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Texico's Luscombe to go into NMHSCA Hall of Honor

 

Christoper Cook

Texico coach Richard Luscombe talks his players through before the final seconds of the Class 3A state championship in March. Texico took the title on a last-second shot by Maryelle Dickerman.

TEXICO — A last-second shot to win a state championship doesn’t define Richard Luscombe. Nor do the six championships he won prior to that.

Luscombe is a teacher, a family man, so many things that go beyond basketball, beyond the fourth state championship to which he guided the Texico girls team last March and the three Texico boys titles he orchestrated.

As a world history and united states history and government teacher, Luscombe has likely affected more young Texico lives positively than he has as a basketball coach. It’s that coaching résumé, though, the seven titles, that tend to jump out at you. For that success, Luscombe has been elected to the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor, which he will enter on Aug. 1 in Albuquerque.

“I’m really honored; it’s a big award,” Luscombe said. “It’s one that I guess you always want to try to get into, but you never know if it’s possible.”

Committee representatives throughout the state nominate coaches and discuss their credentials, then vote on the nominees. Luscombe was informed in May that he was among those being considered, and last month he was phoned by Buster Mabrey, head of the High School Coaches Association, and told that he was headed for the Hall of Honor.

And there, he will join very familiar company.

“One thing that makes it special is that my Dad has also been (inducted),” Luscombe said, “so that is a big honor to be able to share that with him.”

Luscombe’s father Guy was previously elected as an administrator for his longtime service as such in the Dora school system. “I don’t know how many father-son combinations there are,” the younger Luscombe said, “but it’s a really neat deal for us.”

Richard Luscombe’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Eastern New Mexico University, a position he held for two years before landing a coaching job in Lazbuddie, Texas. Four years later, Luscombe moved on to Texico, where he’s been for the past 29 years.

The state titles, including last season’s that was clinched on Maryelle Dickerman’s buzzer-beater against Tohatchi, are the ultimate reward for coaching young athletes. But it’s the journey, the slow climb to that ultimate reward, that keeps it fresh for Luscombe.

“I think the thing that’s the biggest deal is the challenge every year,” he said. “You have a lot of new kids and it’s a challenge to see if you can mold them into a competitive team.”

Next season will present one of those challenges, as Luscombe is tasked with replacing seven seniors.

“So it’s going to be a process to find some pieces in there that will fit,” he said, “but that’s the fun part of it.”

 

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