Joseph Lukavitch

About This Inductee

Joe began his sports career as a Plymouth Little League and Teener’s League baseball All Star. At Plymouth High School, he was a baseball letter winner. While at Wilkes University, he played intramural basketball, football and softball. Joe’s interest in track began when he became a PIAA track official in 1971. He is still an active PIAA track official after 40 years. He coached in the Plymouth Girls Softball League and was the All Star Team coach when they won the Hunlock Creek Invitational Tournament in 1984. Joe became Wyoming Valley West’s Junior High track and cross country coach in 1978, as well as an assistant varsity coach for both the boys and girls teams. They won the Boys Junior High Cross Country District Championship in 1982. He became the Wyoming Valley West’s Boys and Girls Varsity Head Cross Country Coach 1984-1989. Joe was Wyoming Valley West’s Boys and Girls Varsity Head Coach of winter track (indoor track) from 1984-1990 and was the WVW Boys and Girls Varsity Head Coach 1985-1990. The girls track team were conference champions three times (1985, 1986 and 1987) and district champs twice (1986 and 1987). The boys track team were conference champions 1989 and 1990, district champs 1986 and 1990. The girls cross country team won the conference championship in 1987 while the boys cross country team were conference and district champions in 1989 (with a 10th place finish in the state championships). During Joe’s tenure as head coach, the girls track team record was 88-6, the boys track team was 80-12-1 while also breaking Pittston’s 6 year win streak of 86 straight wins, the girls cross country team was 74-15, and the boys cross country team was 72-33. Joe established winter indoor track as a lettering sport in 1989. During meets at Lehigh and Penn State Universities, six team members qualified for the Pennsylvania Indoor Track Championships. Three members placed 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th in the state. From 1984-1990, the track and cross country teams produced many district champions and numerous medal winners. Eight went on to medal in the state championships. Joe also personally coached one state champion. The teams also won many other championships, such as the Meteor Invitational at Montrose, the Tunkhannock Relays, and the Husky Invitational at Bloomsburg University. In 1986, Joe was chosen as Coach of the Year in Track and in 1989 was chosen as Coach of the Year in Cross Country by both the Citizen’s Voice and the Times Leader newspapers. Joe was nominated 11 times and is a nine times recipient of the Who’s Who Among America’s Teacher Award (1992-2006). Presently retired from Wyoming Valley West High School, Joe resides in Plymouth with his wife Ella. They have three children – Ella (Lukavich) Karassik, Joseph III and Christopher.