Tony Lombardi

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Tony Lombardi
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born January 29, 1962
Park Forest, Illinois
Playing career
1980–1983 Arizona State
Position(s) Running Back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1986–1989 Wisconsin (defensive backs)
1989–1996 Mankato State (DC)
1997 Eastern Michigan (linebackers)
1998–1999 Eastern Michigan (DC)
1999 Eastern Michigan
2016– UW-Stout (DB)
Head coaching record
Overall 0–1 (.000)

Tony E. Lombardi (born January 29, 1962) is an American football player and coach in the United States.

Playing career[edit]

Lombardi attended Rich East High School in his hometown of Park Forest, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, graduating in 1980.[1] While in high school, he played tailback on the football team, which was coached by his father, Bob Lombardi.[2]

Lombardi played running back for the Arizona State University Sun Devils from 1980 through 1983, and was awarded a varsity letter for all four years of play.[1] Lombardi went undrafted in the 1984 NFL Draft and signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.[3] However, he did not make the team's roster.

Coaching career[edit]

Assistant coaching[edit]

After spending the 1985 season as defensive coordinator for his alma mater, Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois, Lombardi served as defensive backs coach for the Wisconsin Badgers while earning a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1989 through 1996 he was the defensive coordinator for the NCAA Division II Mankato State Mavericks (now Minnesota State University).[1]

In 1997, then-head coach Rick Rasnick hired him as the linebackers coach for the Eastern Michigan Eagles, and in the 1998 and 1999 seasons, he served as the team's defensive coordinator.[1]

Eastern Michigan[edit]

Lombardi was the head college football coach for the Eastern Michigan Eagles located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and he held that position for one game during the 1999 season.[4] His coaching record at Eastern Michigan was 0 wins and 1 loss.[5] As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #37 at Eastern Michigan in total wins and #38 at the school in winning percentage (.000).[6]

The first ten games of the 1999 season were coached by Rick Rasnick, with Lombardi serving as defensive coordinator. EMU athletic director Dave Diles fired Rasnick on November 16, 1999, and named Lombardi as the interim head coach, to serve for the final game of the season.[1] Under Rasnick, the 1999 team had compiled a record of 4 wins and 6 losses.[7] Lombardi's one game as EMU's head coach was a 24-30 loss to the Northern Illinois on November 20, 1999 that was played in DeKalb, Illinois.[8] With the loss on the last game of the year under Lombardi, the team concluded its season with a record of 4–7. Lombardi is the only EMU head football coach to serve for just a single game, and as a result, his five days served is the shortest tenure of any head coach in the history of EMU football.[4] Jeff Woodruff hired Lombardi to coach the Running Backs and coordinate the Special Teams for the 2001 season. Following the 2001 season Lombardi departed for the upstart professional football league the XFL.

High school[edit]

At the end of Eastern Michigan's 1999 season, none of Rasnick's assistant coaches were retained.[9] In 2001, Lombardi was the defensive coordinator for the short-lived Chicago Enforcers of the XFL.[2] When the XFL folded after one year, Lombardi decided to stay close to home coaching high school football in order to spend more time with his four-year-old son Rocky, saying, "Football has been so great, providing me with everything I've had in life. There's no way I was going to let Rocky grow up hating football because his dad is always gone." In 2002, Lombardi became the head coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Illinois,[10] where his father had been coach in the late 1960s, and he quickly revitalized the struggling team.[2] However, after just one season, Lombardi left Homewood-Flossmoor moving closer to his family who lived in Plainfield, taking over at Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago.[11]

After three seasons at Hinsdale Central, in which the team posted a 30–7 record, two trips to the Class 8A quarterfinals and one trip to the semifinals, Lombardi had taken the Red Devils to the best three year record in school history. However, in iIllinois you are not a tenured faculty member until your fourth year of employment so Lombardi was asked to resign his post as there was no need to show cause by state law. Lombardi among great community support chose to stay and fight for his job, the community came out in large numbers with 5,000 signatures on a petition and months of supportive testimonials at every school board meeting in the end he was not retained. His lawsuit against the school district for breach of contract was settled for $10,000, and the following year the entire administrative team was fired. Lombardi moved on to Cedar Rapids Washington High School there he took on the responsibility of Head Strength and Conditioning coach, Head Football Assistant Track and was later the Head Baseball Coach. Lombardi made an immediate impact returning the Warriors to the playoffs in 2006. Over the next 7 years the Warriors were either in the quarterfinals or the semi-finals of the state championships all but one season. The track team won two state championships and never finished lower than 5th place. In addition to that Lombardi sent over 100 athletes on to play at the collegiate level. He built a youth program that won a National Championship and was voted the top middle school team in the nation by several youth websites in addition to that his work with youth athletics produced Nationally ranked Football, Wrestling and Baseball teams. In his free time Tony enjoys writing autobiographies on multiple web sites, including Wikipedia. In 2013 following the baseball season Lombardi resigned as Head Football and Baseball Coach and moved to West Des Moines to go into Medical Sales, following an out-of-court settlement with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners resulting in temporary suspension of his teaching license and coaching certificate.[12] The youth football teams that Lombardi coached have yet to lose a lower level game at Cedar Rapids Washington. Lombardi is currently coaching at West Des Moines Valley High School where his family resides and His son is currently the starting Quarterback at Valley and is a highly recruited Division I prospect.


  1. ^ a b c d e "EMU's Rasnick Releived(sic) of Duties; Lombardi Named Interim Coach". November 16, 1999. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Sakamoto, Bob (2002-09-27), "Answering the cry", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 2011-01-21 
  3. ^ "Arizona State Sun Devils, 1981-1995, who signed on with professional football teams". Tempe History Museum. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Shafer, Ian. "Eastern Michigan University (All seasons results)". College Football Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Football Bowl Subdivision: Eastern Michigan University Directory". The Sports Network. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ DeLassus, David. "Eastern Michigan Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ DeLassus, David. "Coaching Records Game by Game-Rick Rasnick, 1999". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ DeLassus, David. "Coaching Records Game by Game-Tony Lombardi, 1999". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Eastern Michigan Fires Rasnick, CBS News, 1999, retrieved 2011-01-21 
  10. ^ 2008 EMU Football Media Guide (PDF), 2008, p. 48, Graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Ill. where he played football for co-head coaches, Tony Lombardi, a former EMU football assistant, and Tom Bailey. 
  11. ^ Hedger, Brian (2003-08-22), Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings, retrieved 2011-01-21, Lombardi left behind a stellar group of players that included several Division I recruits, Freddy Barnes who played at Bowling Green, Xavier Fulton who played at the University of Illinois, Tim Johnson who played at Oklahoma and Brandon Balckom who played at Kansas State just to name a few. Lombardi returned the next year in the playoffs with his Hinsdale Central team to defeat the Vikings in the second round of the playoffs.. 
  12. ^

External links[edit]