Villanova freshman was forced to the sideline as a high school senior
Duties Shifted for Several Members of Jay Wright's Staff
The Villanova captain will be a key as a senior in 2012-13
In May 2011, Billy Lange returned to Villanova for his second stint as a member of Jay Wright's coaching staff after serving as the head coach at the United States Naval Academy for seven seasons.
"Billy is a passionate and dedicated coach who played a substantial role in instilling the qualities that our staff values most during our early years here," stated Wright upon Lange's hiring as associate head coach. "Now he returns with the added experience of having built his own program at the Division I level. His knowledge and passion will be a great boost to our young team. We are thrilled to welcome Billy, his wife Alicia and their family back to Villanova."
In his role as associate head coach, Lange serves as Wright's chief aide in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, on-court coaching and game strategy.
At Navy Lange inherited a squad that had won five games in the season prior to his arrival and under his direction the Midshipmen improved their win totals in each of his first five seasons, highlighted by a 19-11 effort in 2008-09. In 2008 he was named Patriot League Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the 2009 Skip Prosser Man of the Year award. Five of his players were recognized by the Patriot League as first team Academic All-League choices and Navy's 30 league wins from 2008-11 were the third highest total of any league program.
"Once you are touched by the people of the Villanova community, the energy of the Nova Nation, and the family that is Villanova Basketball, it becomes such a big part of who you are-it impacts you for life," said Lange upon his return to the Main Line.
"It is with great enthusiasm and admiration that I become a part of it once again. The opportunity to work at a place I've been passionate about my whole life, in an elite program, and in college basketball's best conference is a blessing. Also, to work with Jay - a coach, a leader, and a man that I hold in the highest regard was one that I felt was so right in so many ways."
During his tenure in Annapolis, Lange demonstrated a knack for player development and potent offensive production, particularly from beyond the 3-point arc. Four of the top five single-season three-point totals came during his stewardship of the program and Navy produced 20 instances of 13 or more three-pointers in a game under Lange. Before Lange arrived, Navy had just five such outings.
Thanks in large part to the success beyond the arc and at the free throw stripe and the up-tempo approach, Navy led the league in scoring in five of the seven years Lange was in charge.
Lange also demonstrated a skill for nurturing young talent. In his seven years at the helm, five freshmen were named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team, including 2008 selection, Romeo Garcia. Garcia joined Kaleo Kina (2006), Trey Stanton (2007), Greg Sprink (2005) and Corey Johnson (2005) as freshmen that earned the honor under his tutelage.
During the 2008-09 campaign Lange guided Navy to a spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 and the team received votes for the Associated Press Top 25 national poll on three different occasions in 2008-09.
Another noteworthy accomplishment for Lange at Navy was his team's effort on the academic side of the equation. In his tenure the team GPA increased by nearly half a point. Eight players recorded GPAs better than 2.50 in the 2008 spring semester and six of them had cumulative GPAs better than 2.60.
His overall career record in nine seasons as a head coach, including a 39-19 stint at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, is 131-134.
In his first stint at Villanova, Lange served as the director of basketball operations as Wright began laying the foundation for his vision of Villanova Basketball from 2001-04. Wright and Lange had grown close during their shared time together in the New York metropolitan area, as Wright completed his tenure as head at Hofstra and Lange served two seasons (1999-2001) as head coach at the United States Merchant Academy, where he led the Academy to a pair of Skyline Conference titles.
Lange, 40, grew up around basketball in Haddon Heights, N.J. He played for his father, Bill Lange, Sr., at Bishop Eustace High School before moving on to Rowan College. He began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant to his father before being asked to assume the head coaching position after his father had been injured in a car accident. Bishop Eustace finished 20-6 under the younger Lange.
In 1996 Lange joined the staff of Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee at Philadelphia University and spent the 1998-99 season as an assistant coach at La Salle University.
Lange and his wife, Alicia, are the parents of four sons, Will (born December 15, 2003), Matthew (born May 9, 2005) and twins Jacob and Marc (born June 21, 2007).