By Chris Parker & Mark Spillane
Former Dora head basketball and baseball coach Rick Luna is taking over as the head coach of the Viola (Ark.) basketball program. He will also be an assistant baseball coach. His contract was not renewed by the Dora School Board in a 5 to 1 vote back in February according to the West Plains Daily Quill.
He will coach his triplet sons Mason, Bryson and Auston Luna for their senior seasons in Arkansas. Getting his sons into the right situation for their senior seasons was an important consideration for Luna as he looked for his next coaching job.
“My boys are very competitive, and I wanted to get them in a good fit, a good situation (for their senior years),” Luna said. “They (Viola) won 29 games this past year and bring back four returning starters. You add my three boys with that bunch and we are going to have lots of depth and be very talented.”
The Luna triplets are also standout baseball players and will look to help Viola win a state baseball title in addition to a basketball title. Viola won the Class 1 state baseball championship in 2019.
On the basketball court, Viola will show a similar style to what Dora has in recent years.
“I met with them yesterday for the first time. I really like what I saw. I think we are going to be a very good team that is able to get up and down the floor; very comparable to what I had at Dora,” Luna said. “It is going to take a little bit to get in there and to get my system in, but at the same time I am bringing three guys who know the system. It is not like going in as a new coach with a whole new team. I have the advantage of three guys who know the system and have been running the system since they were four years old. They are going to be able to help these other guys. I think that is going to be a really big advantage for us coming in.”
The move marks the end of an era for the Lunas at Dora. The Falcons won the Class 1 state championship this past winter with a 32-2 record. Dora basketball posted an overall record of 86-8 over the past three seasons that also included a state runner-up finish in 2019.
Much of the success of those teams was thanks to the Luna triplets and Missouri State commit Isaac Haney. Haney has transferred from Dora to Kickapoo, but the Luna family and Haney won’t be far from each other’s minds despite the distance between their schools.
“A lot of people don’t realize, but my boys and Isaac (Haney) are cousins. We go to church together. We are very close. We will be talking to Isaac and we will be following him like he is following us,” Luna said.
Luna is looking forward to coaching his kids through their senior years, and he doesn’t foresee giving up coaching any time soon even after his boys graduate.
“I still have the coaching bug in me. I don’t plan on giving it up any time soon,” Luna said.