Stoeckle Named Football Coach

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Reprinted with Permission by The Record Delta

Written by sports reporter Andrew Reiner

Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s new football head coach will take over control of the Bucs after spending 16 years in the program as an assistant coach. Duane Stoeckle first began coaching at Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1997, when head coach Greg Hill hired him to coach the freshmen. Along the way, Stoeckle also served as an assistant under head coaches Don Swisher, Eddie Vincent, Dave Chipps and Bill Struble, before officially being named the Bucs’ new head coach Tuesday at the Upshur County Board of Education’s monthly meeting.

“I got my start teaching as well as coaching football at Buckhannon- Upshur High School, so I feel very invested in the program and I want both to be the best they can be,” Stoeckle said in an interview Thursday. “This is a very special opportunity for me. I feel very fortunate to have a chance to help turn things around in this program.”

According to Stoeckle, all other incumbent B-UHS assistant coaches from former head coach Bill Struble’s staff will remain on board heading into the 2013 season.

“As far as I know, everyone is planning on being back,” Stoeckle said Thursday. “My moving up to head coach does open up another [assistant] coaching position, which will be posted after spring break. We’re probably looking for an offensive line or defensive line kind of guy.”

Stoeckle has also spent the past five seasons coaching basketball, first as a freshman and junior varsity coach under former head coach Doug Bush and currently as a junior varsity coach under current head coach Eli Gurash. Stoeckle said Thursday that he plans to “stay with basketball as long as possible,” provided he can meet the time demands of coaching in both sports.

When his Bucs prepare take to the field for the first time next season, hosting Bridgeport on Aug. 30, Stoeckle said he plans to implement a triple-option offense “very similar to the service academies — Army, Navy and Air Force — which fits our personnel,” as well as a 3-5-3 formation on defense. Stoeckle said he wants to “use West Virginia Wesleyan [College] as a resource for that,” as incoming coach George Shehl installs a similar defense and Stoeckle’s son, current Wesleyan freshman Scott Stoeckle, continues to work as a student assistant coach.

Still, teaching a new set of Xs and Os is only the sixth most important item on a list of eight goals Stoeckle outlined as he interviewed for the position. Those goals, as told in Thursday’s interview, are as follows:

1. Improve relations with and gain the support of our administration, faculty, student body, parents, boosters and community members.

2. Support the academic and athletic success of our student athletes and develop an educational plan for the time they start in our program as freshmen all the way through to their senior year.

3. Develop a program to recruit player pride. The week after spring break, we’re going to start a recruiting drive in the cafeteria area, and our goal is to get kids out to play, even if they haven’t played football in a few years. Especially with our seniors, we’re going to need their leadership to get things going.

4. Preserve and enhance our athletic facilities. We have a beautiful stadium, but our locker room and weight room need work. We want to get them painted and cleaned so that our players can take pride in them.

5. Increase player safety. With concussions and the heat in August [during training camp and early-season games], we want to have a checklist and make players aware of the signs of danger.

6. Create a winning offense, defense and special teams and strength and conditioning program in the offseason.

7. Increase and improve relationships with all Upshur County programs, from the youth leagues to the middle school program and even at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

8. Ultimately develop, plan and organize a winning program. We got good glimpses at that last season early in the year against Bridgeport and University, but when things got tough, we folded up and didn’t respond to the challenge. Our motto is going to be ‘B.U.C.S.’ — Believe U Can Succeed. Every time we say ‘Bucs,’ we want to remind the players of that.”

According to Stoeckle, incumbent B-U players have already begun an offseason n weightlifting program held in conjunction with the B-UHS boys’ basketball team. However, when the Bucs are able to officially return to the field for practices during the three-week open period for out-of-season coaching, Stoeckle says he is looking forward to putting his own imprint on the team’s on-field approach.
“There are a million things to do, but I’m really looking forward to developing my own offense and defense with the team. As an assistant coach, I’ve always run someone else’s offense or defense. “And, I’m especially looking forward to working with the seniors in particular, who have been through so much with this program, and trying to help them succeed.”

Duane Stoeckle is a 1986 secondary education graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan College.