The U.S. Soccer family is mourning the loss of one its longtime contributors. Mel Lorback, 76, passed away May 22 in his home in West Chester, Pa., after a battle with leukemia. Lorback, the men’s soccer coach at West Chester University from 1957 to 1991, won a Division 1 championship in 1961. He also won the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Coach of the Year Honor in the same season. In January of 2004, Lorback received the NSCAA Honor Award for his lifetime contributions and achievements in soccer.
Born in Brockport, N.Y., in 1927, he was chairman of the NSCAA coaching and teaching committee for 15 years and served as its president in 1974. The organization also honored him with the prestigious Bill Jeffrey and Walt Chyzowych awards after he retired.
Jerry Yeagley, Indiana University head coach and reigning Division 1 national champion, was a member of the 1961 National Championship squad under Lorback.
"Coach Lorback was instrumental in my success as a coach," Jerry Yeagley, the recently retired Indiana University head coach and reigning Division I national champion, told The Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa. "The instruction and lessons I learned playing for him were important in shaping my future. He truly taught me what it meant to be a champion."
Yeagley will deliver the eulogy at Lorback’s funeral mass this Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Church, 233 W. Gay St., West Chester. Contributions may be sent to the Mel Lorback Soccer Endowment, c/o Doug Kleintop, WCU Athletic Department, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383; or to Chester County Hospital, 701 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380.
Lorback is survived by his wife of 53 years (Patricia), two sons (Todd and Michael), a daughter (Cynthia), and five grandchildren.