BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Tippecanoe Valley School Board approved the hiring of Joe Luce as its new boys basketball coach at a meeting Monday.
Valley director of marketing and public relations Lori Tilden-Geiger confirmed the hiring in a tweet Monday night. WarsawNewsNow’s Roger Grossman first reported on Friday that Luce had been recommended to the Valley board for approval.
Luce has not been a coach since 2019, but he comes to Valley with 20 years of varsity head coaching experience and six sectional titles to his credit. He has had only three losing seasons in his coaching career.
He was previously the coach at Fountain Central (1999-2002), Benton Central (2002-04), Marion (2004-09), Richmond (2009-15) and Jeffersonville (2015-19). He had been the Director at Whitko Career Academy since 2019.
His most famous team might have been his 2008 Marion team, which won 24 games and made the Class 4A state title game before falling 40-39 to Brownsburg on Gordon Heyward’s buzzer beater.
Luce’s 2007 Marion team and 2015 Richmond teams both won regional titles. He also won sectionals at Marion in 2009, Richmond in 2014 and Jeffersonville in 2019.
He resigned from Jeffersonville in 2019 citing “the opportunity to be closer to my family and my wife's family,” according to the Courier-Journal.
The Richmond Palladium-Item reported that Luce left Richmond for Jeffersonville in 2015 after his job as the dean of students at Richmond was cut.
He has a career record of 338-145.
Tommy Luce, Joe’s son, played collegiately at Purdue. The Herald Bulletin described Joe Luce as a “close friend” of Purdue coach Matt Painter.
Matt Luce, Joe’s brother, is the boys basketball coach at Wapahani.
Luce replaces Chad Patrick, whose contract was not renewed after five seasons at the April 18 board meeting.
Valley went 14-10 overall last season and 7-2 in the Three Rivers Conference.
They will be in Class 3A, Sectional 18 for the next two seasons. The sectional will also include Bremen, Culver Academy, John Glenn and Knox.