Pat Lewallen fits the quintessential definition of the term student-athlete. At Huntsvilles Butler High School in the mid-1970s, he was a member of the National Honor Society, finishing with a four-year grade point average of 96.4 while lettering for three years in basketball and golf and serving as team captain in both sports. A lanky forward known primarily for his rebounding and defense, he averaged 18.8 points per game as a senior in 1976-77 and hauled in 255 rebounds. He was named first-team All-City and first-team All-Region, and was cited for his accomplishments by All-American Publications. Awarded a full basketball athletic scholarship by UNA, he became a valuable contributor and three-year letterman on coach Bill Jones powerhouse teams of the late 70s. This was an era when the Lions won the 1978-79 NCAA Division II national championship and finished third in the nation the following season. A mathematics major, Lewallen was the valedictorian of his graduating class, finishing with a GPA of 3.97 and receiving the coveted Keller Key, which goes to the student with the best academic average. A lone B was the lowest grade he ever made in college. I dont think he has ever forgiven that freshman English professor, says Lewallens wife, Melissa. Of all the individuals who influenced his life, Lewallen places former Butler basketball coach Jerry Rice at the top. Coach Rices disciplined program was exactly what I needed to help me stay focused on the right things, given that I did not have a dad active in my life, said Lewallen. In addition to his discipline, he taught me many things about the game of basketball that helped prepare me for the college level things like ball handling skills, defensive positioning and proper shooting techniques. These skills became important when I played at UNA. Finally, Coach Rice was there as a Christian example and male role model for me during a time when I most needed it. Im truly blessed to have had men like Coach Rice invest their time and influence in my life. David Hull, the senior pastor of Huntsvilles First Baptist Church, nominated Lewallen for the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. Some great athletes peak out during their days in school and then are never heard from again, Hull said. Pat continues to make contributions to our community that exceed his greatness as a basketball player. Lewallen, a deacon at First Baptist, is also a Sunday School teacher, choir member and is active in several mission projects of the church. In addition, he has served as a youth sports coach in both the church and the local school system. He was assistant coach at Stone Middle School for five years and has been the boys varsity head coach at Covenant Christian Academy for the past four years. Lewallen worked at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center after college. Since 2011, he has been employed at Dell as a systems engineer and senior sales consultant. He and Melissa have three children: Steven, Kate and Thomas.