John Luckhardt

John Luckhardt

Former Washington & Jefferson College head coach John Luckhardt was among those listed on the 2021 divisional ballot for consideration for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The McMurray resident compiled a record of 225-70-2, which is good for a .761 winning percentage. His 225 wins rank as the second most among the 40 coaches on the ballot.

Luckhardt served as W&J head coach from 1982-98. He registered a 137-37-2 mark during his tenure with the Presidents.

Prior to his arrival, the Presidents had produced only four winning seasons in a 17-year period. In 1984, W&J ripped off nine wins, won the Presidents Athletic Conference title and earned the school’s first trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

W&J claimed 13 Presidents Athletic Conference Championships during Luckhardt’s tenure and made 11 appearances in the NCAA playoffs, including trips to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in 1992 and 1994. Thirteen of his former players have already been inducted into the W&J athletic Hall of Fame.

Luckhardt was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the American Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. From 1994 through 1998, he was elected to and served on the American Football Coaches Association Board of Directors.

In 1992, he was named the AFCA/Kodak National Coach of the Year, and CNN named him the Division III Coach of the Year in 1994. From 1996 until 1998, Luckhardt also served as Washington & Jefferson College’s director of athletics.

Luckhardt entered Washington & Jefferson College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.

Following his time at W&J, he guided the football program at nearby California University of Pennsylvania from 2002-11. During his time with the Vulcans, Luckhardt logged an 88-33 overall record. He helped Cal U. advance to the NCAA Division II semifinals in three consecutive seasons after capturing NCAA Regional titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The criteria for a coach to be considered for the College Football Hall of Fame states they must have been a head coach for at least 10 years, must have coached at least 100 games and must have a career winning percentage of at least .600.

The ballot was emailed to the more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers. Their votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will select the class.

The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF annual awards dinner to be held Dec. 7, 2021, at the New York Hilton Midtown. Honorees will also be recognized at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame on-campus salute.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!