John Lewis
John Lewis
Title: Coach
Year: 1947-1973
Team: Baseball, Basketball
Induction: 1991

The NAIA inducted John Lewis into its Hall of Fame for meritorious service in baseball in 1969, the same year he was named NAIA Area 1 Baseball Coach of the Year. Lewis, who died Jan. 31, 1973 of a heart attack at 57, was Willamette's Athletic Director for 26 years (1947-1973) and coached baseball (1948-1972) and basketball (1947-1967) longer than anyone at Willamette. Lewis' baseball team won three Northwest Conference crowns and was runner-up six times en route to a ledger of 276-264, which included games against major colleges. His basketball team won or shared seven Conference championships while compiling a record of 277-239. It was his dream and planning that led to the construction of the Lestle J. Sparks Center (1974), which has hosted the John Lewis Holiday Basketball Classic ever since