Dewey Lusk will begin his second season as the head coach of the UVa-Wise football program in 2012 following an exciting 2011 campaign. A year ago, Lusk spent his first season as a head coach after working as an assistant for 26 seasons. The long awaited first game for Lusk was a thriller as the Cavaliers opened the season with a 37-29 home victory over nationally ranked Webber International. Two weeks later, Lusk and his Cavs squared off with local rival Emory & Henry for what many labeled as the final meeting of the two schools. The Emory & Henry alumnus and former assistant will go down as the head coach of one of the more memorable games in UVa-Wise history as the Cavs scored on a lateral punt return on the game's final play to upend the Wasps 33-30. Overall, Lusk's crew would go 5-6 in 2011, a two win improvement over the 2010 Cavs.
In his tenure, Lusk has been known as an offensive mastermind. During his stint as the offensive coordinator, Lusk helped UVa-Wise become one of the most vaunted offensive juggernauts in NAIA football. In 2008, the Cavalier offense finished fourth in the NAIA in scoring offense (41.4 ppg) while finishing second in the nation in pass efficiency (174.9) and total offense (477.5 yds./gm). The Cavs led the Mid-South East in scoring offense, pass efficiency and total offense that season as well. Quarterback Randy Hippeard highlighted the 2008 offensive attack by becoming the first UVa-Wise quarterback to lead the nation in total offense (339.9 yds/gm) and passing yards (330.6 yds/gm)
In 2009, UVa-Wise once again had an outstanding offense and the individual honors continued to roll in. Wide receiver Jason Lovett was named NAIA All-American, while quarterback Brad Robbins, wide receiver Matt Barbour, and lineman Brian Pisani were named Mid-South East All-Conference. As a unit, the Cavaliers found the turf of Carl Smith Stadium to be friendly; the offense produced nearly 30 points per game at home.
In his final season as an assistant, the Cavaliers began implementing a new offensive philosophy of balance on the offensive side of the ball. UVa-Wise rushed for almost 1,800 yards that season, their highest single season total since 2007. While the passing totals dropped to an average of 163 yards per game, the rushing total increased to 163 yards per game, the highest total since the Cavs claimed the 2007 Mid-South East title.
The former offensive coordinator came to UVa-Wise after serving 14 years as an assistant coach to the now retired Emory & Henry College head coach Lou Wacker. While at Emory & Henry, Lusk served as the football team's offensive coordinator in addition to the school's head baseball coach. On the diamond, Lusk led the Wasps to more victories than any other coach in Emory & Henry history.
Lusk earned his bachelor's degree from Emory & Henry and master's degree from Gardner-Webb University, where he also served as an assistant coach. The Christiansburg High School product graduated in 1981.
Coach Lusk is married to Mily Dover of Shelby, NC and they have two children, Gil and Landi,
Justin Hamilton enters his second season as defensive coordinator for the UVa-Wise football program in 2012. In his first season, Hamilton's defense allowed just over 31 points per game, an improvement of nearly five points per game from the 2010 season. The defensive unit had its strongest day of the season on October 1 when UVa-Wise shut out host West Virginia Tech 13-0 to cap off a three game winning streak. Following his inaugural campaign, Hamilton saw two players earn first-team All-Mid-South Conference accolades as Marcus Bratton and Amondre Johnson were named to the squad.
Prior to last season, Hamilton worked with the football program as the school's strength and conditioning coordinator.
A star at the local Clintwood High School, Hamilton was one of the most prolific athletes in Southwest Virginia. A four year football starter who was recruited by numerous NCAA Division I schools, Hamilton also excelled at basketball and track, where he was a competitor at the VHSL state track meet.
After his high school football career ended, Hamilton decided to sign his letter of intent with Virginia Tech to play football. Playing under one of the most successful coaches in Frank Beamer, Hamilton received firsthand knowledge of how a successful football program operates. Receiving playing time at running back, wide receiver, defensive back and on special teams, Hamilton was a valuable contributor for the Virginia Tech program. Playing mostly on the defensive side of the ball, Hamilton had a unique opportunity to study under one of the most sought-after defensive coordinators in college football, Bud Foster. Foster, who consistently has Virginia Tech in the upper echelon of defensive statistics, provided a great example for Hamilton to essentially learn to coach as a player. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Hamilton became a member of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons before finishing his career as a Washington Redskin in 2008.
Hamilton earned a bachelor's degree in consumer studies at Virginia Tech; he and his wife Brittany live in Wise, Virginia.
In 2012, John Kuczko will return for his 16th season as an assistant coach for the UVa-Wise football program. This season, Kuczko is in his second consecutive season as the program's defensive line coach after spending two seasons as defensive coordinator.
A year ago, Kuczko's defensive line produced 11 sacks while sophomore Walter Mickey earned All Mid-South Honorable Mention honors by the league's coaches. In addition, the defensive line aided UVa-Wise to a 13-0 shutout over West Virginia Tech as the defensive unit limited the Golden Bears to just 170 yards of offense while also producing four turnovers in the Mid-South win.
During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Kuczko served as the school's defensive coordinator. As coordinator, Kuczko saw the defense make remarkable strides in his first season. In 2008, the Cavs' were ranked 18th in the nation in sacks with 30 and 20th in the nation in opponents third down conversions, holding opponents to a 31% success rate. The unit tied for sixth in the nation with 18 pass interceptions to go along with 13 forced fumbles. A year ago, Kuczko's defense forced back to back shutouts in victories over Newport News Apprentice and West Virginia Tech. The defensive unit was very impressive inside Carl Smith Stadium in 2009. In five home games, the defense held opponents to 19.8 points per game. In 2010, Kuczko's unit was one of the strengths of the Cavalier squad, racking up 11 sacks and 52 tackles for loss.
Prior to becoming defensive coordinator, Kuczko served as the program's defensive line coach from 1997-2007. Throughout his tenure, he has also played an integral part of the recruiting process. Along with other Cavalier coaches, he has traveled the state to meet with young men and their parents about the possibility of becoming a Cavalier.
The coach and his wife, Donna, who live in Abingdon, Virginia, have two daughters, Kelly and Shea. Kelly and her husband Shawn Good live in Christiansburg and they have two daughters, Hayse and Rinnah along with a son Gatlen. Shea is married to Zach Tritt and they have a daughter, Tallinn and a son Gaines, the couple lives in Abingdon.
Luke Logan is in his second season as an assistant coach at UVa-Wise. The former Cavalier tight end served as a graduate assistant a year ago before being promoted to offensive line coach for the 2012 campaign. In addition to his offensive line responsibilities, Logan coordinates game day and practice filming as well as game tape exchange with opposing coaches. The Pound, Virginia native also evaluates game film of incoming recruits and gives on campus tours to recruits who visit UVa-Wise.
Logan graduated from UVa-Wise in 2010 with a degree in history. The coach is currently on pace to graduate from Emory and Henry College in the spring with a master's degree in history. Logan lives in Pound, Virginia.
Mike Rhodes enters his second year as inside linebackers coach at UVa-Wise in 2012. He is a 2004 graduate of Virginia Intermont. Rhodes has coached footbal, baseball, and wrestling. Combined, the Lafayette, Louisiana native boasts over 10 years of coaching experience.
Rhodes and his wife Leah reside in Gate City, Virginia.
Former Cavalier Brandon Moore is in his first season back at his alma mater serving as the team's outside linebackers and special teams coach. During his playing career, Moore was twice selected an All Mid-South Conference performer while finishing second in the nation in average yards per kickoff return as a junior.
Following his collegiate career, Moore played professionally overseas in Switzerland before returning to the United States. The coach graduated from UVa-Wise in 2008 with a degree in sport management. Moore lives in Wise, Virginia.
Nick Leftwich is in his first season as a student-assistant coach following a three year career in a Cavalier uniform. During his career, Leftwich appeared in 11 games at quarterback while also spending time at wide receiver. The Salem, Virginia native has the distinction of being one of the only players in program history that has thrown a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown, and caught a touchdown pass in his career.
This season, the former Cav will be responsible for coaching the running backs while also assisting in day-to-day operations of the program. Leftwich is currently a senior at UVa-Wise.