In 2009, Florida’s Lee County Strikers U13 Girls Soccer Team won first place honors in both the FC Fusion Cup and Orange Classic Girls International Tournament. The Strikers were also first runner-up in the 2010 FLUGSA Div 1 Regional Cup. In 2008, the team did not exist. The reason for the team’s rapid ascent to a competitive level is attributed mostly to our Coach of the Week, Mike Lukas.
Coach Lukas chartered the Strikers after taking a year off from coaching. He wrote that during his year off he found himself lost - suddenly a coach without a team. In fact Lukas contends that the most difficult time in his entire coaching tenure was the year he watched from the sidelines.
“I thought coaching was tough, forget that, being a parent watching was the hardest thing I've done," wrote Coach Lukas. "At that point I realized the only sideline for me was the one the team was sitting on."
Coach Lukas explained that he was warmly welcomed back by players and coaches alike. His fan base at home was no different. His wife and children were in full support of his quest to return to the fields.
So Coach Lukas returned to the game he so loves, and did what any formally displaced coach would do. He started a brand new team and lead them to high honors at three prestigious Florida tournaments.
Why does Lukas love coaching so much? Our honored coach wrote, “Coaching after work is the biggest stress relief I have, that and watching my three girls do things they enjoy." His mantra, live for today because life is to short.
Lukas, a native of Bethel, Connecticut, is about as passionate a coach as they come. He is a retired firefighter by profession, and a proud father of three girls. He believes teaching, motivating, and giving his players life lessons that will help their future as a player and a person, is a great undertaking celebrated by coaches all over the world.
Coach Lukas is also a firm believer in leading and coaching by example. Thorough preparation, open communication and continuous learning are the cornerstones of his coaching philosophy.
Coach Lukas is currently looking forward to a brand new competitive Division 1 team made up of girls from all over Lee County. Good luck next year coach, we here at Weplay know you’ll do great!
Coach Lukas' Keys to Success:
Coaching Philosophy: Always something new to learn
Open Communication: Players, Coaches, Parents