High School Football

Ex-Station coach lands at Manual

When Oliver Lucas resigned as Bryan Station's football coach last month, he said he was stepping back "to take a deep breath" and consider his options. "If it's a short breath, it's a short breath."

It turned out to be a short breath.

Lucas has been named the new coach at Manual, a Class 6A school in Louisville. He replaces Joe Nichols, the winningest coach in Crimsons history. Nichols had a nine-year record of 66-38, but he did not have his contract renewed after going 5-7 last fall.

Lucas said Manual "is a prestigious school with a rich, rich tradition. It's hard not to be intrigued by it and want to be a part of it."

Manual is in the same district as reigning state champ St. Xavier, and it also played Trinity last season.

Lucas said he welcomes the challenge of facing the Catholic school powers.

"It's exciting to get the chance to play the creme de la creme every year, and not just in the playoffs," he said.

"As a coach, you love that kind of competition."

Manual was a winning program under Nichols, so Lucas doesn't face the same challenge he did at Bryan Station.

"This is an opportunity to restore, not rebuild because Coach Nichols did a great job there," he said.

Lucas came to Bryan Station from Colorado. In four years he revitalized the Defenders' program, capped by a 9-3 record last season.

Lucas, 59, teaches biology at Bryan Station, but he also has as a Ph.D in administration education and a superintendent's certificate.

He thought about seeking an administration job after stepping down as the Defenders' football coach. But when somebody recommended him to Manual, Lucas decided to stick with football.

"The good Lord looks after fools, dogs and babies, and I know which one I am," he said with a laugh.