Josh Allen, Lynn Bowden, John Calipari, Tyler Herro, J. B. Holmes, Sydney McLaughlin, Mark Stoops and Karl-Anthony Towns are just of few of the famous sports figures who were nominees for the 2019 Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year.
Also among that list of famous Kentucky sports figures is Somerset High School football coach Robbie Lucas. And while the local veteran football coach may not get many votes for the prestigious award outside the local Lake Cumberland area, his historic football coaching accomplishments did not go unnoticed by members of the statewide media.
The annual Kentucky Sportsman Sports Figure of the Year award is presented by the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, and is voted on by all the media members throughout the state of Kentucky.
Past winners of the coveted award include John Calipari, John Wall, Anthony Davis, Rick Pitino, Roy Kidd, Cawood Ledford, Kenny Walker, Denny Crum, Tim Couch, and American Pharoah (the horse).
Lucas capped off his historic 2019 high school football season with a 14-1 record and a Class AA state championship football title. Lucas and the Briar Jumpers' state title win last month marked the first KHSAA football state title in the program's 113-year history. The Briar Jumpers had been to five previous state finals (four with John Cain and one with Lucas) without a golden trophy.
Lucas guided the Jumpers to another 14-1 season in his first year at the Briar Jumpers' helm in 2009, which ended in the program's fifth state runner-up title.
Lucas never dwells on any of his personal accolades, but always gives credit to others for his success.
"These kids found a way to win at the end of the game and they have endeared themselves to this community and this program," Lucas stated. "It is awesome to see these kids walk around with their heads held high because they know they have done something that hasn't been done in 113 years."
During his 11 seasons as the Somerset head football coach, Lucas has won 100 games, won a state title and a state runner-up title, won seven region titles (five of them in succession), and has had two 14-win seasons.
"Robbie Lucas is a great coach, but an even better person," stated Somerset High school Athletic Director Bob Tucker.
The winner of the Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year award will be announced later in the month.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.