“Take the good with the bad” can be applied to almost everything in life. For Slippery Rock football head coach Shawn Lutz, the good came on February 1st when it was announced he would be inducted into the Jackson High School Wall of Fame, but the bad came later the same day.
“I’ve never been inducted into anything, it just means you’re getting older,” Lutz said with a smile.
Jackson High School, located in Lutz’s hometown of Massillion, Ohio, has a Wall of Fame with over 80 members. The members are inducted based off of a variety of factors, including athletic and academic achievement, as well as their accomplishments after graduating from Jackson.
“Some of the guys in the hall of fame played at some big-time schools like Ohio State, it’s a challenging place,” Lutz said. “It’s an awesome achievement and I feel pretty darn good about it, but it’s not cause of me, it’s because of coaches who mentored me and my players.”
Lutz, who graduated from Jackson in 1991, is the school’s all-time rebounding leader for the basketball team. In the words of SRU offensive line coach Chris Conrad, “That means he can’t shoot.”
“Yeah that’s kind of right, I didn’t have a great outside shot. I got fouled a lot and I was only a 50-percent foul shot shooter,” Lutz said. “I really just played volleyball on the basketball court to pad some of those stats.”
While the accomplishment is impressive for Lutz, he said he never planned on telling his team about it.
“I never planned on telling my players, I didn’t tell anybody, I don’t know how word got out,” Lutz said. “I really don’t think [my players] care, I’m just an old guy.”
Although he claims his players don’t care about the accomplishments, a lot of his coaching lessons and qualities stemmed from his time in Massillion.
“I learned commitment, dedication, and being tough,” Lutz said. “I had guys in high school, my football and basketball coaches, that instilled that word of ‘toughness’ into me, it taught me how to battle adversity while getting yelled and screamed at.”
To Lutz, he has a singular focus all the way through the off-season that overrides his excitement for his induction.
“I care about winning a championship, that’s what we have to do.”