Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Loyal Lackner Collects His 200th Win for Carnegie Mellon

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Loyal Lackner Collects His 200th Win for Carnegie Mellon

Article excerpt

At 60 years old, a cold Gatorade shower on a rainy, windy afternoon isn't exactly Rich Lackner's idea of a good time.

But when it's his players' way of congratulating him on joining college football's 200-win club? Lackner will take the chills and then some.

Carnegie Mellon (4-3, 4-2 Presidents' Athletic Conference) outlasted Thiel, 49-33, Saturday at home for another milestone victory for Lackner, who has spent all 31 years of his head-coaching career with the Tartans, and 11 more years before that as a player and assistant.

"The wins are wonderful, don't get me wrong, but the relationships over those 42 years as a player myself, as an assistant, as head coach, those relationships live on forever," Lackner said. "Those are really special to me."

Lackner also doesn't want much recognition if it's not shared with Terry Bodnar, who has been his defensive coordinator for the past 31 years. Together, Lackner and Bodnar opened Carnegie Mellon's Gesling Stadium with a 41-0 win against the University of Chicago in 1990. They were together when Lackner became the program's winningest coach in 1998. And they presided over the 500th victory in Carnegie Mellon history in 2011.

For Lackner, No. 200 is just another feather in a cap he has never wanted to take off.

"That's for sure," he said. "Everybody has different goals and aspirations. My goal was always just to be the best coach I can be at the place where I was employed. I've been fortunate to be employed by the university for a long time."

In the current climate, college coaches at all levels jump from job to job, always looking for a better opportunity.

That was never Lackner's motivation. Through several administrations at Carnegie Mellon, he always has remained, appreciating each one just as much as the last.

Lackner never has had to chase his dream job because he has had it for 31 years. …

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