Former Lebanon and Mt. Juliet High girls basketball coach Larry Inman has been inducted into the Blue Raider Athletic Hall of Fame at Middle Tennessee State University.
The head coach at Tennessee State University for the past two years, Inman and his wife Bobbie Gene presently make their home in Wilson County, just off Highway 70.
Induction ceremonies planned Saturday, Oct. 4 in Murfreesboro and are free to the public.
The event will take place on the lawn of the Kennon Sports Hall of Fame two and a half hours before kickoff of the football game vs. Southern Miss.
“When I look at this honor, it’s very special,” Inman said earlier this week while at an AAU Showcase event in Texas.
“Middle Tennessee will always be very special to me -- it was my first college coaching experience. The folks at MTSU took a chance on me back then and for that, I’ll always be grateful.”
Inman began his coaching career in 1970 in his hometown, at Gallatin Junior High, where his teams were 51-4 in three seasons.
The next five years were spent as coach of the girls team at Mt. Juliet High School where his teams went 126-24, winning three conference titles, four district and three regional championships, and the 1977 Tennessee Class AAA state tournament.
Inman took over a fledgling women's basketball program and blazed a trail that immediately put it on the path to the championship status that still holds firm today.
“Working at Middle Tennessee was an incredible experience,” Inman said. “We were very fortunate, the administration wanted to establish a winning attitude, and we went out and recruited winners -- kids who didn’t know how to lose.”
During his tenure at the helm (1979-1986), Inman tallied a 161-73 won-loss record and led his highly-talented squads to five conference championships, four OVC tournament championships and four NCAA tournament appearances.
His 1982-83 squad was the first-ever Blue Raider women's basketball team to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament.
In 1988, Inman was named head coach of the Lady Colonels at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, a school that had a winning season only once in 11 OVC seasons.
In his third season, the Lady Colonels posted their first winning season in six years, and Inman became the first coach to be named the OVC Coach of the Year at two different institutions.
During his 20-year tenure at EKU, Inman's teams won the OVC regular season five times and the conference tournament twice, advancing to the NCAA tournament twice and the Women's NIT once, and he was named OVC Coach of the Year five times.
Inman retired in 2008 but returned to coaching at Lebanon High School in 2010, going 30-26 in two seasons.
The all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference, Inman is already a member of the Eastern Kentucky University Sports Hall of Fame and the Ohio Valley Conference Sports Hall of Fame.
So far, Inman has been voted OVC Coach of the Year eight times during his lengthy career.
MJ connection -- While at Middle Tennessee, Inman hired one of his former Mt. Juliet players to be his assistant coach. Diane (Cummings) Turnham, went on to become the associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator at MTSU.
She just wrapped up her 32nd year with the Blue Raiders and was recently was voted into the Blue Raider Hall of Fame.