Class 4A boys basketball sectional - Merrillville vs Valparaiso

A frustrated Merrillville coach T.J. Lux watches his team recently during the Class 4A boys basketball sectional at Portage High School.

Merrillville boys basketball coach T.J. Lux has resigned, the school announced Thursday.

Lux posted a 132-67 record over eight seasons. He told The Times that balancing basketball and his family life became too much.

“Really, the bottom line is just the amount of time and commitment of the job. It's a year-round thing,” Lux told The Times. “I want to do what's best and what's right by the Merrillville basketball program.”

Lux's Pirates won sectional titles in 2012, 2013 and 2017 and regional titles in 2013 and 2017. Merrillville finished 11-13 this season.

Lux graduated from Merrillville in 1995, helping win three sectionals, two regionals and leading the Pirates to the state title game as a senior. He went on to star at Northern Illinois, helping the Huskies nearly upset Texas Tech in the 1996 NCAA Tournament first round and eventually playing several pro seasons in France.

Lux has three sons and said he hopes to spend more time with them. He said the 24 hours leading up to the announcement were “draining,” as he has been attending Merrillville basketball games since the 1984-85 season, when he was 7 years old.

Merrillville co-athletic director Janis Qualizza said she had known for the past couple of years that Lux would have to make a decision on whether he wanted to continue committing so much time to basketball.

Qualizza said Merrillville hopes to find a replacement quickly so as to set players' summer schedules as soon as possible. Lux praised the position as “the best job in the state” due to the talent pool and administrative support.

“He's one of us,” Qualizza said of Lux. “We're sad to see him go.”


Robbie Weinstein covers Porter County prep sports and Valparaiso University athletics for The Times. You can find the Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University grad posted up on the nearest field of play or in front of the TV.