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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Billy Lange and his family come home to Hawk Hill

Billy Lange, newly appointed men’s basketball head coach, walks into the Hall of Fame Room in Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Billy Lange, new St. Joe’s men’s basketball head coach, stepped to the podium in front of a crowd in the Hall of Fame Room in Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena on April 4. With Director of Athletics Jill Bodensteiner, J.D., and University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., seated behind him, Lange addressed the St. Joe’s community.

Lange addresses the crowd during his introduction in the Hall of Fame Room in Hagan Arena. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

“To be the new head coach of St. Joe’s basketball is the Lord’s handiwork,” Lange said. “I understand and embrace the deep affection that people have for Hawk Hill.”

The culture of St. Joe’s is familiar to Lange, as his mother and father, Kathy Lange ’70  and Billy Lange Sr. ’70, met on campus.

“I know he is so excited to be here,” Lange Sr. said. “As excited as we are to have him here. Going through the school, you never imagine in your wildest dreams you are going to be back here to see your son take over as head coach.”

Lange made sure to give each of his family members a hug before stepping in front of the crowd.

Billy Lange’s family watches as he addresses the crowd during his introduction. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Alicia Lange, Lange’s wife, worked in the athletic department as the coordinator of academic services for student athletes from 1999-2004. She said she is excited to return to Hawk Hill.

“I loved my time here at St. Joe’s,” Alicia Lange said. “It really is just coming home.”

Bodensteiner said she knew within the first 10 minutes of Lange’s interview that he was the man for the job because of his clear understanding of the culture of St. Joe’s.

“On and off the court, he will bring a contagious energy,” Bodensteiner said during Lange’s introduction. “In many ways he can’t help it. He was a Hawk by birth. Today he becomes the Hawk we entrust with our greatest athletic tradition.”

Jill Bodensteiner J.D., director of athletics, introduces Lange before he takes the podium. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

During his speech to the St. Joe’s community, Lange  to thank all of the head coaches who helped him get to this point in his career. The list of Herb McGee, Speedy Morris and Brett Brown all received a round of applause. Jay Wright’s name was met with a hail of boos.

This kind of passion and rivalry within the Philadelphia community is one of the things Lange said he is looking forward to.

“It is one of the most attractive parts of being a head coach at St. Joe’s,” Lange said.  “You can’t duplicate it or replicate it anywhere else. I grew up going to these games. I probably had 100 soft pretzels watching Big 5 games.”

Lange said he hopes to contribute to the feeling of community on campus in the future.

“There will be initiatives with engagement in the campus community,” Lange said. “You have to be out there, it’s about people, it’s about connections. Connections have to be a core value.”


Ana Faguy ’19 and Alex Hargrave ’20 contributed to this story.

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