USTFCCCA Mourns Passing Of Hall Of Famer Bobby Lang
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rattler Nation has lost a member of its FAMUly as Hall of Famer Bobby Lang passed away.
“We are saddened to lose a member of the FAMUly and send our deepest condolences to the Lang family,” said director of athletics, Kortne Gosha. “Bobby did so much for Florida A&M and HBCUs with his success showing that HBCUs can compete at the highest level. We ask that Rattler Nation keep the Lang family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Known by fellow coaches and athletes as a “strong disciplinarian,” Lang’s coaching acumen and leadership skills were noticed by the legendary coach and athletic director, A.S. “Jake” Gaither, who hired him in 1966, to be the head track coach, assistant football coach and professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
As the track coach at FAMU, Lang was credited with producing one U.S. Olympian, several All-Americans, and nationally ranked teams during his 33-year tenure.
His contributions to athletics merited induction into three Halls of Fame – the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame, the Florida Track Hall of Fame, and the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. In addition, he was named “Man of the Year” by the Atlanta-based 100% wrong Club in 1969. Lang was also named conference Coach of the year 14 times – four (4) times in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and ten times in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
From 1966 to 1979, Lang won eight conference championships in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).
From 1966 – 1968, his 440-relay team of James Ashcroft, Nathaniel James, Major Hazelton, and Eugene Milton won the event three times in a row at the prestigious Penn Relays, retiring the J.C. Patterson Cup for the first time in the history of the track meet.
In 1972, Lang produced one of the fastest sprinters in U.S. history, Reynaud “Rey” Robinson. Robinson tied the world record in the 100-meter dash and later qualified for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
In 1980, FAMU departed the SIAC to join the MEAC, where Lang won an unprecedented 30 championships (both men and women) in cross country (8), indoor track (8), and outdoor track (14).
In 1999, Lang became the first coach in MEAC history to complete the vaunted triple crown, earning conference titles in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.
Along with coaching cross country and track & field, Lang also headed FAMU’s National Youth Sports Program, a government-funded summer athletics program. Also, Lang served as an assistant coach on the football team, most notably in 1978 when the Rattlers won the inaugural Division I-AA (now FCS) National Championship.
Lang retired from the university in July of 1999, but the school continued to serve an essential role in his family’s life. It is where he met his wife and the institution from which each of his three children received degrees.