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Legendary Kansas coach Lafayette Norwood passes away at 86

Legendary Kansas coach Lafayette Norwood passes away at 86
Legendary Kansas coach Lafayette Norwood passes away at 86(Kansas Athletics)
Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 4:13 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Sports Hall of Fame coach Lafayette Norwood died Saturday at the age of 86.

Norwood’s coaching career spanned parts of six decades in multiple sports. A graduate of Wichita East High School in 1952, Norwood attended Cowley College for two years before completing his degree at Southwestern College in 1956.

In 1969, Norwood made history when he was named the head basketball coach at Wichita Heights High School and became the first African American coach in the Wichita School District. Norwood led the Falcons to 109-56 record and a state championship in 1977.

He then joined the KU coaching staff as an assistant under head coach Ted Owens from 1978-1981.

“First of all, Lafayette was a lot more than an outstanding basketball coach, he was a really good man,” Owens said Sunday. “He cared for his players everywhere he coached. He was just a really good man.”

Following KU, he spent 23 years as the golf coach at Johnson County Community College. He was also the Johnson County men’s basketball coach for 10 seasons from 1982-91.

Norwood was inducted to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, the Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992, the Cowley College Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

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