California University of Pennsylvania
California University of Pennsylvania head coach John “Lucky” Luckhardt is one of the most successful coaches in college football today. In 21 seasons as a head coach he has 161 wins, 11 playoff appearances, and is ranked in the top 10 in wins and winning percentage among current NCAA II coaches.
He just finished his fourth season at the helm of the Cal program leading the Vulcans to their first PSAC West title and best record (8-2) in 21 years.
It was Luckhardt’s 14th league championship as a head coach. He won 13 President's Athletic Conference crowns in 17 years at Washington & Jefferson College (1982-1998) where he went 137-37-2, won five NCAA III regional championships, and played for the national championship in 1992 and 1994. Luckhardt overall career record is 161-55-2 (74.5%).
He also Washington & Jefferson’s athletic director from 1986-1998 and the Director of Special Projects from 1998-2000.
Luckhardt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Purdue (1967-1969) before coaching at Northern Illinois (1970-1972) and Lehigh (1973-1981). As the defensive coordinator at Lehigh, the team qualified for the playoffs five times and captured the 1977 NCAA II championship.
Luckhardt was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the American Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. From 1994 through 1998 he was elected to and served on the American Football Coaches Association Board of Directors. In 1992, he was named the AFCA/Kodak Division III National Coach of the Year, and CNN named Luckhardt the Division III Coach of the Year in 1994.
Luckhardt was a member of the 1967 Boilermakers’ Rose Bowl team that defeated USC, 14-13, and finished 7th in the nation with a 9-2 record. He was an All-Big-Ten Academic Team selection his senior season and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1968. He received his Master’s of Science Degree in Physical Education/Psychology from Purdue in 1970.
Coach Luckhardt and his wife Barbara have two children, Allison and Matt. Lucky resides in Peters Township, where he enjoys gardening when he is not coaching.
Articles by John Luckhardt:
Being “Lucky” and Good: An Interview with CUP Coach Luckhardt
Biography and photograph courtesy of California University of Pennsylvania.