Fisher, corps, fighter, coach

Lackey using previous life experiences to coach


Blanche Harris

Coppell special teams coordinator Christopher Lackey has been involved in multiple pursuits such as fishing, the Marine Corps, weight training and MMA fighting before coaching football. With his diverse experiences, Lackey utilizes his skillset to coach at Coppell.

Shreya Beldona, Executive enterprise editor

As the 18-wheeler came closer and closer towards his 240 Nissan SX on his journey from Lubbock to Homer, Alaska for his post high school graduation commercial fishing job in 1999, Coppell special teams coordinator Christopher Lackey yelled at his friend to wake up. 

Finally, Lackey would have the perfect prank to get back at his driving partner for purposely driving in potholes.

“There was a semi upon another semi truck facing backwards. The semis were moving away from us but it looks like there’s one coming towards us,” Lackey said. “For payback on my buddy, I decided I’m gonna get as close to this semi as I can. I get up as close as I can and then I start screaming, so he wakes up and he screams. I mean, it feels like he screams like a girl for probably like five minutes.” 

On top of weightlifting, coaching, being a Marine and MMA fighting, commercial fishing was just one of the unique hobbies and occupations Lackey held. 

“My buddy [Jared Agnew] had met a fishing boat captain when he was in Hawaii. He came back and basically said, ‘Let’s go have an adventure.’ It really wasn’t even about money, it was more about the adventure and getting to see the world and being young and probably a little dumb,” Lackey said.

Though salmon fishing was not easy work, Lackey was able to memorialize his experience with sights of glaciers, bald eagles, Pearl Jam music sessions and most notably, an electrical boat fire.

“We were asleep and woke up, and the whole cabin was filled with smoke. The captain had to old-school sit on the top deck with a [helm] wheel to make it to Seward, Alaska,” Lackey said.

Coppell special teams coordinator Christopher Lackey attends his sixth grade homecoming at Frenship Intermediate School in Wolfforth, Texas in 1992 with his now wife, Christa Lackey. Mr. and Mrs. Lackey have known each other since fourth grade and now share six kids together. Photo courtesy Christa Lackey

After finishing his summer job, Lackey joined the Marine Corps in 2001. However, before he left, he reconnected with a friend he had not talked to in years: Lackey’s now wife, Christa Lackey. 

The Lackeys had been friends ever since fourth grade. After ending up in different friend circles as they grew up, they finally reconnected before his tour in Iraq. 

“We spent every day together probably for like, two or three weeks,” Mrs. Lackey said. “You feel like you just kind of started dating somebody, but at the same time, we already could tell we were meant to be together. [When he left for Iraq, I] always had my phone by my side. You just never knew [when you would get a call]; it would be heartbreaking if you missed that phone call.” 

As Lackey completed his tour, the two continued to exchange letters, movies and snacks to connect with each other despite the thousands of miles between them.

Though their relationship flourished, when Lackey returned after his Iraq tour in 2005, some trauma settled in. 

“[We and the other Marine Corps couples] were out walking down the street in Las Vegas, and a huge truck came across the bridge, and it ran over a metal grate, and it made a really loud noise,” Mrs. Lackey said. “All of the [former Marine Corps members] at least ducked, and one of them actually dropped to the ground. It was pretty eye opening to see that there were probably going to be some residual effects.” 

Though Lackey was able to resettle into his life pre-tour, there was still a sense of anger underneath the surface. Since physical activity had always been a part of his life, Lackey decided to channel his frustration into a combat-filled sport he had already been exposed to: MMA fighting. 

“I had had some anger issues coming back, and I wanted to find an outlet that was good to help me with that,” Lackey said. “Once I found out I would fight, there was just a lot of hard work, a lot of training, a lot of time in the dojo.” 

Though Lackey did have one professional fight, which he won on June 24, 2006 at the Austin Convention Center, ultimately, due to pursuing a kinesiology degree at the University of North Texas, his MMA career ended. 

Christopher Lackey is shown at 0:59 with his knockout at 1:50. The match was held on June 24, 2006 at the Austin Convention Center.

After personal training and working around Texas, Lackey started to coach at Coppell High School for the 2008-09 school year. After leaving and moving around Texas, he has now settled on his job at CHS as the special teams coordinator, outside linebacker coach and triple jump coach.

Despite the long hours his job entails, Lackey prioritized the importance of family, setting aside time to be a part of his kids’ lives.

“He’s grown and becoming a great father.  He’s developed an enormous amount of patience, as you have to do with that many children. He’s just a great leader for our family, a great example to follow,” Mrs. Lackey said.

Lackey extends the skills and lessons learned as his role as a father into his role as a coach, often teaching the same values to his athletes. 

“He doesn’t just focus on being a coach because it’s a sport; he loves to coach,” Mrs. Lackey said. “He wants to teach [his athletes] how to be successful people, how to work hard to get something you want, how to always give your best, and that’s the same lessons he teaches our children at home.” 

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