Former Delaware State head football coach Alton “Al” Lavan, died early Monday in Colorado.
Lavan was DSU’s head football coach for seven seasons from 2004-to-2010, posting an overall record of 41-37 and a 34-21 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
In 2007, Lavan led the Hornets to a 10-2 overall record and the school’s first MEAC championship in 16 years with a perfect 8-0 league mark, the second team in conference history to achieve the feat. The 10 overall wins still stand as a team record.
With the conference title, Delaware State earned a trip to the NCAA playoffs for the first time, matching up against Delaware in the first-ever meeting between the state’s two Division I programs.
Delaware State rose as high as 10th in the ‘07 Football Championship Subdivision national rankings and finished the season at No. 15 in the Sports Network poll and 16th in the ESPN Coaches poll. The American Sports Wire selected the Hornets as its 2007 Black College National Champions, while DSU was second in the final Sheridan Broadcast Network HBCU poll.
Lavan was selected as the 2007 Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., Coach-of-the-Year and finished second in the voting for the national top FCS coach award.
In 2006, Lavan led the Hornets to an 8-3 record, finishing second in the MEAC standings with a 6-2 conference mark. The team received national attention, garnering a No. 23 ranking heading into the final regular-season game. The national ranking was DSU’s first since the 1992 season. During his second season as head coach, Lavan guided Delaware State to a 7-4 overall record (6-2 MEAC). Finishing No. 2 in the MEAC standings, DSU registered a perfect home record (5-0) for the first time since 1985. Lavan coached the Hornets to a 4-3 MEAC record in 2004, giving DSU a winning conference record for the first time in four years.