DSU Football Coach Al Lavan receives contract extension
May 2, 2008
DOVER – Delaware State University Director of Athletics Rick Costello announced a contract extension for Head Coach Al Lavan. This agreement secures Lavan as DSU’s head football coach through the 2012 season.
“Under Coach Lavan’s watch our program has continued to excel, both on and off the field,” said Costello. ”In just four seasons he has brought this program back to the elite of the MEAC. His commitment to this university is unparalleled. This agreement reflects the university’s belief in Al’s leadership and desire to achieve success for our football program. We look forward to many more years of academic and athletic success with Coach Lavan at the helm.”
DSU President Allen L. Sessoms notes that Coach Lavan not only accomplished what he committed to doing when he arrived at Delaware State University in January 2004 – to improve and move the Hornet Football Program to the next level – but he has done so exceptionally well.
“The season by season improvements culminated by the Hornets’ undefeated MEAC record during 2007 season have been accomplished while Coach Lavan also required improvements in the academic performance of his athletes,” Dr. Sessoms said. “He makes both athletic success and academic excellence the standards for Hornet football players and then achieves outstanding results in both areas, so the fact that we have given him another contract extension shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”
Lavan has compiled a 29-16 record in four seasons at DSU, including a 10-2 record this past season and the team’s first MEAC championship since 1991. The 2007 squad also made the school’s first-ever NCAA playoff appearance finishing No. 15 in the final Football Championship Series (FCS) Poll and No. 2 in the final SBN National Black College Poll. The American Sports Wire Black College National Poll listed the Hornets as its 2007 National Champions, becoming just the third team in the 36-year history of the MEAC to post an 8-0 league record during the regular season.
“I’m very pleased with the commitment shown by Dr. Allen Sessoms and Rick Costello,” said Lavan. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to build and solidify our football program both academically and athletically. Our staff and players have come a long way. With that said, we still have a long way to go and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
The 2007 Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., Coach of the Year, Lavan has improved his career record to 31-17 (.646). He secured his third-straight winning season this past year, setting the school mark for single-season victories (10).
In 2006, Lavan led the Hornets to an 8-3 record, finishing second in the MEAC standings with a 6-2 conference mark. The team received national attention, garnering a No. 23 ranking heading into the final regular-season game. The national ranking was DSU’s first since the 1992 season. During his second season as head coach, Lavan guided Delaware State to a 7-4 overall record (6-2 MEAC). Finishing No. 2 in the MEAC standings, DSU registered a perfect home record (5-0) for the first time since 1985. Lavan coached the Hornets to a 4-3 MEAC record in 2004, giving DSU a winning conference record for the first time in four years.
Prior to accepting the Delaware State position, he served two seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University. Lavan was promoted to assistant head coach for the 2003 football season. Upon the late-season firing of then-head coach Jeff Woodruff, he was named as interim head coach. After taking over the 1-8 football team, Eastern Michigan won two of its final three games under Lavan.
In more than 18 years as a NFL assistant, Lavan’s resume’ includes stints with the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Kansas City Chiefs.
He was a member of George Seifert’s 1990 Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff.
Lavan’s collegiate coaching tenure includes stops at Colorado State, Louisville, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Washington.