"Basketball is Alan LeForce and Alan LeForce is basketball," is just one comment describing LeForce's passion for the game and for coaching. Since the age of six, he has either played or coached basketball. LeForce was the Buccaneers Head Basketball Coach from 1990 until 1996 before becoming the assistant athletic director last January. In just four seasons, LeForce led the Buccaneers to two Southern Conference Tournament Championships, two SC regular season championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. He also posted the highest winning percentage among ETSU coaches with more than four seasons , turning a 108-70 record in his six seasons.
In LeForce's second season at the helm of the Buccaneer basketball program, 1991-92, the Bucs gained national prominence with their startling upset of the 10th-ranked Arizona in the first-round of the NCAA Southeast Regionals in Atlanta. The victory was the biggest upset of the first round of that year"s "Road to the Final Four" and marked the first time a Southern Conference representative had advanced past the first-round in the NCAA Tournament in a decade. The Bucs followed that victory with an impressive showing against eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up, Michigan, in the Southeast finals. The Bucs lost 90-102 to that Michigan squad that boasted the "Fab Five" that season.
LeForce was named ETSU's head coach in April of 1990 after spending five years as an assistant coach with Les Robinson, head coach at the time. In LeForce's first year as Head Coach, he directed his squad to a 28-5 record and a spot among the nation"s top-20, rising as high as No. 10 in the Associated Press poll.
The 1991 National Basketball Coaches Association (NABC) District Coach of the Year, LeForce was one of 16 finalists for National Coach of the Year and was the 1991 Tennessee Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year. He coached 1991 third-team AP All-American and Naismith award winner, given to the best player nationwide under six feet, Keith Jennings, as well as seven different players who earned 13 different all-conference awards. He has coached both high school and college basketball during his 39 year career. He began his coaching career at Williamsburg High School, where he remained for seven years before joining the staff at Cumberland College, where he graduated in 1957. He spent one year at Cumberland before going to Furman as an assistant coach.
Before coming to ETSU, Alan spent nine years as head coach and athletic director at the College of Charleston, winning a school-record of 21 games in 1975. He coached several NAIA All Americans while at the College of Charleston, and the Cougars ranked among the top teams in the NAIA competition.
Alan exhibits such a passion for the game of basketball that it did not take long to realize that his heart was still on the court. He has recently assumed the position of head women's basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. There he joins a program with another former Buccaneer Coach, Buddy Sasser who is the athletic director.
LeForce does not take his commitment to the game of basketball nor his team lightly, which is not surprising for a man with such a successful record on the court. However, he does have a life off of the court. There are a few things which he considers to be more important in life. Family is one of them. He does not wait for the clock to run out and the courts to be mopped to show his family his appreciation for their support. "Grandchildren have been one of the greatest joys in my life," he said. "Being in the coaching profession, I had a great wife who stuck by me through the good times and the bad. You can't be in this profession without someone there to support you."
LeForce was born in Wofford, Kentucky. He and his wife, Shirley, have two children, Jeff and Michelle, and three grandchildren, Allie, Kathryn, and Austin. Jeff played college basketball at The Citadel under former ETSU Head Coach Les Robinson from 1979-1983.