Ryan Larsen Named Head Football Coach at Carnegie Mellon University
(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - Following an extensive national search, Carnegie Mellon University has named Ryan Larsen as its new head football coach. A 13-year coaching veteran, Larsen comes to Carnegie Mellon from Columbia University, where he served as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the past three years. Larsen, who has achieved offensive success at every one of his coaching experiences, has also worked at Stevenson University, Rhodes College, Wabash College and Indiana University. He will officially begin his role as the new head coach on February 21.
"We are thrilled to welcome Ryan, his wife Megan and their daughters Charlotte and Ellis to the Carnegie Mellon family," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "Ryan emerged from a national search with an incredibly talented field of coaches. He met with student-athletes, coaches and staff members, alumni, members of the Tartan Athletics Club Board of Directors, leaders from the Office of Admission and senior leaders of the university. He has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the values that we hold dear – leading with integrity at the forefront and providing a holistic approach to student development."
Larsen will lead a Carnegie Mellon program that went 8-2 during the 2021 season, won the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) championship and advanced to its first NCAA playoff berth since 2006. He will take the reins from Rich Lackner, who retired following the season after 36 years as head coach.
"I am extremely grateful to be selected as the next head football coach at Carnegie Mellon University. The opportunity to work with some of the finest student-athletes in the country, while representing CMU and its alumni, is an incredible opportunity," Larsen said. "I want to thank Dr. Centor and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to lead the Tartan Football program. My wife, daughters, and I are excited to join the CMU and Pittsburgh communities. I cannot wait to get to work."
This past season, Larsen helped lead Columbia to a 7-3 record, its third-highest win total since joining the Ivy League in 1956. On their way to seven wins, the Lions were the only Ivy team to beat Dartmouth, the league champion. Larsen mentored a quarterback who was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year and became the first Lions' quarterback to earn a postseason award since 1982.
"I am very excited to welcome Ryan as the next football coach at CMU. Ryan is extremely thoughtful, creative and dedicated," said Tartan Athletics Club President and football alum Mark Weinsten '85. "He understands Xs and Os, but more importantly, he appreciates the important balance that CMU football players need to achieve in order to successfully navigate the rigors of the CMU curriculum, while maintaining championship aspirations on the field."
As offensive coordinator at Stevenson, Larsen helped lead the program to four postseason appearances, a 32-12 overall record during his four-year tenure and a No. 12 national ranking in 2016. Larsen coached at Rhodes from 2012-2015 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2014. He helped the program to a 22-7 overall mark during his tenure. In 2011, he was wide receivers coach for a Wabash program that went 12-1 and reached the NCAA Quarterfinals. He spent two seasons on the staff at Indiana University from 2009-11.
A two-year starter at quarterback at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), Larsen earned a degree in literature and leadership studies from Claremont McKenna. He was the recipient of the 2009 Dickinson Student-Athlete Award for leadership, academic achievement, sportsmanship and services to the CMS Athletics Department. In 2010, he graduated with a master's degree in athletic administration from Indiana.