Valley Hires Luce As New Boys Basketball Coach

Pictured (L to R) are Karrie, Joe, Mike, Jeffra and Tommy Luce. Joe Luce was approved as the Tippecanoe Valley High School boys varsity basketball coach by the Tippecanoe Valley School Board Monday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union

AKRON – Tippecanoe Valley School Board approved several position changes Monday, including a new high school boys varsity basketball coach.

Superintendent Blaine Conley recommended the Board approve Joe Luce as the basketball coach.

The position became vacant when the Board decided not to approve Chad Patrick’s contract for the 2022-23 school year during the April 18 meeting.

In the almost 50 years of sports at Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, “we’ve been blessed with incredible coaches, student athletes and, most of all, loyal and dedicated fans. Our schools are the hub for positive gatherings and events in our community. Tonight’s recommendation will continue that tradition,” Conley said.

Luce has 27 years of experience in high school boys basketball. He coached for “some of the most historic boys basketball programs in Indiana. His coaching philosophy involves believing in hard work, a disciplined approach, paying attention to the smallest detail, communication and performing to the fullest. He stresses that these characteristics will become a code for our students to live by. He has experienced the positive impacts a successful athletic program can have on an entire community, making the gym a place to be on Friday and Saturday nights during the winter months,” Conley said.

Luce’s overall varsity coaching record is 338-145, which includes six sectional, three regional, one semi-state and one state runner-up titles. He’s received several coach of the year awards.

Luce said he has been to 100 school board meetings in his career. And he said Tuesday “was an absolutely wonderful night.” He said watching the Board recognize teachers and students showed they care. He said his night started out great just by the “vibe and mood of the room.”

Luce said his career has been very blessed and he has had great players, teams and communities.

“And to be honest with you, I wasn’t in a position I had to coach again. Recently, I started the Whitko Career Academy. Very proud of that, professional venture that I was on. And it was a chance meeting that Mr. Conley and I had with his administrative group that led me to find out more about the Valley family. That’s what I was drawn to. That’s what (wife) Karrie was drawn to,” Luce said.

Being a boys basketball coach in Indiana can help to put a positive vibe in the school corporation, to give a safe place for students and families to congregate to support a team that does things the right way.

Luce said when asked about how the team would play, he sticks by one thing and that’s there’s a right way to play: there’s a right to shake hands, addressing parents for showing up to games and there’s a right way to “make relationships with young people and have them trust you enough to do the little detail things that we’ll talk about.”

In other business, the Board recognized retiring Akron physical education teacher Kathy Good.

Conley said the school corporation was recognizing Good as the fifth retiring teacher this year.

Good has 37 years in education, all of which were at TVSC. She taught one year in special education, one in sixth grade, five years in second grade, five years in first grade, 11 years in kindergarten and 14 years in physical education. She taught under five different principals and five superintendents.

She enjoyed each grade she taught at Akron Elementary, according to information provided to the Board. She enjoyed creating a safe, caring environment for all the students that walked through the school’s doors. When asked what she’d miss most, she said she’d miss the daily interactions with the students and staff. She said she felt she did her best to create a comfortable classroom that her students would be excited to come to.

She is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren, traveling with her family, walking with her friends and dog and not having to set an alarm.

Three Akron paraprofessionals – Alana Bogle, Mariah Baca and Tracy Murphy – “protested” Good’s retiring by wearing T-shirts that had All Opposed with Good’s face on the front.

Also, the Board:

• Recognized three teachers they approved hiring Thursday: Laura Stump, music teacher, Mentone Elementary; Erica Enyart, kindergarten through fifth-grade teacher, Mentone Elementary; and Morgan Ruff, first-grade teacher, Mentone Elementary.

• Recognized student Jaeda Carpenter. She was recently named a Daughter of the American Revolution Good Citizen.

• Recognized third-graders Lydia Engle, Ethan Miller, Ryder Nolder, Makenna Rassi and Melody Watkins for having perfect scores on the iREAD test.