Soccer Coach Luciano to Be Inducted into NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame

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