Former Desert Vista High School head baseball coach Stan Luketich has been around the game for a long time. After coaching over 360 games, he has been inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Indianapolis.
Luketich entered the Hall of Fame with 10 other inductees, including Andy Lopez from the University of Arizona, a two-time ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year.
In his 21 seasons at Desert Vista, Luketich captured his first state championship in 1999, starting a three-year string of state championship appearances.
Desert Vista finished as the runner-up in 2000 but bounced back to capture a second state title in three years.
His Desert Vista teams also made Final Four appearances in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
But while Luketich spent several years at Desert Vista, he also had an impact on the diamond for other schools as well.
He started at Moon Valley High School in 1976 and spent nine seasons as an assistant coach before taking over the program in 1985. Four years later, he captured his first state championship.
Luketich was a Rocket until 1993 and then took an assistant coaching position at Red Mountain before landing at Desert Vista in 1996.
While the longtime skipper had several accomplishments throughout his high school coaching career, he also was an assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado and spent two seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization.
But, again, his career doesn’t stop there.
Throughout his career, Luketich worked as a coach for the Major League Baseball Envoy international program, which began in 1994. During his time with the program, he headed the Senior National Teams for Belgium and the Czech Republic, and also was on the staff for the Spain team.
With all his coaching experience and knowledge of the game, Luketich wasn’t just able to get teams to play together well enough to be successful, he also helped several players reach the next level as well.
At least 100 of his players went on to play collegiate baseball and 11 signed professional contracts.
Jacob Brugman, a center fielder who recently was traded to the Baltimore Orioles from the Oakland Athletics, and shortstop Corey Myers, who was selected fourth overall in the 1999 Major League Baseball draft, are just two former players who made that jump and had success.
Myers, who played from 1999-2007, reached Triple A, finishing his minor-league career with a .273 batting average. Brugman made the jump to the majors last year and hit for a .266 clip in 48 games with the Athletics.
Although Luketich has a legacy that stretches beyond the state of Arizona, earning ABCA/Diamond Coach of the Year honors in 1999, he continues to leave his mark on Arizona high school baseball.
He amassed a record of 368-233-1 over his high school coaching career and is the only Arizona high school baseball coach in the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Luketich, who declined comment for this story, currently is assistant baseball coach for Corona del Sol High.