Longtime Buckhannon-Upshur High School teacher and coach Danny Wayne Lantz, 73, passed away on the evening of April 24, at his home in Davie, FL., according to family members.
Lantz, who was a 1963 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School and 2018 inductee into the Buckhannon-Upshur Athletic Hall of Fame, excelled as both a student athlete and as a coach for his alma mater.
As a high school athlete, he was a letterman in football, baseball and wrestling. As a student athlete at Glenville State College he lettered in baseball all four years.
He began his coaching career at B-UHS in 1969 as an assistant boys’ basketball coach. In 1970 he picked coaching spots as assistant baseball and girls’ basketball coach.
Lantz became assistant baseball coach in 1971 under Larry West. The team earned a state championship in 1972. He became head coach in 1977. He held that position for 14 years until 1991.
He also served as athletic trainer from 1975 to 1996, and wrestling coach from 1980-84. He was honored as Big 10 Coach of the Year in 1981 as the wrestling coach.
He retired from teaching in 1996 leaving a large legacy as a teacher, coach and former student athlete.
In 2018 he was inducted into the Buckhannon-Upshur Sports Hall of Fame but was unable to attend due to health concerns.
In a letter that was read during his induction ceremony, “Due to my health issues I am unable to be with you except in spirit. I can’t name everyone that contributed to my life to make this honor possible, but I do want to recognize two individuals who were a major influence in my life. One is gone before us and that is Frank Feola who was so instrumental in my life. He believed in me as a player, teacher and coach. The second is Larry West. Larry has been a mentor and true friend. To all my former teachers, students and coaches I want to thank you for being part of my life. To my family who survived the long hours I was away from you, I say thank you and I love you.”
He was inducted into the hall by friend and fellow teacher Mida Peterson.
After graduating from GSC, he received his master’s degree from West Virginia University. He remained a devoted Mountaineer fan throughout his life.
He was also champion archer winning tournaments in both West Virginia and Florida. He was also an avid fisherman.
Lantz was also active in the community as a concerned citizen serving on a number of boards and being involved in various groups.
Lantz was appointed by former Governor Arch Moore to serve on the Governors Highway Safety Committee and was instrumental in starting ambulance service in Upshur County of which he was a charter member. He was a former member of the WV Strawberry Festival board of directors and the Buckhannon Jaycees.
In addition, to all of these accolades, Danny also wrote a sports column for The Record Delta.