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BT-Current | Bell Tower MagazineFebruary 14, 2022

University Bids Farewell to Whorton

In December, Lions across the country, especially women’s basketball fans, said goodbye to the man who put “winningest” in their vocabulary.

Hall of Fame Women’s Basketball Coach Louis Whorton passed away. Whorton compiled a 648-277 win-loss record over 30 years in the NJCAA and NCAA Division II.

He was inducted into the UAFS Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019 and the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. He is a member of the University of the Ozarks Eagles Hall of Fame.

“Coach Wharton is a UAFS legend,” UAFS Athletics Director Curtis Janz said. “He set a standard not only for UAFS Women’s Basketball but for the entire department. He set a standard for excellence on the court and made an impact on so many people’s lives. Coach will be missed, but he will always be remembered here. We love him and his family, and they will always be in our hearts.”

He won a national championship in the 1994-1995 season by going 35-0 and was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year. His team placed second in the NJCAA national tournament in 1993-1994. In their 1997-1998 and 2005-2006 national tournaments appearances, the Lady Lions finished seventh. In 2003-2004, they finished fourth. In 2004-2005 and 2007-2008, they finished third.

Former player and friend Brenda Frederiksen remembered Whorton for two of his sayings.

He told players to “always keep the main thing the main things.”

“And, as he always said, ‘Once a Lion, always a Lion.’”