Jack Lengyel, who served as The College of Wooster's head football and men's lacrosse coach from 1966-70, received the Tuss McLaughry Award last night at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Lengyel, perhaps best known for leading and rebuilding Marshall University's football program after its tragic 1970 plane crash and as a highly decorated athletic administrator, guided the Scots to a 24-21 record on the gridiron, including an 8-1 mark in his final year leading the Black and Gold.
After Wooster, Lengyel led Marshall's football team for four years before entering the private sector for three years. Then, Lengyel embarked on a decorated and lengthy career in athletic administration, headlined by a 13-year stretch as the athletic director at the United States Naval Academy.
Upon retirement from the Naval Academy, Lengyel served as a consultant specializing in strategic planning for athletic departments, spent three stints as interim athletic director at Div. I universities, and he's actively involved in the community.
The Tuss McLaughry Award is presented annually to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. The award is the AFCA's highest honor, and is named for DeOrmond "Tuss" McLaughry, the first full-time secretary-treasurer of the AFCA and one of the most dedicated and influential members in the history of the association.
Among the past recipients of the prestigious award are six former United States presidents – Lyndon B. Johnson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush, former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, entertainer Bob Hope, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Apollo 11 astronauts Edwin Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins, and actor John Wayne.
"I am humbled and honored to be selected for the AFCA Tuss McLaughry Award, and to be associated with those legendary former recipients," said Lengyel in the AFCA's awards wrap-up release. I want to thank my wife Sandy, my children David, Julie, and Peter for their dedicated support throughout my career. I stand on the shoulders of my former players, coaches, mentors, supporters, and family, and share this award with each and every one of them."