By Leah Sander
AKRON — Joe Luce is the new Tippecanoe Valley High School varsity boys basketball coach.
He was hired by unanimous approval of the Tippecanoe Valley School Board at its regular meeting on Monday, May 16.
Luce comes to Valley with a 27-year high school boys basketball coaching career, with 20 of those years as a varsity boys basketball coach. His overall coaching record is 338-145.
The schools he’s been at have included Fountain Central, Benton Central, Marion and Richmond high schools. While at Marion in 2008, he coached his team to state runners-up in Class 4A. His Marion teams in 2007 and 2009 made it to the Final 4 and Elite 8 respectively in Class 4A.
His last stint was at Jeffersonville High School from 2015-2019. Since then, he’s been the director of the Whitko Career Academy in Larwill. Luce said he plans to resign that position due to coming to Valley.
“I wasn’t in a position that I had to coach again. I’ve had a chance to be a part of some very successful programs, coach a lot of great players,” Luce told InkFreeNews. “The right situation had to come around for me to consider it and I met Mr. (TVSC Superintendent Blaine) Conley and some of the administrative team when they visited our career academy and that progressed into talking about the basketball job and I’m familiar enough with Tippecanoe Valley sports and their basketball program that is a great fit.”
Luce graduated from Wapahani High School near Muncie, playing basketball and baseball while there.
He received a full baseball scholarship to Valparaiso University and was starting first baseman for Valparaiso’s baseball team all four years and co-captain for two.
Luce has a Bachelor of Science from Valparaiso in elementary education and a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Marian University. His master’s degree is in education from Oakland City University.
During the meeting Monday, Conley read a statement, which included mention of Luce’s coaching philosophy.
It “involves believing in hard work, a disciplined approach, paying attention to the smallest detail, communication, and performing to the fullest,” read Conley. “He stresses that these characteristics will become a code for our students to live by.”
“He has experienced the positive impact a successful athletic program can have on an entire community – making the gym the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights during the winter months,” Conley also read from it.
Luce was joined at the meeting by his wife Karrie, parents Mike and Jeffra and son Tommy. Tommy Luce has been helping coach Purdue University’s men’s basketball team as a graduate assistant.
The Luces have seven children total and three grandchildren.
“We’re just excited to be a part of the Valley family,” Luce told InkFreeNews. “A big sell for us was just the confidence that we had received from Mr. Conley and the board when we met with them about the great community that we were going to be a part of.”