Life Christian Academy
Mark Lovelady receives the Frosty Westering Excellence in Coaching Award for his basketball coaching career but his contribution to Life Christian Academy and the Tacoma area in general both exhibit far broader reach that just the court. Entering the 2017-18 season, Lovelady’s LCA teams had won 363 games, seven league titles and made 12 state tournament appearances. In recognition of his first state tournament appearance, based on a challenge he had made with his team, Lovelady skateboarded from LCA to the Tacoma Dome down 19th street. Last season, the Eagles placed third at the Class 2B state tournament. A seven-time league coach of the year, Lovelady is one of three current coaches in Washington who have coached at the same school for 25 years. His alumni have gone on to compete at Washington State University, Seattle Pacific University, PLU, Pepperdine, San Jose State, Hawaii Hilo, and various community colleges. Beyond the court, he has been a central figure at Life Christian as a teacher, principal, athletic director and dean of students. Lovelady has been instrumental in a variety of youth programs as a mentor, assistant youth pastor and soccer coach. Hundreds of his Friday nights have been filled with volunteer activity to help kids build character and life skills. Much of his lessons come through athletics. Lovelady was a standout athlete himself at Steilacoom High School (’87). He played two seasons of varsity basketball. The Sentinels made it to state both years. But it was his running legs that were even more impressive. He was a four-year varsity letter-winner in both cross country and track. He was a two-time district cross country champion and ran at the state meet all four years. On the track, he placed in the mile at state and Steilacoom won the state title three of his four years. He ran cross country at Highline CC and placed 10th in the NWACC. He has been married to Jennifer for 23 years and has four children: daughter Alexis, son Luke (the state 2B player of the year for 2016-17 and now playing basketball at Point Loma Nazarene), daughter Landyn (a sophomore three-sport athlete at LCA), and 6th grader Ashton.