Verne Canfield’s impact on the men’s basketball program was as grand as any coach to ever lead the Blue & White at Washington and Lee.
Canfield arrived at W&L in 1964 as the head coach for both the men’s basketball and men’s tennis programs. He coached the tennis team for six seasons, leading the Generals to a 44-19 overall record.
As basketball coach, Canfield took over a program that was coming off of seven-straight losing seasons and guided it to a 20-win season in just his third year. This was the first of 22 winning seasons over his 31-year career at W&L, finishing with a 460-337 overall record that ranked among the most wins in Division III history at the time.
Canfield coached five teams to 20-win seasons, including the 1976-77 team, which won a school-record 23 games (23-5) and finished the season ranked fourth nationally. His teams won nine conference championships (5 CAC/1 VCAA/3 ODAC) and appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament four times.
He coached 26 players to first team all-conference honors and six players were named All-Americans during his tenure.
Canfield was named the VCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1976 and he earned ODAC and NCAA Division III Regional Coach of the Year Awards three separate seasons.
A former member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III Congress, Canfield received the association’s Award of Merit and Award of Honor. He was also presented with the Ring Tum Phi Award for his service to Washington and Lee following his first winning season in 1967.