Ep. 62: Lonnie Porter – Trailblazer, Leader, Mentor, Coach

Lonnie Porter recently retired as the Head Coach of the Regis University men’s basketball team, where he was coach for 38 seasons and accumulated 538 victories. He is Colorado’s all-time winningest men’s collegiate basketball coach, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. Based on his athletic achievements alone, Lonnie Porter would be considered a legend.

But it’s his work off the court that’s equally impressive. He founded The Lonnie Porter Leadership Academy in 1996, which became the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy in 2006 once he joined forces with NBA Superstar Chauncey Billups. The academy provides academic and leadership training to at-risk inner city students from Denver. Students in grades 4 through 12 participate in a rigorous three-week academic program each summer and year-round support is provided to the high school students and their parents. It’s an amazing program, and its many successes are highlighted here.

On this week’s show Lonnie shares incredible insight from his legendary career about basketball, shifts in culture during his 38 years as coach, and more. He also graces the show with war stories featuring the likes of Oscar Robertson, Bobby Knight, Oklahoma State coaching legend Henry Iba, local hero Dave Logan and his partner at the leadership academy Chauncey Billups. We’re also certain to dig deep into his work at the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy.

On a personal note, it’s not every day I get to sit down for over an hour with a man who has the resume, experience and insight of a Lonnie Porter. As you’ll find in this episode, Lonnie’s warmth, his generosity, his inexhaustible reservoir of good cheer and his keen intelligence shine through brilliantly. I’m incredible grateful to Lonnie for sharing his time and his stories with me. Also, a debt of gratitude is owed to my former colleague Chris Niehoff for hooking us up.

This episode, along with all episodes, are available at the Jon of All Trades homepage, for download on iTunes, or for streaming on Stitcher.

 

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