Monday, 27 May 2024

Retirement Series: Nick Lucena

Nick Lucena, the two-time Olympian and seasoned professional beach volleyball player, has announced his retirement from the sport. After a successful career spanning two decades, Lucena is transitioning to coaching and has accepted a position as the beach volleyball assistant coach at Florida State University.

Lucena’s retirement came after the AVP’s Gold Series Atlanta Open, where he bid adieu to professional beach volleyball. His new role as a coach is not entirely new to him, as he previously served as the program’s volunteer assistant, helping guide the Seminoles to the national championship match. Additionally, he is married to the head coach, Brooke Niles, making their partnership all the more fitting.

“I’ve dedicated my life to beach volleyball. It’s the only thing I would say I’m an expert at,” Lucena expressed. “I’ve always enjoyed the coaching aspect of beach volleyball, whether it was clinics or volunteering at Florida State. When the opportunity arose, it was an easy decision.”

Lucena’s passion for Florida State runs deep, as he is an alumnus who has proudly represented the university for over two decades. He expressed his joy and excitement for the opportunity to continue being a part of the Seminole community.

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Reflecting on his time as a coach during the spring season, Lucena discovered that coaching elite athletes elicited the same adrenaline rush as competing himself. He found immense enjoyment in guiding and mentoring others, making the transition to coaching a natural progression for him.

Lucena’s career as a professional beach volleyball player is notable for his partnerships with various players, including longtime friend and partner Phil Dalhausser. Together, they achieved tremendous success, culminating in a fourth-place finish at the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship and multiple AVP victories. Lucena also competed with other partners, such as Matt Fuerbringer, Sean Scott, and Theo Brunner, before reuniting with Phil in 2015.

Lucena’s journey to the Olympics was an arduous one, with both highs and lows. He qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he and Phil reached the quarterfinals but were eventually eliminated by Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, the eventual gold medalists. Undeterred, they continued their Olympic pursuit and made it to the Round of 16 in Tokyo 2020, where they were defeated by bronze medalists Cherif Younousee and Ahmed Tijan.

Lucena’s retirement marks the end of an era in his life. Beach volleyball has played an integral role in shaping his career, introducing him to lifelong friends and even his wife. He cherishes the memories and experiences he gained along the way, particularly his time at USA Volleyball’s beach training facility in Torrance, California. Lucena expresses his gratitude for the people who worked there and the friendships he formed.

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Looking ahead, Lucena is excited about this new chapter in his life and is grateful for everything that beach volleyball has given him. Whether as a player or a coach, his dedication to the sport remains unwavering. His expertise and passion for beach volleyball have earned him a lasting legacy in the sport.

FAQs

Q: What prompted Nick Lucena’s decision to retire from professional beach volleyball?

A: Nick Lucena made the decision to retire from professional beach volleyball following the AVP’s Gold Series Atlanta Open. He expressed his desire to transition into coaching, which has always been an enjoyable aspect of his involvement in the sport.

Q: What role will Nick Lucena take on after his retirement?

A: Nick Lucena has taken on the role of beach volleyball assistant coach at Florida State University. This opportunity allows him to continue contributing to the sport he loves while sharing his expertise with aspiring athletes.

Q: How long did Nick Lucena have a career in professional beach volleyball?

A: Nick Lucena had an impressive career in professional beach volleyball spanning 20 years, from 2003 to 2022. During this time, he achieved numerous accolades and represented the United States in multiple Olympic Games.

Summary

Nick Lucena, a two-time Olympian and highly accomplished professional beach volleyball player, has announced his retirement from the sport. After 20 years of dedicating his life to beach volleyball, Lucena is transitioning to coaching and has accepted a position as the beach volleyball assistant coach at Florida State University. His decision to retire stems from his passion for coaching and his desire to continue contributing to the sport in a different capacity. Lucena’s career has been filled with success, including multiple international gold medals, AVP victories, and Olympic appearances. He leaves behind a lasting legacy in beach volleyball and is excited about this new chapter in his life as a coach. For more information, visit Alpinetgheep.com.

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