Taylorville High School
Sports Hall of Fame
 PORTRAIT

JAMES LANCASTER

    Former Taylorville Tornado basketball standout and current head coach at Aurora University James Lancaster, earned two varsity letters and was a two-year starter for the Taylorville Tornadoes Basketball Team in 1980 through 1982. In those two years, he scored 692 points, with 511 of those points coming during his senior year; seventh highest single season scoring record in school history. In 1981 —82, Lancaster led the Tornadoes to a 22-6 record, winning the Apollo Conference Championship and the Regional Championship losing to eventual state champion East St. Louis Lincoln in the sectional. He was selected to the All —Tournament teams at both the Litchfield and Charleston Tournaments.

    Following high school, Lancaster attended Wabash Community College, where he played for one of the nation's top junior college programs. He then enrolled at Aurora University where he led the Spartans in scoring his senior year. He was selected All Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference and Aurora University's male "Athlete of the Year". He was also selected team MVP.

    Following graduation, Lancaster became an assistant coach at Aurora and in 1991 became the head coach of the university's Women's Basketball Team, During his four years as head coach of the Lady Spartans, he had a composite 58-42 record, including 328 in conference play. His teams also won. two conference championships and he guided the ladies program to the school's first NCAA post-season play off in 1994,

    In 1994, Lancaster was named head coach of Aurora's boys basketball program and during his twelve years leading the Spartans, he has won 215 games to only 99 losses; a .684 winning percentage. He led the Spartans to the School's first NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 1998. Since then, the Spartans have participate in three more tournaments. Under Lancaster's leadership, Aurora has also won Four NCAA Championships. He is currently ranked 27th in wins among the NCAA Men's active basketball coaches. He has been selected NCAA "Coach of the Year" five times.