After 40 years of coaching basketball, Anderson University men’s coach Denny Lehnus has announced his retirement from the Raven men’s basketball program. Lehnus has compiled an 861-331 record in 40 years of coaching, including a 154-155 record in his 12 seasons at Anderson University.
“We are deeply grateful for the leadership of an outstanding alumnus who has had a wonderful career of coaching success,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “What is most important to us is the impact he has had on the lives of his players, assistant coaches and all the families that have been involved in our program. We wish Denny well in this new chapter of his life.”
Lehnus’s 154 victories rank third on the Raven career coaching list after former coaches Barrett Bates (245) and Robert Macholtz (226). Lehnus’ best season came in 1998-99 he lead the Raven’s to their first 20-win season since 1987, finishing at 20-6.
“Coach Lehnus has dedicated his entire 40-year career to coaching and mentoring young people,” said Michael Zapolski, Director of Athletics at Anderson University. “His faith, commitment to excellence and belief in the benefits of participating in intercollegiate athletics are part of his legacy at Anderson University. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Coach Lehnus the last two years, and appreciate his loyal service to Anderson University and the men's basketball program.”
“I feel blessed to be someone who for 40 years has been able to choose what job to take and where to go,” Lehnus said. “I'm blessed that I have had great assistant coaches and worked with great people. I'm blessed my family has supported my career and Marlew and I have always been a team. I felt this was the right time to move on to some different things I want to do in my life. I want to spent more time with my family and do some things that I enjoy.”
Lehnus came to Anderson University from Kankakee Community College (Ill.), where he compiled a 548-115 record in 19 years. He is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame (1992) and was a four-time IBCA Junior College Coach of the Year (1988, 1990-92). He was also a 9-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region IV Coach of the Year and the Kodak/National Association Basketball Coaches (NABC) National NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1985. Coach Lehnus was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1992.
Lehnus is a 1965 graduate of Anderson University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education. He earned a Master of Arts in Physical Education from Indiana State University in 1975. He and his wife Marlew reside in Anderson and have three daughters, Kelli, Kim and Kerri.