Nick Lusic, a standout athlete at San Pedro High School who would later coach Eastview Little League to the Little League World Series in 1989, passed away on May 8 at 70.
When the subject of all-time great San Pedro athletes comes up — and it comes up often — Lusic’s name has always been part of the conversation.
Born Nicholas John Lusic in Milwaukee, Wis., to Ivo and Radmila Lusic, who came to the U.S. from the former Yugoslavia (now Croatia), Lusic’s family, which included his two brothers Mike (older) and George (younger), moved west to San Pedro in 1960.
Lusic attended 15th Street School and Dana Jr. High, but his athletic prowess took shape at San Pedro High School. Although he was an incredible all-around athlete, earning first-team All-Marine League as a point guard in basketball, Lusic’s passion was focused on the baseball diamond.
Lusic graduated from SPHS in 1971 after being awarded All-City infielder/pitcher and All-League third baseman (twice). He went on to Cal Poly Pomona and played baseball under celebrated head coach John Scolinos. Lusic and his brother George would be inducted into the San Pedro High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Lefty Olguin, another San Pedro legend who has coached for over four decades, says that if asked to “pick an all-star team, his first choice would be Nick Lusic,” according to the 2014 SPHS Athletic Hall of Fame program.
After his playing days, Lusic married his “one and only love,” Kristine Spence, in 1976, and raised three children, Nick, Ryan, and Andria. Fatherhood brought on a new passion: coaching.
Lusic would coach hundreds of kids in Little League and softball, including a memorable trip to the Little League World Series in 1989 as part of the coaching staff of Eastview’s All-Star team.
In recent years, Lusic became a grandfather and enjoyed all the duties that come with wrangling seven grandkids (Karly, Steven, and Kelsey Kordic, Camryn and Kendall Lusic, and Niko and Nika Lusic).
Before becoming a proud member of ILWU Local 13 for more than 25 years, Lusic owned a local industrial painting company. He was still working as a clerk for Local 63 at the time of his passing.
Lusic is survived by his wife, Kris; their three children, Nick, Ryan, and Andria; seven grandkids; his brothers Mike (Roseann) Lusic and George (Sharon) Lusic; sister-in-law, Patty (Chris) Davis, and numerous extended family members. spt