Director Emeritus and the "Finis Horne Scholarship" was endowed in his honor.
Coac h Horne was notified that, at a meeting of the Joint Assembly of the South Carolina legislature held on April 12, 2000, he had been elected as a member of the Lander University Board of Trustees for a four-year term ending on June 30, 2004
At a banquet held in his honor on June 7, 1997, the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor a citizen of South Carolina can receive, was bestowed upon Horne. In addition, Greenwood Mayor Floyd Nicholson proclaimed June 7, 1997 as "Finis Horne Day" and Lander President William Moran officially dedicated Lander's 2500-seat basketball facility as "The Finis Horne Arena." On Oct. 9, 1999, Coach Horne was inducted into the Lander University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Following the 1993-94 season, in which Lander reversed a three-year losing trend, Horne was named the Peach Belt Athletic Conference (PBAC) Coach of the Year when the Senators won the PBAC Tournament and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
The 1993-94 season also marked the Senators debut in the 2,500-seat Finis Horne Arena, named in honor of the only coach the Senators have ever had.
In 1994-95 the Senators did it again. Lander finished the season 21-9, won the PBAC tournament and advanced to the national tournament.
As a member of the NAIA, Lander won District 6 regular season titles in 1977-78, 1978-79 and 1979-80, and reached the District 6 championship game in 1976-77, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1987-88 and 1988-89.
He was voted the NAIA District 6 Coach of the Year in 1972-73, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1987-88 and 1989-90; and the NAIA District 6 Administrator of the Year in 1986. In addition, Coach Horne served as vice chairman of District 6 from 1974-80 and chairman from 1981-86.
Horne was voted the NAIA Palmetto State Conference Coach of the Year in 1989-90; the NAIA Area 7 Coach of the Year in 1980; and most recently, the PBAC Coach of the Year in 1993-94.
Coach Horne is married to Dr. Bettie Horne, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. The Hornes have twin daughters who reside in San Francisco. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the VFW and a member of the First Baptist Church, Greenwood.
Born April 26, 1936, in Kentucky, Horne earned an associate of arts degree from Bethel (Ky.) College in 1963, a bachelor's degree in physical education from Campbellsville (Ky.) College in 1966 and a master's in physical education from Western Kentucky University in 1968. He has also done post-graduate work in counseling at the University of South Carolina.
In 1968, Horne was hired by Lander to establish a varsity program. In 1971, he was also appointed Lander's first athletics director. Under his leadership, the Lander intercollegiate athletics program has grown to eight men's and women's athletic teams, including several which have risen to national and regional prominence in the NAIA and NCAA Division II. Lander added three sports -- baseball, women's volleyball and women's soccer -- during the 1998 calendar year.