After all, the team's head coach founded the Wolfpack's program in 1970. In the last 43 years, Luzzi's teams have won eight regional, four Catholic League and three sectional titles, and they advanced to the state quarterfinals in 1998.
But they had never reached the Final Four.
That changed after this week's 1-0 victory over Antioch in a Class 2A super-sectional that catapulted the Wolfpack to Friday morning's state semis against Wheaton Academy at Hoffman Estates High School.
"For him, you could see the emotion when we made history," said senior forward Bryan Long, of Chatham, who scored the only goal in the win against Antioch. "He has a tough exterior, but after the game it looked like he was on the verge of tears. It was great for me seeing how proud he was of us."
Luzzi, 66, simply said he was happy to be practicing and preparing for another opponent this late in the season. Asked what's changed over the last four decades plus, Luzzi dryly answered: "Well, I know a lot more now than I did then."
Luzzi never played or coached soccer until 1970, when a group of St. Ignatius students of Ukrainian descent wanted to start a team. Luzzi, who had been the sophomore basketball head coach, agreed to lead the soccer program.
"Soccer wasn't big around here at that time," said Luzzi, of Oak Forest. "And I had a lot to learn."
Luzzi said he's still learning, which he stressed is the best part of continuing to coach.
His players marvel that he has remained at St. Ignatius since the Nixon administration, accruing an overall record of 483-409-94.
"I don't know how he does it, and I know I wouldn't be able to do it," said senior right back Mike Knight, of Park Ridge. "It's pretty incredible."
Luzzi doesn't have a nickname, but he might as well be called "Mr. St. Ignatius." He is a 1965 St. Ignatius grad, and his three children graduated from the school. Luzzi also has taught several math classes, including algebra and geometry, for the last 43 years at the school, which was founded in 1869 and was one of the few buildings to survive the Chicago Fire.
The only years of his life he wasn't at Ignatius were as a boy growing up in Back of the Yards and when he was an undergraduate at DePaul University and a master's student at Loyola University Chicago.
"He is a part of the foundation at St. Ignatius, and he has created a legacy that will be remembered for many years, both in the athletic department and on the academic side in his role as a teacher," said Luzzi's only son, Eric, the men's soccer head coach at Northern Illinois University.
Senior center back John Devitt has known Luzzi since 2006, when the first of his three older siblings — all St. Ignatius products — attended the school on Roosevelt Road. The La Grange resident, who initially participated in Luzzi's youth soccer camps, said the coach always has given him confidence to excel.
Senior midfielder Marco Sanchez, of Gage Park, missed the first part of this season with a shoulder injury. When he was cleared to play in late September, the first person he told was Luzzi.
"He's a serious guy, and he just had a huge smile on his face," Sanchez said. "It was just a special moment."
Eric Luzzi said he's been amazed that his dad hasn't lost the spark to coach, and the fact that the Wolfpack has deployed some of their top teams ever in the last five years.
That "says a lot about how good of a coach he is and how much he still enjoys it," Eric Luzzi said.
St. Ignatius won a school-record 20 games last year, and they're 18-5-1 this season. The 2012 campaign ended in controversy when a regional final game was called because of darkness, with St. Ignatius losing 3-2 to Hinsdale Central in overtime.
The Wolfpack players said their motto this season is about taking care of unfinished business — and winning the school's first team state title in any boys sport.
Win or lose, Luzzi said he will be back next season, and likely many more after that.
"The students here generally are great, and I guess the reason I've been here so long is because they keep challenging you," he said. "Every class is different. Every team is different. It keeps you wanting to come back."