Hall of Fame Awaits Rick Lantz at Central Connecticut State
May 12, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia defensive coordinator Rick Lantz will be inducted into the Central Connecticut State University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, May 14, in New Britain, Conn. Lantz, who is in his ninth year as a member of the Virginia football coaching staff, was inducted into the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame in March of 1997. He is a native of New Britain and a 1963 graduate of Central Connecticut State.
Lantz has been the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator since 1991 and under his direction Virginia has consistently had one of the best defensive units in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation. Last season, UVa ranked 16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (105.70 rating), 17th in rushing defense (118.5 yards a game) and 26th in scoring defense (19.3 points a game). UVa’s 36 quarterback sacks in 1998 are the second most in school history.
Virginia led the nation in interceptions in 1993 (22) and 1994 (27). The Cavaliers were second in the nation with 25 interceptions in 1995 and tied for third in the nation with 20 interceptions in 1996. UVa was the only Division I-A school to intercept at least 20 passes in each season from 1993 to 1996.
Virginia led the nation in rushing defense in 1994, allowing an average of 63.6 yards rushing per game.
The Cavaliers ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense in 1991 (average of 10.8 points a game) and sixth in the nation in pass efficiency defense (91.1 rating). UVa tied for 11th in the nation in scoring defense in 1996 by holding opponents to 15.6 points per game.
In addition to his responsibilities as defensive coordinator, Lantz coached the Virginia linebackers from 1993-98. He came to UVa from the University of Louisville, where he spent five seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. During Lantz’s final season at Louisville in 1990, the Cardinals finished with a 10-1-1 record, defeated Alabama 34-7 in the Fiesta Bowl and were ranked 14th in the nation by The Associated Press and 12th by United Press International. Defensively, Louisville allowed an average of 12.8 points a game and ranked sixth among Division I-A teams in the nation in scoring defense and sixth in total defense (259.5). Before Lantz’s arrival at Louisville in 1986, the Cardinals were ranked 106th in the nation in total defense in 1985.
Lantz has a total of 33 years of experience as a collegiate football coach and was an assistant coach with the New England Patriots of the National Football League in 1981. Before joining the Louisville football coaching staff in 1986, he served as defensive line coach for two seasons at Notre Dame and as defensive coordinator for two seasons at Georgia Tech. His other assistant coaching stops include the University of Miami (1977-80), the U.S. Naval Academy (1971-76), the University of Buffalo (1968-70) and Boston University (1965-67).
He also served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was the head football coach at Bridgton Academy in Bridgton, Maine, in 1964.
Lantz and his wife, Peggy, have four children.