Former Florida A&M University track and field coach Bobby Lang’s historic journey began in 1953 and lasted 46 years.
From 1966 to 1999, Lang’s men and women track teams combined to win 38 conference championships at the HBCU’s Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
From 1966 – 1979, while a member of the SIAC, Lang won a total of eight conference championships
When he took over the FAMU track program, from 1966 – 1968 his 440-relay team of James Ashcroft, Nathaniel James, Major Hazelton, and Eugene Milton won the prestigious Penn Relays three consecutive times, retiring the J.C. Patterson Cup for the first time in the history of the track meet.
(l-r) James Ashcroft, Nathaniel James, head coach Bobby Lang, Major Hazelton, and Eugene Milton)
FAMU dominated the MEAC with 29 championships – 16 women’s and 13 men titles.
In 1999, Lang women’s track team won the first MEAC Triple Crown by winning the cross country, indoor and outdoor championships in the same year.
All-Americans (l-r) Mary (Jones) Wellens, Vogel Newsome, head coach Bobby Lang, Pam Oliver and Pam Porter
Lang also headed FAMU’s National Youth Sports Program, a government-funded summer athletics program, and served as an assistant coach on the on the football team when the Rattlers won the inaugural Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship in 1978.
Known by fellow coaches and athletes as a “strong disciplinarian,” Lang’s coaching acumen and leadership skills were noticed by the legendary coach and athletic director, A.S. “Jake” Gaither, who hired him in 1966, to be head track coach, assistant football coach and professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation,
In 1972, Lang produced one of the fastest sprinters in U.S. history, Reynaud “Rey” Robinson who tied the world record in the 100-meter dash, and later qualified for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. He had several All-Americans and nationally ranked teams during his 33-year tenure.
He is honored by induction into:
The FAMU Sports Hall of Fame
The Florida Track Hall of Fame
USTFCCCA Hall of Fame , 2019.
4-time SIAC Coach of the year
10-time MEAC Coach of the YearLang was named “Man of the Year” by the Atlanta-based 100% Wrong Club in 1969.
Lang retired in 1999.