Norm Lacy, 56, the Santa Monica High School athletic director, died Saturday, May 30 after suffering a heart attack while on vacation with wife, Patty.
Lacy is a local legend for coaching two Santa Monica high school teams to California Interscholastic Federation football championships, St Monica Catholic in 1998 and twice at Samohi. He stopped coaching in 2003 and served as athletic director to countless of Samohi students.
Head football Coach Travis Clark, a former Viking’s player, remembers Lacy as both his coach and as his colleague on the coaching staff at St. Monica’s and afterward when Lacy invited him to Samohi where the two led the team during the 2001 championship season. Clark said Lacy was a “mentor and friend” that dedicated his life to the passion of football. He said Lacy is a “winner” and “pillar of strength” in the community that will be “remembered forever.”
“No one can ever replace him, it’s impossible,” Clark said of filling Lacy’s now-vacant position as athletic director. “Yes, they can fill his shoes, but I wouldn’t want to be that guy.”
Norman Grey Lacy Jr. was born Jan. 12, 1954, in San Juan, Texas. He grew up in Pacifica, Calif., and played football and wrestling at Terra Nova High School. He served as an offensive lineman at University of Southern California in the 1970s. Clark said he dedicated his life to “helping kids learn the value of life through the sport of football.”
Former Vikings football player and current Samohi Baseball coach, Sheldon Philip-Guide said Lacy’s coaching style was infectious, and it made the team play better, “he just had that way to make you better.” When Sheldon was a football player, Lacy would get so driven about the football games, that it energized players to do well for him, to try to please him as best they could.
“He was a good man,” Philip-Guide said. “He led by example, and he wanted to be successful, so he made a path for himself and followed it.”
A pre-game ceremony for Lacy was held before the Samohi Viking’s softball 1-0 win against Torrance on Tuesday, June 1. A memorial for Lacy will be at St. Monica Church in SM on Wednesday, June 2. A fundraiser will be held for the Cody Williams Recovery Fund and will honor Lacy with a special tribute on June 5, at the Santa Monica High School track.
The fundraiser will allow community members to get together to pay tribute to a dedicated director and donate to a program that will aid the injured Samohi athlete, Cody Williams. The event will feature a scrimmage game, vendors, and a silent auction. Any funds contributed to the Lacy family will go to the school’s athletic fund.
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