Luther “Luke” Richards

About This Inductee

“Luke” led his GAR team to 29 straight wins in his first four years at the school; under his guidance, GAR won its first Wyoming Valley Conference Championship in 1952, with a record of 9-0-1. He began his high school coaching career at Wyoming in 1938, and then took over the helm at Greensburg before moving on to GAR. He added two more titles at GAR in 1954 and 1955. A varsity letterman on two University of Pittsburgh national championship teams, he coached briefly at Pitt before returning to the high school ranks. He was instrumental in launching the UNICO All-Star Football Game in Wyoming Valley and coached in 10 of those contests, compiling a record of 6-3-1. In 15 seasons as head coach, his record reads 105-37-7. During his 12 years as head football coach at GAR, Richards guided the Grenadiers to three Wyoming Valley Football Conference titles. His teams between the years of 1952-1964 won 84 games while losing only 29 and tieing seven. He also captured a 1955 District 2 wrestling title while coaching at GAR and won two junior high district track titles for the Hilltoppers. His 1952 championship team went undefeated, and nine of the 11 starters won scholarships. Luke was one of the first coaches in the area to utilize the I-formation and split-T. He also was one of the first to film the games. Born July 22, 1913, he graduated from Meyers High School, Class of 1933. Luke had the distinction of being the first football captain at Meyers. His career started at Coughlin High School. He also played football and wrestled at Wyoming Seminary in 1934-35 before going on to the University of Pittsburgh, where he lettered in football three years, and was a member of two national championships Pitt teams. Coach Richards played in the 1937 Rose Bowl, seeing considerable action. He also is a member of the Wyoming Seminary Hall of Fame. In 1952, Coach Richards assisted in starting the UNICO All-Star football game in Wyoming Valley. He served as coach of the contest 10 times and his East clubs posted a 6-3-1 record. During the 1981 East-West All-Star Football Classic, UNICO dedicated the game in memory of Coach Richards. The late Luther (Luke) Richards of Wilkes-Barre, whose football coaching career spanned 25 years was inducted posthumously into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Hall of Fame during ceremonies set for August 1, 1986 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. Following his coaching career, he became athletic director at GAR and later for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, retiring in 1975. Coach Richards passed away January 12, 1985.