Saint Augustine's University announced the hiring of Lonnie Blow, Jr. as its head men’s basketball coach on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
This is Blow’s second stint as Falcons’ head coach. During his first tenure from 2008 to 2010, the basketball program experienced its most successful period in school history. In 2010, Blow directed the Falcons to their first CIAA championship and NCAA Division II playoff berth in 13 years. It was the Falcons’ second conference title overall.
“We are excited to have Coach Blow back as we transition into university status,” President Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber said. “Coach Blow exemplifies the leadership that propels student-athletes to not only excel on the court but in the classroom.”
His teams compiled a 46-15 record in two years including a 27-5 mark in the 2009-10 season, which was the best season winning percentage (.844) for the Falcons since the NCAA started keeping track of the program’s statistics in 1975. Blow, who won a conference crown quicker than any St. Aug coach, was named NCAA Division II national coach of the year by Heritage Sports Radio Network and CIAA coach of the year in 2010, the same year his team was ranked 23rd nationally in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll and third in the Atlantic Region.
During his time at St. Aug, Blow was known for discipline and defense. The Falcons ranked first in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.358) and third in the nation in rebounding (42.8 rpg) in 2010.
“Coach Blow’s return is a step in the right direction for the men’s basketball program,” athletic director George Williams said. “He showed in his first stint that he knows how to be successful in the CIAA. We look forward to competing on a conference, regional and national level.”
Blow returns to St. Aug from Old Dominion University where he was an assistant coach at the Division I mid-major program for two seasons. He used his defensive knowledge to help Old Dominion become one of the best defensive teams in Division I. In the 2010-11 season, the Monarchs were the top rebounding team and the third-ranked defensive team in the nation. That same season, the Monarchs won the Paradise Jam tournament, captured the CAA title and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They finished the season as the third-ranked mid-major team in the nation. In the 2011-12 season, the Monarchs reached the quarterfinals of the University Insiders Tournament.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Blow said. “This is a good time for me to come back. I look forward to the challenge of returning the program back to a competitive level.”
Honors such as these are not rare to Blow who prior to coaching university was the head boys basketball coach at Granby High School from 1995-2005, and the men's assistant coach at Maury High School from 1984-1995. At Granby, he coached the boys’ team to the Virginia AAA state title and was named AAA state coach of the year in 2000. In 2001, Blow led Granby to the Virginia AAA state semifinals.
Blow was named Eastern District coach of the year in 2001, 2003 and 2004, while earning Eastern Regional coach of the year honors in 2000 and 2001.
Blow served as an assistant coach at Norfolk State University from 2006-08 and at Hampton University from 2005-06 where he coached four All-MEAC players and a MEAC Tournament MVP. Hampton won the 2006 MEAC title.
Before entering the coaching profession, Blow was an outstanding university basketball player from 1979-82 at Virginia Wesleyan University. Blow was named Dixie Conference player of the year during the 1980-81 season. He was also a two-time All-American and All-South Atlantic Region selection, and a three-time All-Dixie Conference player, including two selections to the first team.
Blow is Virginia Wesleyan's third all-time career scorer with 1,574 points. He shares the Virginia Wesleyan single game scoring record of 40 points against St. Andrews in 1981. He still holds the single season record for points with 625 in 1980-81. That same year, he made 281 field goals which is also school single season mark. In 2009, Blow was inducted into the Virginia Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame.
Blow was a first-team All-Tidewater selection at Frederick Military Academy and led the area in scoring during the 1977-78 season with a 31.1 points per game average. He also served as coordinator for the summer youth programs at Old Dominion from 1992 to 2001.
Blow received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Wesleyan University in 1982 with a degree in sociology and criminal justice. Blow is married to Donna Maxine and has an adult son, Kenneth.