Lutz, Lucas deserve a tip of the hat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

Few active high school football coaches can be mentioned in the same sentence as Paul Brown and Woody Hayes. Now, Bob Lutz and Dave Lucas can.

This past weekend, Lutz and Lucas were enshrined in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. As with any profession, being named to the hall of fame means you are the best of the best. Lutz and Lucas are no exception.

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Lutz, the longtime Ironton coach, has guided the Fighting Tigers to a 291-58-4 record over 31 seasons, including state championships in 1979 and 1989 and state-runner up status on six occasions. Lutz-guided Ironton teams have had 13 unbeaten regular seasons, and have made 21 playoff appearances, the second most in state history.

Lutz is one of only a handful of Ohio high school coaches to post more than 300 victories. In addition to his record at Ironton, he was 20-8-1 in three seasons at St. Joseph High School for an overall record of 311-68-5. He ranks as the fifth winningest high school football coach in the history of Ohio.

Lucas, meanwhile, has enjoyed success at Coal Grove, and most recently, Wellston High School, compiling a 176-78-1 record. At Coal Grove, Lucas was 154-70-1 and won a record 15 Ohio Valley Conference championships. Lucas-coached teams had three undefeated regular seasons and seven

state playoff appearances. He has also claimed two straight Tri-Valley Conference titles at Wellston, the school's first league title in 47 years.

Not many counties have multiple

OHSFCA Hall of Fame members, but now Lawrence County can lay claim to five, as Lutz and Lucas join Ironton's Dick Gallagher and James J. "Bear" Mains Jr. and Coal Grove's James "Red" Duty.

As football fans walk through the concourse of Ohio Stadium, home of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, they can glance up at a wall and see the names of legendary high school football coaches. Now, near those of Paul Brown and Woody Hayes, will be the names of Bob Lutz and Dave Lucas. Congratulations, gentlemen.