In the many years spent as a student you come across all kinds of teachers from the passionate to the burnt out. It has been my pleasure to have had a great teacher or two at every level of schooling. One of these amazing teachers was Mr. Lugo. He was my high school Spanish teacher. Two weeks ago, Mr. Lugo passed away at the young age of 61 years old. Mr. Lugo was more than a teacher. He was a coach and a mentor. For almost 40 years he taught and coached at Canoga Park High after he, himself, was a student at the school. He may sound familiar to you because he was in the LA Times twice in the past two weeks. His obituary ran on Thursday October 23 and yesterday he made the Sports Section.
Mr. Lugo was the cool teacher. He was even tempered and fair. He was energetic and he cared. Mr. Lugo was my brother's wrestling coach. My brother lacked a strong male figure in his life and Coach Lugo was someone he looked up to. I believe and know that Coach Lugo was that for many young men that he mentored throughout the many years he taught. That being said he was also a regular guy. He was a humble and respectful kind of guy. Through his simple, consistent, and dedicated actions he became an inspiration and a role model. The way Mr. Lugo lived his life made an extraordinary impact on those he taught and encountered.
A testament to his life and influence was shown when 4000 strong came to honor him last night at the Canoga High Homecoming Football game. The field was dedicated in his name and will forever be known as Rudy Lugo Field. It is a fitting tribute to a man who made such an impact on and off the field.
Thank you Mr. Lugo for all your years of dedicated and passionate teaching. Thank you for being the kind of teacher that inspires. Thank you for being the kind of man that boys want to emulate. Thank you for being you. You will be missed and never forgotten.
1947 - 2008