Bippy Luckie Elected To North Country Sports Hall Of Fame
BY DAVE SHEA
WATERTOWN - Former Ogdensburg Free Academy great Elizabeth Bippy Luckie has added to the vast array of accolades in her association with athletes as a high school, collegiate and international softball player and a college coach and administrator.
Luckie has been honored as a member of the 2020 Class of the North Country Sports Hall of Fame which is based in Watertown.
The former Ogdensburg Free Academy, Jefferson Community College and Sacred Heart University standout also played for the United States Olympic Team. She coached NCAA Division I Softball at Sacred Heart for over 30 years.
Other members of the class are: - Mike Aubel, a three-sport star at Lowville who played football and baseball at St. Lawrence. - Mike Powell, a Carthage product who became a four-time First Team All-America for Syracuse University Lacrosse, Watertown native Don Fazio who played for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles systems, longtime Beaver River Wrestling Coach Wayne Ferguson and Sandy Creek multi-sport standout Terri Haynes.
Additional members of the class and the date of the induction ceremony which be announced soon.
LANDMARK COACHING CAREER
Sacred Heart University Women’s Softball Coach Elizabeth “Bippy” Luckie was honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for achieving 600 wins at Sacred Heart where she achieved All-American honors and set school records as a player. Luckie completed her 30th season at the SHU helm with 616 wins which will be her career total. Luckie has continued her career at Sacred Heart as the college’s Senior Associate Athletic Director. Luckie became the SHU Head Coach in 1989 and guided five teams to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championships and NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. She was voted NECC Coach of the Year in 1990,91,92 and 95 and guided the transition of the Pioneer program to the NCAA Division I level. In 2009, Luckie and Co-Head Coach Pam London led the program to its first ever Northeast Conference Championship earning a spot in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The duo was also honored as the Coaches of the Year in the NEC after leading the Pioneers to the school’s first win in any sport at an NCAA Division Tournament with a 3-1 victory over Cornell. During that 2009 run Luckie inspired her players as they refused to lose while their coach underwent chemotherapy to beat breast cancer. In 2018 she was inducted into trhe New Agenda: Northeast Hall of Fame. In 1988 New Agenda: Northeast began its Hall of Fame to honor those women who have helped advance the role of women in sports in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER Bippy Luckie came to SHU in 1982 after establishing herself as one of the all-time best female athletes at Ogdensburg Free Academy and Section 10, a Softball and Basketball All-American at Jefferson Community College in Watertown. In two years she extended her place among “the best ever” at SHU. As an All-American shortstop, Luckie played a key role in Sacred Heart’s three consecutive NCAA Division II Final Four appearances from 1983-85. She concluded her career with a .357 batting average and set two school records that still stand today, 71 hits in a season and 110 total bases in a season. She was also an all-conference basketball player and averaged 19.9 points per game as junior. In 1997 she was inducted into the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame. In 2007, her number 10 was retired by Sacred Heart in recognition of her accomplishments and dedication to the University. She was also inducted with the first class at the JCC Sports Hall of Fame. She also played for the legendary Stratford, Conn. Brakettes which has been the dominant women’s team in the American Softball Association National Tournament for seven decades. She played on the Brakettes squad which represented the United States and won a Gold Medal the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles where softball was a demonstration sport. Representing the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club she went from a local Basketball Hot Shot Contest to the national finals where she placed second. “That is where I got my start, at the club. That is where I my great love for sports developed and so many people encouraged me,” said Luckie at the time of her retirement as Sacred Heart's Softball coach.
She played her first competitive diamond action in the Ogdensburg Kiwanis Grasshopper Baseball.