L. Vann Pettaway has spent most of his adult life in the service of Alabama A&M University, beginning in 1979-80 as a transfer student from Selma University and later as the schools longtime basketball coach. As a young 28-year-old A&M assistant with just two years of coaching experience, Pettaway succeeded Ben Jobe, one of the true legends of black college basketball, in 1986 when Jobe was lured away by Southern University in Louisiana. Pettaway went on to coach the Alabama A&M mens team for the next quarter-century before stepping down in March of 2011. During that span, he compiled a 453-279 record by far the most victories in school record while leading the Bulldogs to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and eight conference championships. His greatest successes came in his first 11 seasons when A&M was competing at the NCAA Division II level while a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs were 263-74 during that stretch, rolling up eight 20-win seasons, seven conference championships, six SIAC Tournament titles and traveling to the NCAA Division II Tournament seven times, including four trips to the Elite Eight. During part of this period, Pettaway also served in the dual role of Alabama A&Ms athletic director (1989-92). After former A&M athletic director Jim Martin elevated the school to NCAA Division I-A status in basketball by joining the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the late 1990s, the competition stiffened considerably. The recruitment of Division I-level players became correspondingly more difficult when A&M began playing regularly against such traditional SWAC powers as Southern University, Jackson State and Grambling. The Bulldogs were 190-205, with five winning seasons, the last 14 years of Pettaways tenure. The highlight came in 2004-05 when A&M won 18 games, swept the SWAC regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, before falling to Oakland University. During his career, Pettaway was named SIAC Coach of the Year in 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996, and he was SWAC Coach of the Year in 2005. His 1987-88 team finished 29-3, the best record in school history. A 1975 graduate of Dallas County High School, Pettaway attended Selma University for two years and lettered two years in baseball and basketball for coach John Skin Lewis. He earned a BA in Health and Physical Education at Alabama A&M in 1980 and a Masters degree in Secondary Administration from A&M in 1991. My athletic accomplishments were achieved from the drive, determination and dedication instilled in me by my parents, Alma and Collins Pettaway, Sr., says Pettaway. My parents taught me to work hard, do your best, have faith, and give it your all. These are a few of the things that have carried me through my career. Pettaway and his wife, Glenn, live in New Market. They are the parents of two daughters, Porsha and Paige, and a son, Alexander.