Carnegie Mellon Tartans football
First season1906
Head coachRyan Larsen
1st season, 0–0–0 (–)
StadiumGesling Stadium
(capacity: 3,900)
Year built1990
Field surfaceFieldTurf
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NCAA divisionDivision III
ConferencePresidents' Athletic Conference
Past conferencesUniversity Athletic Association (1990–2017)
Presidents' Athletic Conference (1968–1989)
RivalriesCase Western Reserve Spartans (rivalry)
ColorsCrimson and gray[1]
MascotScottie Dog

The Carnegie Mellon Tartans football team represents Carnegie Mellon University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III competition.[2][3]


On November 28, 1926, the 6–2 Carnegie Tech football team shut out Knute Rockne's undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish 19–0 at Forbes Field.[4] It was the only loss for the Irish that season and only the second time they allowed a touchdown.[5] The game was ranked the fourth-greatest upset in college football history by ESPN.[6]

Gesling Stadium in 2015
Gesling Stadium in 2015

Bowl game and AP rankings

In the 1930s, Carnegie Tech (as it was known then) was among the top college football programs in the country. In 1938 and 1939, the team achieved national rankings in the AP Poll. Ranked sixth at the end of the 1938 regular season, the Tartans earned a January bowl game invitation,[7] but lost 15–7 to top-ranked TCU in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.[8][9]

Carnegie Tech's AP ranking history:

Decline and resurgence

The team lost 26 straight games from 1942 through 1948 (the 1944 and 1945 seasons were cancelled due to World War II). In the last game of the 1948 season, the team beat Grove City, 7–0, on a 51-yard touchdown run by freshman halfback John Luchok. The team improved over the next six years, culminating in the first undefeated season in school history in 1954. That team was led by quarterback Guy Carricato, halfback Eddy Miller and end Chuck Luchok, John Luchok's younger brother.

Modern achievements

In 2006, the varsity football team was offered a bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs, and became one of the first teams in school history (the first team to win a Division III playoff game was in 1977, when Carnegie Mellon beat Dayton) and University Athletic Association (UAA) conference history to win an NCAA playoff game with a 21–0 shutout of Millsaps College of the SCAC conference.[10] In addition to winning a playoff game, several team members were elected to the All American and All Region Squads. The 2006 team won more games in a single season than any other team in school history. The current coach is Rich Lackner, who is also a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and who has been the head coach since 1986.

Playoff appearances

NCAA Division III

The Tartans have appeared in the Division III playoffs seven times, with an overall record of 3–7.

Year Round Opponent Result
1978 Quarterfinals
W, 24–21
L, 6–31
1979 Quarterfinals
W, 31–25
L, 6–15
1983 Quarterfinals Salisbury State L, 14–16
1985 First Round Salisbury State L, 22–35
1990 First Round Lycoming L, 7–17
2006 First Round
Second Round
W, 21–0
L, 0–37
2021 First Round North Central (IL) L (w/o)


  1. ^ "Web Standards-Marketing & Communications - Colors". Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Carnegie Mellon Football".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2016-01-01.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Hughes, Robert W. (November 28, 1926). "Carnegie Tech springs greatest surprise of football season by beating Notre Dame". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Tech's Greatest Victory". Archived from the original on March 17, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  6. ^ "Upset special: With Rockne gone, Irish took a Michigan-like tumble". Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  7. ^ Smith, Chester L. (January 1, 1939). "Tartans primed for Sugar Bowl victory over TCU". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sports.
  8. ^ Smith, Chester L. (January 3, 1939). "'Too much O'Brien,' story of Tech's downfall". Pittsburgh Press. p. 22.
  9. ^ "52,000 see T.C.U. beat Tech, 15-7". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 3, 1939. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Carnegie Mellon football tramples Majors". Retrieved April 11, 2008.