EMU's Rasnick Releived of Duties; Lombardi Named Interim Coach

Updated 1/4/1995
YPSILANTI (November 16) -- Eastern Michigan University Director of Athletics Dave Diles has announced that head football coach Rick Rasnick has been relieved of his position, effective immediately. Defensive coordinator Tony Lombardi has been named interim head coach for Saturday's (Nov. 20) season finale at Northern Illinois. Diles announced the changes at a press conference held today (Nov. 16) in EMU's Convocation Center.

"I felt it was best to make a change at this time to begin an immediate search for a new head football coach," Diles said. "After undergoing a very thorough and comprehensive assessment of our football program I'm convinced that Rick Rasnick is not the person to take our football team to a Mid-American Conference championship level."

The EMU assistant football coaches will not have their contracts renewed but are expected to continue to work until a new coach is hired.

The 40-year-old Rasnick (9-15-59) was in the final year of a five-year contract. He was named head coach Jan. 4, 1995 and his first year was his best, with the Eagles going 6-5 overall and 5-3 Mid-American Conference action. In 54 games coached during his tenure, the Eagles had a 20-34 record. This year Eastern is 4-6 record heading into the NIU game.

Eastern Michigan University Head Football Coach
Season         Overall Record    MAC Record
 1995               6-5              5-3
 1996               3-8              3-5
 1997               4-7              3-5
 1998               3-8              3-5
 1999               4-6              4-3
 Totals            20-34            18-21


YPSILANTI--Eastern Michigan University Director of Athletics Dave Diles has announced that Tony Lombardi will serve as interim head football coach for the final game of the 1999 season. Head Coach Rick Rasnick was relieved of his duties today (Nov. 16) and Lombardi was named to take over on an interim basis for the EMU-Northern Illinois football game Saturday, Nov. 20, in DeKalb, Illinois.

Lombardi has been a member of the EMU football staff for three seasons and has spent the past two as the defensive coordinator.

The 37-year-old Lombardi (1-29-62) is a 1984 graduate of Arizona State University where he was a four-year letterwinner as a running back. He earned an NCAA post-graduate scholarship at ASU before playing professional football with the Chicago Bears in the National Football League and the Montreal Concordes of the Canadian Football League. He earned his undergraduate degree from ASU in 1984 and completed work on his master's degree in 1988 from the University of Wisconsin.

Name: Tony E. Lombardi
Born: January 29, 1962 - Park Forest, Illinois
High School: Rich East (Park Forest, IL) - Graduated in 1980
College: Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) - Graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1984
University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) - Graduated with a master's degree in 1988
Family: Wife, Kari; and son, Michael "Rocky" (7-30-98)

1999 Eastern Michigan University Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
1998 Eastern Michigan University Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1997 Eastern Michigan University Assistant Coach - Linebackers
1989-96 Mankato State University Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1986-89 University of Wisconsin Assistant Coach - Defensive Backs
1988 University of Wisconsin Head Freshman Coach
1985 Rich East High School (Park Forest, IL) - Defensive Coordinator