Coal Grove hires Jay Lucas as head football coach

January 30, 2019
Jay Lucas, football head coach at Wellston High School the past two seasons, was hired Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, as head coach at Coal Grove.

COAL GROVE, Ohio — Coal Grove High School will feature a familiar name and face heading its storied football program next season.

Jay Lucas, head coach at Wellston High School the past two seasons, was hired Monday night as head coach of the Hornets. A former Coal Grove standout and Marshall University player, Lucas is the son of legendary Coal Grove coach Dave Lucas.

Jay Lucas led the Wellston Golden Rockets to a 5-5 record in 2017, before a sophomore- and freshman-heavy club went 3-7 in 2018.

Lucas assisted his father at Wellston in 2000. They stayed for three seasons, leading the Golden Rockets to back-to-back 8-2 campaigns and consecutive Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division championships in 2001 and 2002. Then, in July 2003, prior to the start of two-a-day practices, Dave Lucas announced his resignation citing health concerns — and Jay stepped down with him. Dave Lucas later became head coach at Coal Grove again and Jay served as defensive coordinator.

Following Greg Phillips’ resignation from Wellston after the 2016 season, Wellston hired Jay Lucas — with Dave as his assistant.

In his two years returned, Lucas significantly raised the Golden Rockets’ numbers, as the Blue and Gold fielded 58 players when last season kicked off. In the offseason, Lucas emphasized improving the Rockets’ strength program, as Wellston won the 2018 Division VI, V and VI state powerlifting championship.

Lucas, a longtime resident of Ceredo, made a daily 90-minute commute to Wellston. Rumors of Lucas being hired by Coal Grove gained circulation last weekend, and became official Monday.

The next head coach at Wellston will be the program’s 11th since the 1990 season.