North Alabama Lions

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: ASUN Conference
Past Conferences: Gulf South Conference, Alabama Collegiate Conference

City: Florence, Alabama


Arena: Flowers Hall


NCAA Tournaments: 0 



National Championships – 0

Conference Titles – 6  (1977, 1981, 1984, 1994, 1996, 2014)

Team History

North Alabama’s basketball program began in 1931-32 under coach H.A. Eddie Flowers, who served as coach through the 1947-48 season and remained at the school as athletic director until 1969. The Lions reached the NAIA Tournament in 1960 and 1962 under Ed Billingham, who was with the team from 1948-49 until the end of the 1971-72 season.

North Alabama’s next two coaches were named Bill Jones. The first, Bill E. Jones was only with the team for two seasons, posting a 28-17 record. The second, Bill L. Jones, helped turn the Lions into a Division II power. North Alabama won three Gulf South Conference titles, made six NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, and won the 1979 Division II championship under his guidance. He stepped down at the end of the 1987-88 season to become the school’s full-time athletic director.

Gary Elliott took over the team in 1988-89 and the Lions didn’t miss a beat, competing in four Division II Tournaments and winning a second national championship in 1991. Elliott remained with the program through the 2002-03 season and his 270 wins leads North Alabama coaches.

Bobby Champagne was the team’s next coach and in his 15 seasons, he led the Lions to the NCAA Division II Tournament four times. The Lions began the Division I transition period in 2018, becoming members of the ASUN under coach Tony Pujol.  


 All-Time Records 

  • Points Scored
    • Otis Boddie, 1,963
    • Dabbs Earnest, 1,840
    • Steve Martin, 1,561


  • Rebounds
    • Gerald Lavender, 1,033
    • Manny Littles, 746
    • Coleman Crawford, 625


  • Assists
    • Luther Tiggs, 486
    • Albert Owens, 416
    • Mitch Gholston, 369



  1. How Many North Alabama Players Have Been Drafted by NBA Teams?

The Lions have had just one player drafted by an NBA team, as the Lakers selected Otis Boddie in the sixth round of the 1980 NBA Draft. He never played a regular-season NBA game.


What Is Special About UNA’s Mascot?

According to UNA, the University of North Alabama boasts the only live Lion mascot in the country living on a college campus. Leo III, born on Nov. 18, 2002, resides on the UNA campus in the 12,764 square-foot George H. Carroll Lion Habitat and carries on a tradition that has covered more than 40 years. 


What Is the Highest-Scoring Game UNA Has Been Involved In?

The highest-scoring game the Lions have played in occurred on December 5th, 2015, when Valdosta State captured a 127-115 triple-overtime game in Valdosta, Ga. 

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