Lynn Darbyshire's Legacy Honored by Naming of Court

Image of Lynn Darbyshire.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Miami University Middletown is set to honor Lynn Darbyshire, the campus' first basketball coach and athletic director in a most appropriate way. The renovation of the gym in the Bennett Recreation Center will bear his name on its court.

According to Jim Sliger, who played basketball for Darbyshire as a student and later went on to become the athletic director himself, the naming of the court after Darbyshire reflects not only his historic place on the campus, but also his lasting influence on the students he coached and worked with in his other capacities, including a long stint as the Director of Student Affairs.

"As a student athlete here, Lynn took what I felt was a special interest in me," said Sliger, who is a member of the Friends of Darbyshire fundraising committee for the renovation. "Over the years I saw him do that with so many students, not just student athletes. He created a relationship with them and helped guide them and steered them in a proper direction in their lives and just be a guiding force for them."

Don Gilgrist, another committee member who was also a student athlete under Darbyshire and served as his assistant coach through much of the 1970s, said that his mentor "brought life to this campus" over and above academics and athletics.

Lynn Darbyshire standing in the middle of the gym construction in February of 1972.

Lynn Darbyshire standing in the gym during construction in February of 1972.

"With things like student counseling, student support and many different areas, he created student interest over and above just taking a class," he said. "He was very creative in the activities he offered to students, for student life, here on campus."

"He created student life on this campus," Sliger said. "Even though at the time we were a two-year commuter campus, we had a collegiate experience here, much like those people on a four year residential campus. He created that type of atmosphere here and that type of environment. He was a key component."

Darbyshire led the men's basketball team to a 134-70 record during his decade as head coach, with a state tournament championship in 1972 and a conference championship in 1976.

He was also founding commissioner of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference (ORCC) in 1973. Under his direction, the ORCC expanded to offer competition in eight sports for men and women. He initiated the ORCC All-Sports Award in 1981 primarily to encourage other schools to support women's athletics on their campuses.

Darbyshire retired as athletic director and director of student affairs in 1995 and still lives in Middletown.

In 1971, the campus created the Lynn Darbyshire Warrior Award for student athletes who best exemplify the attitude and character expected in the MUM athletic program and the W. Lynn Darbyshire Leadership Award in 1995 for a student of third year status who demonstrates outstanding leadership outside the classroom.

Lynn Darbyshire with his grandson

Lynn Darbyshire with his grandson.

According to Sliger, "we'll be moving the court over by six feet so we can put team benches on the opposite side of the bleachers, something that has been needed for years." "We're going to upgrade the bleachers, upgrade the whole interior of the gym."

The renovation of the gym and the naming of the Lynn Darbyshire Court will be but one component of a campus-wide celebration for the 2016-17 year.

Sliger, Gilgrist and current Athletic Director Cheryl Miller agreed that the success of the current athletic program can be directly attributed to Darbyshire's influence.

"It's very important that students now and in the future understand that they are not inventing the athletic program," Sliger said. "Fifty years ago the groundwork was laid and the reason we are on such solid ground and such a solid foundation is Lynn Darbyshire."

"We're just building on that," he said.

In honor of the amazing career and strong impact that Lynn Darbyshire has made on both the campus and community the Board of Directors of the Miriam G. Knoll Foundation, has committed to $75,000 toward this project, provided that Miami Middletown can raise the other half of the funds.

Help us sustain his legacy of generosity for many students and decades to come. Make a gift today online at www.forloveandhonor.org/BennettDarbyshire or call (513)727-3471.

Contact Us
Oxford
E-Campus
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
  • Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • E-Campus

    E-Campus at Miami Regionals

    Miami University Regionals' online programs are designed to offer students the richness of a premier education and the flexibility of learning at the location of their choice. Whether you are interested in a single course or an entire degree, we have a path to success for you.

    ECAMPUS Facebook ECAMPUS Twitter ECAMPUS YouTubeI am Miami

    Offices

    Hamilton: 559 Mosler Hall 
    Middletown: 101 Thesken Hall 
    Ecampus@MiamiOH.edu
    513-217-4003

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals/e-campus

  • West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions

  • Middletown

    Miami University Middletown Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Miami University Middletown Campus
    4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042

    Greentree Health Science Academy
    5757 Innovation Drive
    Middletown, Ohio 45005

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions

  • Hamilton

    Miami University Hamilton Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

    Directions