(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - Carnegie Mellon defensive coordinator Terry Bodnar has announced his retirement after 36 years at the university, effective June 30.
After joining the Carnegie Mellon staff as a graduate assistant in 1984, Bodnar was appointed assistant outside linebackers coach one year later. In 1986, he was promoted to defensive coordinator and the Tartans have compiled an overall record of 222-120-2 during that time while claiming 12 conference championships and two NCAA playoff berths.
"I have had the privilege and honor to work with Terry as my defensive coordinator for the past 34 seasons. Quite frankly, we would have never been able to achieve the incredible results during that time without Terry's expertise," said head coach Rich Lackner. "His knowledge of defensive strategy and his ability to make adjustments on game day is unparalleled. Throughout his decades of coaching at Carnegie Mellon, Terry earned the respect of his players, coaches, administrators and the CMU community. He will be missed greatly, but I speak for the whole Carnegie Mellon football family in thanking Terry for a job well done."
Bodnar had the opportunity to coach his son, Jon, from 2004-2007 and also coached with him, as the younger Bodnar joined the Tartan defensive coaching staff for the 2008 and 2009 seasons as the outside linebacker coach. Jon was a two-year starter at linebacker and appeared in all 43 games of his career. The 2006 Tartans recorded the most wins in program history with an 11-1 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. That same year, Bodnar's defense was ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense and eighth in interceptions.
"Terry has been a consistent presence on our sidelines for nearly four decades, and he has mentored some of the best students and athletes we've had at the university," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "We are grateful for all he has done for Carnegie Mellon and our football program, and look forward to celebrating his legacy over the next few months."
Carnegie Mellon has built a tradition of strong linebacker units under Bodnar's tutelage. Robert O'Toole, a stalwart on the 1990 NCAA playoff team, was named Academic All-American of the Year. Bodnar also molded one of the best linebackers in Carnegie Mellon history in Chad Wilson, who in 1993 was a first-team All-American and UAA Defensive Player of the Year. Ray Ardire was the 1995 UAA Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-UAA selection. In 2000, Nick Zitelli was named an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American and received the MVP award in the AFCA Aztec Bowl in Merida, Mexico.
Aaron Lewis, who recently was inducted into Carnegie Mellon's Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame, was named second-team All-American by D3football.com and third team by Don Hansen's Football Gazette in 2005 and 2006. In January 2011, Lewis was named to the D3football.com All-Decade Team and was the lone UAA player to land a spot on the team. Lewis was also named an Academic All-American both years and played in the Aztec Bowl in 2006.
Brian Khoury claimed back-to-back UAA Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2015 and 2016 while Drew Fitzmorris garnered the accolade in 2017. Both landed a spot on the D3football.com All-American squad in 2015 with Fitzmorris repeating on the team in 2017. The DC Defenders recently selected Khoury as a defensive end in the second round of the open phase of the XFL Draft.
"Congrats to Coach B on an incredible career. We knew we would always be in a position to make a play and would give the team a chance to win with Coach B on the sidelines," added Lewis. "On behalf of myself and my teammates one final time... Coach B, Coach B, Coach B."
Bodnar earned his bachelor's degree in education in 1976 from Marietta College, where he lettered as a linebacker and center. He earned his master's degree in sports science in 1988 from Indiana University (Pa.).
Following his graduation from Marietta, Bodnar began his teaching and coaching career at Washington Junior High School in Parkersburg, W.Va., where he taught and coached football, wrestling and track. In 1978, he returned to Deer Lakes to teach math, science and computer science and to coach football, wrestling and track. He also served as Deer Lakes' strength coach before leaving for Carnegie Mellon in 1984.
Bodnar has been a member of the AFCA since 1982. He served five years as a member of the AFCA Coach of the Year Committee.
Bodnar also has spoken at football coaching clinics throughout the country for the Clinics of Champions, Eastbay Football Clinics, Glazier Football Clinics and various county and state clinics. He is featured in four clinic videos marketed by USA Coaches Clinics with royalties benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2000, he created three videos on defensive strategy for Coaches Choice. In addition, Bodnar has written articles that have been published in the AFCA Summer Manual, the Athletic Journal and Football Clinic.
Carnegie Mellon will begin its search for a new defensive coordinator immediately, with an appointment expected prior to the spring practice.