Kenny Lucky looks to lead Point’s secondary and defense

Published 12:58 pm Saturday, June 29, 2024

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Point University named its new defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator on Monday. The Skyhawks have named Kenny Lucky as the new leader of the secondary. 

Lucky is originally from Ohio and graduated from Ohio University. He grew to love the state of Georgia and football in the area when he was coaching at Georgia Tech in 2022. 

Paired with his love for the state, the opportunity at Point allowed Lucky to lead a defense for the first time. The school’s values also helped make it a place he felt comfortable calling home. Another big reason for the decision was Lucky’s relationship with Point coach Trevor Zeiders. The two crossed paths during their stints at Dayton University and have kept in touch ever since. 

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“There’s a variety of reasons. No. 1 the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator or be able to lead on defense,” Lucky said. “I’m very passionate about that. No. 2, it’s in the state of Georgia. I love the state of Georgia and I love Georgia football. No. 3, it’s a Christian school. It’s aligned with my values, beliefs and way of living. No. 4, the head coach. Not only do we have a personal relationship, but there’s a mutual respect there. There was a variety of reasons. It was perfect. The timing was perfect.”

Lucky has had several different coaching stops. He spent four years as a student intern for Ohio’s football team before serving one year as a graduate assistant. Lucky served as the defensive backs coach at Dayton in 2018 and the outside linebackers coach at Morehead State in 2019. 

After his stop at Morehead State, Lucky became the defensive backs coach at Southern Arkansas before spending the 2021 season at Akron and the 2022 season at Georgia Tech. Prior to taking the job at Point, he worked as an intern for the New York Jets in 2023. 

Throughout his variety of coaching stops, several coaches have influenced Lucky. He learned from all the coaches along the way while also learning from his father-in-law who coached as well. 

“First would be Jimmy Burrow. His son is obviously Joe Burrow for the Cincinnati Bengals,” Lucky said. “I was a four-year undergraduate intern for Jimmy Burrow. He taught me how to coach. He taught me how to develop on the field.” 

“There’s been a ton of coaches that I could name,” Lucky said. “No. 2, Rick Chamberlin was the head coach at Dayton. He really just helped me polish my coaching etiquette. There are so many men that I could name. Most recently, I would say Tony Oden. He’s the DB coach for the New York Jets. He gave me so much knowledge and wisdom during my time interning there.” 

The internship with the New York Jets changed Lucky’s perspective on football. Football used to be a game to him, but his time with the Jets introduced more of the business side of the game. Lucky learned about rosters, contracts and professionalism during his time in New York. 

“It expanded my mind towards the business side of football,” Lucky said. “Obviously, it’s a great game, a great part of culture. The biggest piece the farther up you go is the business dynamic of football… That’s one of the things I gained from being with the Jets. The second thing is the professionalism combined with the intensity of the pro players. Just how serious it is, it’s their job.” 

Lucky has already started to get familiar with his new players. He has been reaching out and building a rapport with his defensive, and Lucky has also been watching their film and learning about the players. 

There was a lot of athleticism in Point’s secondary last season, and Lucky sees a lot of potential for the defense. Caleb Wade was a standout last season and Lucky is excited to coach him and the rest of the group. 

“I would say the entire team shows flashes of athleticism,” Lucky said. “It’s exciting. Specifically on defense, there are guys that show athleticism… Caleb Wade is one who pops on the tape and pops with the statistics, having four interceptions last year. I know we have a starting corner returning. That’s going to leave a lot of competition for the other spot. I see a lot of ability to defend the passing game.” 

Lucky shares the same goal as the rest of Point’s coaching staff, winning the conference. He also knows that there are some improvements to be made on the defensive side.
Penalties were an issue last season. The defense also allowed around 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards per game. Lucky knows those things need to be cleaned up in 2024. 

“The team goal is to win the conference,” Lucky said. “In regards to defense, we want to make sure that we give the ball back to the offense. We want to have a complimentary program…Whatever it takes to make sure the team is winning.” 

Several different philosophies have impacted Lucky’s coaching throughout the years. He has learned from a plethora of different coaches and he hopes to carry these philosophies over to the Skyhawks. 

“One of the philosophies that I carry is that athletes are a direct reflection of their coaches,” Lucky said. “I take pride in that. We’re not in control of athletes, but we have a lot of influence. How we carry ourselves, and how we approach life and the game, they will follow our lead.” 

“My second one is commitment must be made, a plan must be laid, a price must be paid,” Lucky added. “I adopted that from Jimmy Burrow. There’s so much commitment required to playing sports… You have to be committed to the process, and you have to have a plan. You can not linger around. We have to be intentional as a program, player, coach and staff. The price that has to be paid, I talk a lot about endurance. I talk about the ability to persevere, suffer, and finish. All of those things are paying the price. It’s sacrifices.”