By Andreas Butler
For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH -- The city is renaming the athletic fields at Derbyshire Park the Harold V Lucas Jr. Athletic Complex.
The City Commission approved the measure by a 5-2 vote at its regular meeting Feb. 6.
Mr. Lucas, 80, is a retired educator and coach with 40 years combined experience as an educator. His coaching experience in basketball, football, track and field, and swimming spans 50 years.
Not everyone is supportive of the fields being named after Lucas.
"I have nothing against (Coach) Lucas, but a lot of people in the Derbyshire area just didn't want the fields named after anyone. The name Derbyshire itself and its fields and courts are legendary," said Patrick Henry, Daytona Beach Zone 5 Commissioner.
To those who know him, Lucas is a person who is always willing to help.
"I've known Mr. Lucas my entire life. He has played a special role in my life. He has always been a giver and not a taker. (Mr.) Lucas has dedicated his entire life to educating young people in this community. He has been a coach and a mentor and continues to do so today," said Lynn Thompson, Bethune-Cookman University Director of Athletics.
"He is a man of his word. He always does what ever he can to help somebody whether it's give them his advice, his time or his resources," D'Lorah Hycinth said.
Ms. Hycinth is Lucas' daughter and she took the steps to get the fields named after him.
"He is a very supportive and loving father. At the same time he is very protective. He always tells you the truth and not what you want to hear. My father is also a good advisor," Ms. Hycinth said.
Mr. Lucas has coached and taught at Bethune-Cookman University, Campbell High, Campbell Junior High and Mainland High schools in Daytona Beach and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine where he started the track and field program. He also taught at Daytona State College.
His former players remember him as a stern, but fair coach.
"He was rigid but he was an excellent coach. He coached us along with Betty Bethune. Coach Lucas was also a teacher and he was the driver for the bus. He was also like a father figure to some," said Cathy Washington.
Ms. Washington played for him at Campbell High and was a member of the 1966-67 state championship team.
As a child, Mr. Lucas often visited the Bethune-Cookman campus with his father, who had close ties to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
Mr. Lucas is a Wildcat graduate, former teacher, football player, mascot, water boy and trainer. He has contributed to the school financially and is credited with founding the business department at the institution.
"He is the story of Bethune-Cookman. He was raised on this campus. He was our second mascot when he was a kid. Back then kids were mascots. He was an athlete, a coach and employee at this school. He put his time and effort into this institution and his name is emblazoned around here on buildings and accommodations. He has left an indelible mark on this school. He coached football here as an assistant under Andy Hinson, Wesley Moore and Jack 'Cy' McClairen," Mr. Thompson said.
Mr. Lucas also is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean War. He is a member of New Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Daytona Beach and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Derbyshire Park consists of baseball and softball fields, a football field, a tennis court, racquetball court, basketball courts and soccer fields.
The city also is building the Yvonne Scarlet-Golden Educational and Cultural Center at the site on the back end of the baseball fields off Third Street.