Florida A&M University (FAMU) mourns the loss of former Athletic Coach and Hall of Famer Bobby Lang.
Lang died Thursday, Jan. 6, at his Tallahassee home after a brief illness. He was 87.
A public viewing is scheduled for Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center, 1800 Wahnish Way. A private service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 224 Martin Luther King Jr., in Tallahassee. To view the service, visit https://youtu.be/MW1eqJ6Y3oI.
Lang, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, earned a bachelor’s degree while on a football and track scholarship at FAMU. He played offensive tackle for legendary FAMU Coach Jake Gaither and went on to earn his master’s degree at FAMU. He coached at FAMU High School before joining Gaither’s coaching staff in 1966 as an assistant football and men’s and women’s track coach. Lang was one of the last surviving members of Gaither’s coaching staff.
Lang earned countless awards, titles and accolades during his coaching career. He became the first coach in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) history to achieve the “triple crown” in athletics by winning conference titles in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Lang also coached the team while FAMU competed in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). During his 33-year tenure, from 1966 to his 1999 retirement, Lang’s teams combined to win 38 conference champions in the MEAC and SIAC.
As the longtime head track and field coach, Lang took great pride in coaching several nationally recognized athletes. He coached All-Americans Pam Oliver and Olympian Rey Robinson. Lang also coached FAMU legendary sprinters Nathaniel James, James Ashcroft, Major Hazelton, and Eugene Milton, whose team won the Penn Relays 440-yard relay three consecutive years, 1966, 1967 and 1968.
A member of the FAMU Hall of Fame, Lang was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2019.
Another of Lang’s significant pursuits and accomplishments was bringing the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) to FAMU. With fellow FAMU coach and friend Robert Mungen, he helped bring the program to thousands of area youths. For years, participants were exposed to swimming, basketball, softball, track and field, free lunches and more while on the FAMU campus.
Lang is survived by his wife, former FAMU administrator Gladys C. Lang, Ph.D., daughter, Angela Lang Ward, sons, Ronald Lang and Marlott Lang, a number of grandchildren and great- grandchildren, and a brother.