Seven Questions With Sid Lane
Feb. 14, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Sid Lane was a terror on the football field in the 1960s for Utah State, playing linebacker and both the defensive and offensive lines. He was a great leader, teammate, friend and example to all who played and worked alongside him. After his playing days, he was hired as an assistant coach in football, and is said to be the first collegiate African American coach in the country. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss his time at Utah State.
1. When you think of your time at Utah State University, who is the first person you think of?
I think of my brother, Macarthur (Mac), first and foremost, followed by Roy Shivers and Tony Knapp, who was our coach at the time. My brother, Mac, was a huge influence for me. He helped me make the decision to come to Utah State, given he was already here playing for the team. Roy and I had spent time at a junior college together before coming to Utah State and he was one of my closest friends throughout. I think of Coach Knapp quite a bit, he was the one who gave me the opportunity and offered me my scholarship to be both a student and athlete here.
2. What are some of your most memorable experiences at USU?
As a football player, one of the high points of my career was playing both ways my last year at Utah State. Even at the time, it was extremely rare for a player to play on both sides of the ball. It gave me the opportunity to never leave the field and really have an impact on the game.
My most memorable experience, outside of football, has to be just meeting all the great people I did in Logan. At the time, a lot of local people didn't see minorities very often and we had the chance to set the stage for who we were and change certain people's perceptions. I met a lot of quality people while I was here that I still associate with, friends that I can still refer to as brothers. To this day, a lot of us even stay in contact on a weekly basis.
3. Since Utah State, what activities have you been involved with in your community or engaged in outside of your career?
I have spent a lot of time teaching both education and football in California. I coached young players at Mount Sac Junior College for a while, taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and volunteered for both local Pop Warner football and at Castlemont High School in the Bay area.
4. How did your experience at Utah State help prepare you for successes in your career?
I would say more than anything, what I learned form a social aspect while at Utah State helped me the most. How to meet new people, speak with and even work with people of all levels. I also built a great network while I was here. These relationships have helped me enormously throughout my life, whether I needed a reference or just help in general. More than football or anything else, the relationships in life is what everything is all about.
5. What is the most fun you have had in the last five years?
Coming home to Logan, and every time it gets better. I came up here a few years ago as a Grand Marshall with my brother and that was just amazing. This year with so many players back in town for the unveiling of the Merlin Olsen statue and honoring the 1960 and 1961 teams, it should be just as good. I even brought up an additional nine players with me from teams outside of the '60 and '61 teams. I come up just about every year. I truly care about Utah State and I am even on an educational committee for the school as well.
6. What are some of the enjoyments you get out of life when you have the free time?
I have really enjoyed restoring cars lately. I have a couple Corvettes including a 1963, which I bought new before I came to school at Utah State, and a 2003. My brother and I are working on a Porsche 1969 912 right now. It's just a hobby that I really enjoy and have enjoyed for the longest time.
Another thing I love to do whenever I can and do very often is attend sporting games in and around my community. Whether it's Pop Warner, high school, junior college or college, if I know someone who is playing, I attend the games and cheer them on.
7. What were your favorite places in or fondest memories of Logan?
Besides the great people like I have mentioned, I would say Glenn Hall, which was our dormitory while I was here. I have the best memories of that building with my teammates off the field. I lived there for both my second and third year, and the year before we moved in it was the women's dorm.
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