Trinity Valley Community College

Cardinal Athletics 
Kris Baumann
Head Coach

Lucy Strom
Athletic Coordinator

100 Cardinal Dr.
Athens, TX 75751

(903) 675-6359 - office
(903) 675-6380 - fax 

Leon "Red" Spencer
Posted: 11/8/2011 11:24:33 AM
When he retired in 2006, Leon Spencer was the winningest junior college coach in Texas history; a record he holds to this day.

Former Cardinals Coach Leon “Red” Spencer is the winningest junior college coach in Texas history. 

Spencer passed the late Floyd Wagstaff's career record of 743 wins on January 17, 2001, against San Jacinto.

Spencer was a steadfast symbol of perseverance, intensity and success for the Cardinals for more than four decades. After attending TVCC in the 1950s, he later returned to his alma mater to head the men's basketball team.

Spencer retired in 2006 after 40 years as head men's basketball coach and 38 years as athletic director. Spencer amassed a career record of 773-436.

Texas A&M—Commerce recognized Spencer's accomplishments in 2001 by honoring him with the Outstanding Alumni Coaches Award during the annual TAMU—Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet.

Named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996, Spencer coached the Cardinals to 13 conference championships, winning more than 65 percent of his conference games. He led the Cards to four zone titles, three regional crowns and third, seventh and eighth place finishes in the NJCAA National Tournament.

He has coached numerous All-American, All-Region and All-Conference performers. Many Cardinals have continued their basketball careers with Division I schools.

He coached internationally in such prestigious events as the National Sports Festival, USA International Cup Team and the World University Games in Mexico, where Spencer's team won a gold medal. In 1997, Spencer coached an American team to the International Friendship Cup Tournament Championship held in Holland.

A native of Gilmer, Spencer graduated from Harmony High School before entering TVCC (then Henderson County Junior College) in 1957. He played football and basketball, then went to East Texas State University (Texas A&M—Commerce), where he played on the gridiron for three years and was named MVP as a senior. 

In 1964, Spencer returned to TVCC as head men's basketball coach, and the following year became Athletic Director and Chairman of the Kinesiology Department, in addition to serving as assistant football coach until 1970.

Today, coach Spencer still lives in Athens and regularly attends Cardinal basketball games.