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Lachney resigns as head football coach of Riverside Academy Rebels

  • Tags:
  • Coaches
  • Feature Story
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • February 05, 2018 - 6:30pm

File photosChris Lachney, Riverside Academy's head coach last season, was the defensive coordinator when the Rebels won the Division III state title in 2016.

Chris Lachney has resigned from Riverside Academy on Wednesday after serving one year as head football coach of the Rebels.

“I had to make a very tough decision today and had to take into account the long-term factors that affect my family. I’m not just making decisions for me and the dogs anymore. It’s me, the wife and a newborn. I had to put myself in the best position possible for the long-term stability of them,” Lachney said.

Lachney, who will stay on at Riverside through Mardi Gras, said he has made no immediate decisions about his future.

“I’m kind of still weighing some options,” he said. “I’m contemplating different things and I’m not ready to decide just yet to where this next thing leads me.

“I don’t want it to be about that right now. I just want to say how thankful I am to Riverside and coach Timmy Byrd. Riverside is a special place that full of really special people. I’m made relationships and friendships that I will carry with me the rest of my life.”

In his one season as head coach, the Rebels posted a 5-5 record while reaching the Division III semifinals. Playing only seven regular-season games, Riverside lost to the likes of powerhouses like Barbe, Rummel, De La Salle and Newman in the regular season. The Rebels defeated Northlake Christian and Dunham in the playoffs before losing 41-31 to Notre Dame of Crowley in the semifinals.

Prior to 2017, Lachney served five years as defensive coordinator at Riverside under coach Bill Stubbs.

Riverside reached the Division III finals in 2015, losing 13-3 to Notre Dame in the state championship game.

After losing their 2016 season opener 16-13 to John Ehret, the Rebels reeled off 12-straight wins, culminating with a 47-20 triumph over rival St. Charles Catholic for the Division III title.

Stubbs retired following the 2016 season and Lachney was promoted to the head coaching position.

“I know it kind of sounds cliché but when I look back at it, I really don’t look back at the state championship or the wins or any of the things we accomplished on the field. I think about the people I had a chance to come in contact with. That goes from the top down; from people I worked for and people I worked with to the young men and women I had a chance to work with on a daily basis. Those people are second to none,” Lachney said.

Prior to his stint at Riverside Academy, Lachney was head coach at Pope John Paul II and served as an assistant coach at Brother Martin. Lachney was 20-19 in four years at Pope John Paul.

Lachney said he would be equally comfortable being an assistant coach or head coach if the right situation develops.

“I’m looking forward to the possibility of being an assistant coach again and getting more involved in the x’s and o’s and getting back to that level of coaching wherever it happens to be. If the right head coaching opportunity comes along, I certainly will listen but that’s not where my mind is right now or where my focus is,” he said.

His focus, Lachney said, is on his young family.

“You hear stories about head coaches and the time they put in and some people are able to balance that and some people aren’t. I know this; it’s not a chance I was willing to take. My family is everything for me,” said Lachney.

Wherever he ends up, Lachney said he will bring a part of Riverside Academy with him.

“Riverside was a special place long before Chris Lachney got there and it will continue to be a special place. A little piece of me will always be a Rebel.”

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.