Roy Lucas, the only person to be the head coach of the Miami Trace High School football team and the Washington High School football team, has died at age 77.
His coaching legacy spanned over 40 years. In addition to both schools in Fayette County, Lucas coached at Greenup County High School, Newport High School, Thomas More College, West Virginia Technical College and Morehead State University.
Former athletic director at Washington High School, Dale Lynch, spoke about Lucas.
“Roy coached at Miami Trace first,” Lynch said. “Then he left there and went down and coached in Kentucky. He came back here and coached (at WHS) in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He coached my son (Ryan) who graduated in 1991.
“He was just a neat individual, a class person,” Lynch said. “He and his wife, Bev, are just very nice people. His sons became old enough to coach when he was here and one of them (Roy Jr.) coached here.
“He was a great individual and a good person,” Lynch said. “I knew that he had not been in good health for quite a while, but it’s still sad.
“There have been some guys who have coached for both schools, but not as the head coach,” Lynch said. “I know he won at least one gold football (undefeated South Central Ohio League).
“He was a great coach and a great person,” Lynch said. “We enjoyed having him here.”
Steve Zink played for Coach Lucas for four years at West Virginia Tech (Lucas was the head coach there) and later coached with him for 12 years (four at Greenup County, Ky., (located across the Ohio River from Portsmouth) and eight at Washington High School).
“He was one of the most understanding, caring individuals that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Zink said. “We had a West Virginia Tech football reunion, the first one we’ve had, in May and he was able to attend. We had 45 fellow teammates from all over the country show up to honor him and to touch base with each other and him. It was a fantastic thing.
“He coached for one more year at Tech after I graduated,” Zink said. “Then he called me and wanted to know if I would be interested in coaching at the high school level.
“He expected a lot out of his players, but, at the same time, he cared about you and you knew it,” Zink said.
Bill Cotner was the equipment manager for the Blue Lion football team under Coach Lucas.
“He won a gold football for Court House and before that he won a gold football for Miami Trace,” Cotner said. “He was the only one to do that.
“He was a great football coach,” Cotner said. “He would do anything for you. He helped me. He helped all of his players. When my parents passed away, he came to the viewing. He didn’t even know my parents. That shows what kind of person he was. He came to mine and Sabrina’s wedding. He was a real great guy and I hate to see he passed away.”
The visitation for Lucas is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Erlanger Baptist Church in Erlanger, Ky., 116 Commonwealth Avenue.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Beverly, two sons, Roy Jr. and Jerry, four grandchildren and a brother, Jerry.