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Leon Spencer

Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Former longtime Trinity Valley Community College athletic director/head men’s basketball coach Leon Spencer will be the center of attention Wednesday night at Cardinal Gym.

Spencer, who stepped down last May after 41 years as athletic director and 42 years as head coach, will be recognized between the women’s and men’s games (approximately 7:15 p.m.).

“Coach Spencer announced his retirement unexpectedly at the end of last season, so we didn’t get a chance to give him a proper sendoff,” said head women’s basketball coach Michael Landers, who replaced Spencer as AD. “We feel it’s only right we take time to recognize him for his many years of service to the college and show our appreciation.”

Landers said the start of the men’s game would be delayed approximately 15 minutes for a brief ceremony.

“We would like to see a big crowd on hand to help us thank Coach Spencer for what he meant to the college, the community and the game of basketball,” Landers said.

Spencer retired with an 809-492 record. He is the all-time winningest coach in Texas junior college history and was sixth on the all-time list at the time of his retirement.

In his long, successful and colorful career, Spencer’s teams won 13 conference championships. Three of his teams (1982, ’95 and ’99) won regional titles and competed in the national tournament. The ’82 team was his best, finishing 33-3 and third nationally.

He won over 65 percent of the conference games in which he coached and produced dozens of players named to all-conference, all-region and all-America teams.

The Cardinal Regiment, Cardettes and Cardinal cheerleaders are expected to participate in the ceremony to recognize Spencer.

The women’s game Wednesday starts at 5:30 p.m.

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