Hall of Fame coach brings impressive résumé back to Owls


Over the past four years, Angie Lucas has traveled across the country supporting her daughter, Jessica, and the Western Kentucky University volleyball team.

Now that Jessica — a four-time All-American at Western Kentucky — has finished up her final season with the Hilltoppers, Lucas is primed to return to the sidelines at Seymour High School.

Seymour’s school board recently rehired Lucas, who will enter her 24th year of coaching the Owls.

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“For the past four years, I’ve been in parent mode,” Lucas said. “I knew that I missed being on the court and that in some way, shape or form I was going to come back and coach or become an official because I just love the sport. Having those four years to sit back and relax was good for me, but it also gave me some direction.

“I had several opportunities, which was nice, but I always knew that Seymour is where I needed to be. I approached them and talked to them about the position.”

Lucas, who was inducted into the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association’s Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2013, brings an impressive résumé back to the Owls.

Under Lucas, the Owls have a 555-252 record. Seymour won sectional titles in each of her seven years at the helm from 1990 to 1996 and won three straight regional titles from 1994 to 1996.

Lucas guided the Owls to two more sectional titles and one regional crown between 1997 and 2002 before she took a year off and returned in 2004.

The Owls were sectional, regional and Hoosier Hills Conference champions and made it to the Class 4A Final Four in 2011 and then made it to semistate in 2012.

The fall of 2013 marked the third straight season with 30 or more wins under Lucas.

Watching Jessica play at the NCAA Division I level has changed Lucas’ perspective on what it’s like in the stands.

“I think, as a parent, (my perspective) has changed tremendously,” Lucas said. “In my opinion, sometimes, it’s harder to sit in the stands than to be coaching or playing. I think I’ll have a better idea of what our parents go through.”

This past season, the Owls’ program faced issues with a drop in participation. With low numbers, Seymour didn’t play a full C-team/freshman schedule.

Lucas plans to change that.

“One of my goals is to have three teams again,” she said. “I want there to be a freshman team. It’s crucial to the success that we have at the varsity level. I’m going to talk with those kids and approach those kids (that left). I’ve heard that some of them are wanting to come back out and play, which is great. We need that participation at all three levels.”

Lucas said the Seymour administration has allowed her to assemble her own coaching staff at the high school. Lucas said she plans on having Sara Clark and Steve Mackey work as varsity volunteer assistants, while Mackenzie Wieneke will return as junior varsity coach, and Olivia Hanner will take on the role of freshman coach.

Angie said Jessica also will help the team out during the season as a volunteer assistant.

While Lucas isn’t currently coaching any of the club volleyball teams in town, she said she’s working with those coaches and setting her expectations for the program.

Lucas said Wieneke has been in charge of the Seymour Volleyball Club teams, which are five travel squads involving middle school-aged athletes.

Lucas recently met with the team and looks forward to putting in the work in the coming months.

“I’m excited to start working with the kids again and teach the sport,” Lucas said. “That’s what I missed. Of course, seeing my coaching staff every day, I’m excited to be with them. It has been fun getting to know the young kids again. When you’re away for four years, you don’t know people like you do if you’re involved in it. We will start soon with the high school kids.”

One of Lucas’ biggest goals for this upcoming season is to connect with the players.

“I think the main thing is that I want them to love the sport like I love it,” Lucas said. “I want them to understand that it’s not just about playing volleyball. It’s about putting in the work, setting goals as a group and reaching them. It’s also about dreaming big. We want to put another picture on the wall that says ‘state champions.’ I want them to get that excitement again.”

Lucas said she can’t wait to step foot in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium as a coach.

“I’m going to love it,” Lucas said. “I know that I’ve missed it so much. It’s hard sometimes to put into words how much it means to me. I’m not happy unless I’m there, and it’s a good thing my family understands that. For me, it’s going to be the best thing.”

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