William and Mary men's basketball great dies at 86

William and Mary Hall of Famer Bill Chambers died at age 86 July 11 in Alabama. Chambers was an All-American basketball player for the Tribe and was the coach from 1957-66.

Chambers, who was inducted into the Tribe Athletics Hall of Fame in 1973, was a two-time All-Southern Conference selection and still ranks second in school history in rebounds (1,270) and 11th in scoring (1,456).

He holds the NCAA record for rebounds in a game, pulling down 51 against Virginia on Feb. 14, 1953.

His No. 32 is one of five men's numbers retired at W&M, and he was an NBA draft pick of the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953.

Chambers returned to W&M as the program's head coach in 1957 after coaching stints at Warwick and Newport News high schools that included a pair of state titles.

"The Tribe basketball family is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bill Chambers," W&M men's basketball coach Tony Shaver said in an athletics department release. "He is a legendary figure in our program both as a player and a coach, reaching remarkable heights. We implore our student-athletes to strive to do extraordinary things at W&M and in their lives. Bill Chambers is a shining example of the extraordinary individuals that this place produces and the impact they can have. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The Tribe family will sorely miss him."

Chambers recorded a 113-110 record in his nine seasons at the helm, leading William and Mary to third-place finishes in the Southern Conference in 1960, 1963 and 1966.

In 1960, Chambers led the Tribe to an upset win over Jerry West and No. 4 West Virginia, snapping the Mountaineers' 56-game conference winning streak.

Charlie Woollum, a 1962 W&M graduate, played for and coached with Chambers at W&M before coaching the Tribe from 1994-2000.

"He gave me the opportunity to play Division I basketball," Woollum said in the release, "gave me my first coaching job out of college and was instrumental in leading me to one of the top high school coaching positions in the state of Virginia. Coach Chambers was such an influence in my life, and I am not alone. There are a number of his former players that feel the exact same way. Outside of my parents, he had the greatest impact on my life and meant a lot to me."

Cross country

W&M announced the resignation of head men's cross country coach Chris Solinsky on Thursday.

Solinsky left the Tribe to join the staff at the University of Florida as the assistant coach in charge of distance and cross country for both men and women.

Solinsky coached for three seasons at W&M. The last one was his first as the head men's cross country coach, in which he was named CAA coach of the year in the fall after leading the Tribe to its 17th-straight conference title.

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