Soccer Coach Luciano to Be Inducted into NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame
PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Northern Arizona head women's soccer coach Andre Luciano will be inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame in November at the NJCAA Division One Soccer Banquet in Phoenix, Ariz. He joins an elite group of 59 other coaches, contributors and players already named to the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame that now includes 15 representatives from Yavapai, the most representing any school.
"I am honored that Mike Pantalione would even consider nominating me for this award," said Luciano. "Yavapai College basically changed my life. Without that opportunity that Mike gave me as a player, I probably would not be where I am today. It formulated me as a person, as a man and gave me some direction in my life when I did not have a lot. I owe my whole playing and coaching career to Mike and Yavapai."
Luciano will be part of 2011 class that includes two Yavapai players, Roger Espinoza and Irving Garcia.
"To be inducted in the same Hall of Fame with a lot of my former teammates, I am in complete awe of the honor," said Luciano.
Luciano, a native of Las Vegas, was in goal when Yavapai College captured their first national championship in 1990 with the program's initial recruiting class. He was named the NJCAA National Tournament Most Valuable Goalkeeper and the ISAA/Adidas National Goalkeeper of the Year. He continued his education and played for Indiana University, helping the Hoosiers to two NCAA National Tournament appearances. He was selected Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year in 1993. He graduated with a degree in American History from Indiana in 1994.
"The Yavapai College program has had a successful run for a 22-year period," said Pantalione. "We have captured seven national championships and 66 championships overall, including conference, region, district and nationals. It is attributed to young men like Andre Luciano. He was the first goalkeeper at Yavapai College and part of that first recruiting class to capture a national championship. The standards were set not only for the team but individuals."
Pantalione met Luciano on one of his first recruiting trips as the head coach at Yavapai. He proved to be a key player in the start of the program.
"Nobody exemplified more team spirit than Andre with his enthusiasm for the program and the sport single-handedly brought people to our matches," said Pantalione. "We have had a following and tremendous attendance throughout the two decades."
Luciano enters his 11th year as Northern Arizona University head women's soccer coach. He claimed consecutive Big Sky Coach of the Year honors after leading NAU to Big Sky Tournament Championships and the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history in 2008 and 2009. He led the Lumberjacks to their first Big Sky regular season title last season.
Complete List of Roughriders in the Hall:
Inductee Position Years at Yavapai
Mike Pantalione Head Coach 1989 to present
Hugh Bell Associate Coach 1992 to present
Edson Rico Attacker 1989 & 1990
Jose Corona Defender 1989 & 1990
Andre Luciano Goalkeeper 1989 & 1990
Darren Clare Defender 1992 & 1993
Avery John Defender 1994 & 1995
Matt Kirkpatrick Defender 1996 & 1997
Kevin Jeffrey Attacker 1996 & 1997
Kelvin Jack Goalkeeper 1997 & 1998
Alan Gordon Attacker 2000 & 2001
Maurice Hughes Attacker 2002 & 2003
Michael Randolph Defender 2004 & 2005
Roger Espinoza Defender 2005 & 2006
Irving Garcia Attacker 2006 & 2007