Friday, June 22, 2007

Canoga High's Rudy Lugo Retires

I just discovered today this June 8 report by Eric Sondheimer in the Los Angeles Times that Canoga Park High School's Rudy Lugo, about whom I blogged last fall, is retiring:
Rudy Lugo, the football coach at Canoga Park since 1986 who has been associated with the program since he was an assistant coach in 1969, has announced his retirement as a teacher and coach. Assistant Ivan Moreno will take over for Lugo.

Lugo, a Canoga Park graduate, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer. He has been so closely tied to Canoga Park that his battle with his illness has deeply affected current and past students. His late wife attended Canoga Park, along with his two children.

Athletic Director Jo Ann Heller said the school is hopeful Lugo can help with the football program again once he regains his health.

"It's a big loss emotionally and support-wise," she said. "He's been a pillar of Canoga Park High and will never be replaced."
My 10th grade Phys. Ed. teacher, Coach Lugo was also Assistant Coach for both Hunter baseball and football teams when I was in high school 1974-77. His wife, Nancy, who was a year behind me in school, died very suddenly last March as he was recovering from and building up strength after a prior series of treatments.


Anonymous said...

Rudy Lugo was my Wrestling coach from 1976 to 1978. Nancy, his wife, was a classmate of mine. Other than serving as a missionary for my church several years later, my days as a wrestler under Rudy were the most important in making me the man I am today. The Wrestling team was called "the family", and that's exactly what it was. Rudy was able to take young men from all different walks of life, and have them come together and compete and support one another. I would have to say that my time as a wrestler were some of the happiest in my life, and Rudy deserves a large part of the credit for that. I have met few men with the integrity and love of his fellow man that Rudy has. We gathered in prayer before every wrestling meet, something not done in public schools in those days, but that was the kind of example Rudy always set for us. He was as genuine a person as I have ever met. I heard they are going to honor him at the homecoming game on November 7th, and 5 minutes later, I bought a ticket from my home in Georgia to attend that game, because that is the kind of thing Rudy would do for each and every one of us. He instilled that kind of loyalty. I am forever grateful for the example he was to all the young men on our team, along with the rest of the students. The love that he showed for his fellowman is a tribute to the kind of life he has led.

Pastor Zip said...

See here for the report of Mr. Lugo's death yesterday. And thanks for sharing your reflections and remembrances.