FLORENCE, S.C. - Francis Marion University athletic officials recently announced that former baseball outfielder Anthony “Chico” Lombardo is the newest inductee into the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place during Homecoming activities on Saturday, Feb. 14, in the Smith University Center gymnasium between the women’s and men's games of the FMU and Columbus State University basketball doubleheader at approximately 3:45 p.m.
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Lombardo played two seasons at Francis Marion (1978 and 1979) after transferring from Motlow State Community College in Tennessee.
He earned a B.S. degree in sociology from Francis Marion in 1979, and later did post-graduate work at Winthrop University.
Lombardo now resides in Shelby, N.C., with his wife and two children, and he is entering his 18th season as head baseball coach at Limestone College.
As a senior at Francis Marion in 1979, he batted .411 with 49 runs scored in only 38 games. He set Patriot single-season records for batting average, base hits (62), and runs batted in (46). He also compiled 11 doubles, four triples, and one home run, while stealing 50 bases in 54 attempts. He was named to the NAIA District Six All-District Team, while earning All-State, All-Area, and honorable mention All-America recognition. He helped Francis Marion to a 31-7 record, which at the time, was the best in the program’s history.
During the 1978 campaign, he earned All-District honors while hitting .344 with 37 runs scored, seven doubles, one triple, 24 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
His career totals as a Patriot include a .377 average, 86 runs and 70 RBIs in only 76 games, with 80 stolen bases in 88 attempts.
He later played one season in the Cincinnati Reds organization, before entering the coaching profession. When he took over the head coaching reigns at Mars Hill College, he became the youngest head coach in the nation. After two years at Mars Hill, he was an assistant coach at Winthrop College for five seasons, and then moved to Limestone in 1992.
In 2005, he guided Limestone to its first Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference championship and was named CVAC Coach of the Year. While with the Saints, he also earned NAIA District Six Coach of the Year honors in 1994, a Louisville Slugger Award for Excellence in Coaching in 1997, and state Coach of the Year recognition in 1997, while compiling a 435-416 record.
Lombardo joins 33 current members in the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame, which was formed in 1991. Past inductees include Chiffonia “Precious” Adderson (women’s basketball), Cindy Alford (women’s softball), Jeannette Alston (women’s basketball, volleyball), Kristi Anderson (women’s softball), Mark Bedenbaugh (cross country, track and field), Gary Bennett (golf), Daryl Blume (men’s basketball), Jennifer Brabson (women’s basketball), Maria Costas (women’s basketball, tennis, volleyball), Tom C. Davidson (coach and administrator), Carlton Farr (men’s basketball), LaRue Fields (women’s basketball, volleyball), Alvaro Figuerola (men’s soccer), Allen Floyd (men’s basketball), Jennifer Grande Parker (volleyball, women’s basketball), Jeremy Halpin (baseball), Sylvia Rhyne Hatchell (women’s basketball coach), Lewis Hill (men’s basketball coach), Mary Hirst (women’s tennis), Wayne Huggins (baseball), Scotty Keefe (baseball), Sam Lundkvist (men’s tennis), Pearl Moore (women’s basketball), Robert Moore (men’s basketball), Krissy Burt Owens (women’s volleyball), Mitch Powell (track and field, cross country), Tommy Randall (golf), David Stafford (track and field, cross country), Garth Thomson (men’s tennis player and coach), Randy White (track and field, cross country), Mike Wilson (baseball), Lee Whitwell (women’s tennis), and Rendy Yates (women’s softball player and coach).