Larry Lacewell Celebration of Life Service Scheduled for June 17 on A-State Campus
JONESBORO, Ark. (5/27/22) – In support of the Larry and Criss Lacewell family, Arkansas State University and the Red Wolves’ Athletics Department announced Friday it will host a Celebration of Life service honoring the late Larry Lacewell, former Director of Athletics and winningest head football coach in school history, on Friday, June 17, at First National Bank Arena beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Lacewell, a member of A-State Athletics Hall of Honor and the football program’s Ring of Honor, passed away Tuesday, May 17, at the age of 85.
The program celebrating the life and accomplished coaching career of Lacewell, who also served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa State, Arkansas-Monticello, Kilgore College and Wichita State in addition to operating as director of personnel and head of scouting for the Dallas Cowboys from 1991-2004, is open to the public and will be held inside the arena with seating available on both the floor level and in the stands.
Parking surrounding First National Bank Arena will be open and those attending can access the facility through the red and yellow entrances, located on the southeast and southwest corners of the building, respectively. The program will also be streamed live on Arkansas State Athletics’ Facebook page (@AStateRedWolves).
Inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, Lacewell roamed the A-State sidelines from 1979-89 while leading the program to 69 wins, two Southland Conference titles and four straight appearances in the Division I-AA Playoffs, including the 1986 national championship game.
The 1985 and 1986 Southland Coach of the Year, Lacewell coached five First Team All-Americans, 23 Honorable Mention AP All-Americans and 24 All-Southland Conference selections. In his A-State tenure, 13 players went on to play in the NFL and 18 have since been inducted into the A-State Hall of Honor.
Also serving as Arkansas State Athletic Director from 1979-89, Lacewell engineered Arkansas State's move from Division I-AA to Division I-A, now known as FBS. As athletic director, Lacewell created avenues for regional and national telecasts and raised funds for a new football administration building and practice fields. State funds were obtained for the construction of First National Bank Arena that opened in 1987 while Lacewell was A-State’s AD as well.
In 2018, A-State football established the Larry Lacewell Most Valuable Player Award in honor of Lacewell. The annual award goes to the most valuable player on the team whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence on the football field and in the classroom, the utmost character and integrity on and off the field, demonstrated leadership with a strong work ethic and commitment to his teammates, and the undying will for victory.