There are a couple of photos on the wall of Kevin Luckey’s office at Napa Valley College.
One is of Jarvis Baker, a former quarterback, who went on to be a captain of the Air Force Academy football team in Colorado Springs. The other is of LeRon Hudgins, a running back-defensive back, who also was a team captain for Air Force.
Luckey coached both players at Vanden High School in Fairfield. During his eight years as head coach, Luckey had the Vikings in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs four times.
There is plenty of room for Luckey, Napa Valley College’s athletic director/dean of physical education and athletics, to add some more photos. One could be of the inaugural class of inductees for the NVC Athletic Hall of Fame, which was enshrined on Oct. 1 during a dinner and awards program at Embassy Suites Hotel. Another could be a photo of the NVC women’s soccer team, which is in its first season and doing very, very well against already established programs.
Luckey went to work as the Storm’s athletic director in 2006 with a five-year plan. He wanted to start a Hall of Fame, in order to honor those who have been instrumental in helping build the history and tradition of NVC. He wanted to also expand the Storm’s intercollegiate offerings.
“When you have a total administration that supports you, you’re a pretty lucky athletic director — not just to support me, but to support our athletic program,” Luckey said last week. “It’s one reason in these tough times we still exist, because of their commitment and support.”
With Luckey’s leadership and vision, Napa Valley created an Athletic Hall of Fame, with the objective to reconnect with its history as a school and by doing so, rekindle relationships among the many alumni who have contributed so much to athletics. The Storm’s Hall of Fame is sponsored by the NVC Foundation.
Each of this year’s inductees — Glenn “Pop” DuBose, Bob Steen, Frank Humpert, Warren Brusstar, Jim Hard, Scott Buss and Todd Pridy — was honored and received a medal with a green and gold ribbon.
They have individually contributed to the success of the school’s athletic department and represent character and values that participation in sports builds, said Luckey. Through their participation, they serve as examples to current and future participants, he said.
“I felt like this is something that’s good for our college, it brings us all together in a very positive way,” Luckey said. “We’re simply honoring and illuminating the good things that go on here, that need to continue to go on.
“All seven of those people have gone on and done some remarkable things in their lives, and yet they look at Napa Valley College as being an important part of that process. A number of them had some very nice imagery to describe what Napa Valley College had provided for them in terms of direction in their lives. That’s really what we’re all about — to help people find their way to the next level, whatever that level is for them.”
The Hall of Fame event was a grand celebration, recognizing Napa Valley’s decades and decades of athletics and some of the superstars who have been a part of those programs. It was a gigantic success — one of the single most important evenings in the history of the school’s athletic department. The HOF will continue each year, with the school inducting a new class annually. A Hall of Fame section will be displayed in the foyer of the NVC gym.
“I saw a lot of smiles, I saw a lot of people enjoying themselves, and I think moved by the stories that our inductees had to tell,” Luckey said. “I thought for me, it validated that whole process.
“I was very pleased. When you start something like this, you have a vision of what things are going to be like, and it lived up to my vision.”
Luckey couldn’t have done it all by himself. He had a committee that met for over a year and many people behind the scenes who ensured that the presentation and organization of the event was first-class all the way.
The addition of women’s soccer, coached by Brad Williams, has been an all-around success story. There are 26 players on the team and the Storm (4-3-4 overall, 0-0-3 Bay Valley Conference) is coming off a 1-1 tie Friday against Los Medanos College-Pittsburg.
“They are competing at the highest level and doing very, very well,” Luckey said.
Men’s soccer and volleyball are winning as well.
A 1-0 victory over Merritt College-Oakland Friday kept the Storm (5-1-5 overall, 4-0 Bay Valley) undefeated in conference play for men’s soccer. The Storm (7-2 overall, 3-0 BVC) swept Solano Community College in volleyball Friday, 25-14, 26-24, 25-16.
Fall programs for baseball and softball are in progress. Men’s and women’s basketball are approaching their respective winter seasons.
Before coming to NVC, Luckey was working as an assistant principal and the AD at Vanden. The University of Oregon graduate was 24 years old when he became head football coach at Thurston High School, his alma mater, in Springfield, Ore. He was there for five years and was later the head coach at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls for three years. Luckey was also the head coach at Florin High-Sacramento, which ended Elk Grove’s 45-game Delta League winning streak.
“The opportunity to come to Napa Valley College as an athletic director and dean at a different level with different sets of opportunities and room for growth, both personally and then professionally, really appealed to me,” he said.
“I love what I do as an athletic director, working with the people I work with, building something, building on something, trying to make it even better than it has been. I work with really tremendous people. The folks above me have been very supportive. We’re a nice family, a team. We’re doing something important, so that gives me great pleasure.”
Luckey has brought pride to Napa Valley, with the placement of banners in the school gym commemorating its championships in the Golden Valley Conference, Camino Norte Conference and Bay Valley Conference.
“The way he has structured the athletic department and P.E. department is marvelous,” said Jim Wiechers, the Storm’s golf coach for men’s and women’s teams. “Everybody respects him. At the same time, you appreciate the discipline.”
Email Napa Valley Register Executive Sports Editor Marty James at email@example.com or call 256-2223.