Posted - February 22, 2012
‘We Are Marshall’ Coach to Speak at Eureka College
march 27 - 7:30 pm - Cerf Center
Jack Lengyel, who became head football coach at Marshall University after an airplane crash claimed the lives of nearly the entire team in 1970, will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 27 in the Cerf Center at Eureka College. He will discuss overcoming adversity and achieving success in one’s personal and professional life.
Admission is $5. Call (309) 467-6420 for more information.
Lengyel was portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in the 2006 movie “We Are Marshall.” The movie, Lengyel said, “is about hope, faith, perseverance and love.”
“I thought I was going to rebuild a football program, but it turned out to be the whole community,” Lengyel said. “I learned that as you live your life in sometimes quiet desperation, facing adversity and tragedy, if you have hope, faith, perseverance and love, these core values help you overcome adversity and go on to success in your life."
Lengyel will speak at Eureka High School earlier in the day. That event is not open to the public.
Lengyel coached at Marshall, located in Huntington, W.V., from 1971 until 1974. He was hired by Marshall University athletic director Joe McMullen after head coach Rick Tolley was killed along with most of the Marshall coaches and players in the Southern Airways Flight 932 crash that killed 75 people. At Marshall, Lengyel recruited athletes from other sports and allowed a large number of walk-ons in order to rebuild the football program. Although the team struggled in Lengyel's first year, it had a stunning season-opening 15-13 victory over Xavier University, scoring a touchdown on the final play of the game.
Lengyel formerly was an assistant football coach at the University of Akron, Heidelberg College and Cornell University. He was head football and lacrosse coach at the College of Wooster.
Lengyel received the John L. Toner Award from the National Football Foundation, the Homer Rice Award from the Division IA Athletic Directors’ Association and the James J. Corbett Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
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