Lander legend Finis Horne laid to rest
Hundreds pay respect to former AD, coach
|Bettie Horne hugs friends who came to a service honoring the life of her husband, former Lander basketball coach Finis Horne. (Matt Walsh |
Hundreds of people packed First Baptist Church of Greenwood on Saturday morning to celebrate the life of Finis Horne.
The former Lander University basketball coach, who built the Bearcats' varsity team in 1968, died of cardiac arrest at his home June 2. Horne's wife, Bettie, and family, along with former players and friends gathered to lay him to rest Saturday.
Horne coached Lander's men's basketball team for 29 years and retired with a 491-379 record. He was also Lander's first athletics director, assuming those responsibilities in 1971, three years after Horne established a varsity basketball program.
And after retiring as coach and athletics director, Horne was named Athletic Director Emeritus in 1997.
But Horne was much more than a coach. He was a man who loved to serve other people as well as his country with the U.S. Navy. No matter the time or place, Horne was always willing to help.
"He was always there for you when you needed advice or even criticism," current Lander athletic director and former Lander player Jeff May said of his predecessor. "And that's a great quality to have.
"His life was about service to others, service to his country and we love Coach."
Horne was also a father-figure to all his players. And many of those former players crowded the pews of First Baptist Church to say goodbye.
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