Larry Finch Memorial Park and Statue to be Located on University of Memphis Campus

September 6, 2018 - Larry Finch Memorial Park, which will include a statue of the late former Memphis Tiger All-American, assistant coach and head coach, will be located at a site to be chosen on the University of Memphis campus, UofM President M. David Rudd announced Thursday. A committee has also been appointed to plan the project.

Finch, who had his No. 21 jersey retired on Nov. 30, 1974, competed in more than 500 games in 25 years as a player and coach for the Tigers. Finishing his three-year playing career from 1970-71 to 1972-73 as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,869 points, Finch is currently ranked fourth behind Keith Lee, Elliot Perry and Rodney Carney. His 22.3 points per game career average remains a Memphis record.

"The values Larry Finch lived were a model for us all, embracing the strength of diversity, the importance of unity in the face of adversity and the singular power of hope," said Rudd.

"Coach Finch was more than a coach," said Penny Hardaway, UofM men's head basketball coach. "He was also a father figure. He helped me grow as a person and a basketball player."

Cato Johnson, senior vice president of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and member of the Executive Committee of the UofM Board of Trustees, added, "No one deserves to be honored more than Larry Finch, not only for what he did for the University of Memphis and the athletic program, but perhaps even more for the City of Memphis at a pivotal time. He will always be remembered as a legend."

Members of the committee include former Tigers Herb Hilliard, retired executive vice president of First Horizon Bank; Elliot Perry, 10-year NBA veteran; Dexter Reed; and John Wilfong, an executive with Wilfong Meyer Wealth Management Group; former Tigers assistant coach, Melrose head coach and Southwest Tennessee Community College head coach Verties Sails; Mary Mitchell, who has lived her entire life in the Orange Mound community and was named the Honorary Historian of Orange Mound by former Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell last year; Elise Jordan, executive vice president and CFO of FedEx Express and member of the UofM Board of Visitors; Rochelle Stevens, 1996 Olympic gold medalist and graduate of Melrose High School; Ted Hansom, attorney for Larry Finch; Myron Lowery, former Memphis City Council member; Harold Byrd, president of the Bank of Bartlett and president of the Shelby County Chamber Alliance; Otis Sanford, Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis; Cato Johnson; and Bobby Hall, retired sportswriter for The Commercial Appeal.


Chuck Gallina | 901.678.1756 l cgallina@memphis.edu