JONESBORO, Ark. – Fans and former football players at Arkansas State are mourning the passing of legendary football coach Larry Lacewell, who died Wednesday at the age of 85.
Lacewell had a long and successful coaching career in Jonesboro, racking up the most wins in ASU program history while leading the team to a pair of Southland Conference titles, four trips to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and the 1986 national title game in his 11 years.
Originally from Fordyce, Lacewell played college ball at Arkansas A&M, now known as the University of Arkansas at Monticello, before starting his coaching career under the iconic Bear Bryant, a fellow Fordyce HS alum, as a graduate assistant at Alabama.
He had early coaching stints at ASU, Arkansas A&M, Kilgore Junior College, Oklahoma, Wichita State and Iowa State. He then went back to Oklahoma as a defensive coordinator and then assistant head coach to Barry Switzer as the Sooners took six Big Eight Conference and two national titles.
After leaving ASU in 1990, Lacewell spent two years at Tennessee before moving up to the NFL, joining the Dallas Cowboys as the director of college scouting. He later added the pro scouting role as well, and in total spent 12 seasons with the organization.
Lacewell was inducted into the Arkansas State Hall of Honor in 1987 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and the city of Fordyce honored him in 2021 by naming the street leading to Bear Bryant stadium as Larry Lacewell Lane, reuniting the two once again.