TENNERTON – Duane Stoeckle, head coach of the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer football program since 2013, announced his retirement this week from that position.
Stoeckle will also retire as a social studies teacher from Buckhannon-Upshur High School.
“It was simply time to start the next chapter in my life,” stated Stoeckle. “I have been teaching in Upshur County schools for 29 years, I worked three years at West Virginia Wesleyan and substitute taught in the Pittsburgh area for a year, so that is a lot of years of working and I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life. My wife retired last year, and she is enjoying it. So, I think we are going to have some fun and do some things while we are still young enough to do them.”
Stoeckle said while it was time to move on to the next chapter in his life, it wasn’t an easy decision to make leaving from something that he is so passionate about in the game of football.
“Football, in general, has been part of my life since sixth grade,” he recalled. “It was a difficult decision, especially leaving Buckhannon-Upshur football. That part will be hard along with leaving the players and coaches, especially when camp rolls around in August. You are around the players and coaches so much that they become family.”
Stoeckle has been a part of the B-U football program just shy of three decades starting as a freshman coach, then as an assistant varsity coach and becoming head coach in 2013.
During his time at Buckhannon-Upshur, the Pittsburgh native also served as an assistant softball coach and as a boys’ freshman and junior varsity basketball coach.
Stoeckle spent eight years as head coach of the football team compiling a 30-48 record with a pair of play-off appearances in 2014 and 2016.
“I have worked with some great coaches here,” remarked Stoeckle. “Too many to name really, but coaches like Greg Hill, Don Swisher, Eddie Vincent, Dave Chipps and Bill Struble. I learned so much from those guys.”
When asked about some of his favorite memories as head coach, Stoeckle brought up two plays that are now in the B-U history books.
“In 2013, Seth Cutright set the record for the longest touchdown run in school history at 96 yards and then he and quarterback Dillon Gaudet set the longest touchdown pass in school history of 98 yards,” remarked Stoeckle. “Making the playoffs in 2014 will always have a special place for me too because it had been a while since we had qualified for them. And of course, having the opportunity to coach both my sons – Seth and Scott.”
Scott would join his father on the sidelines the last several falls as an assistant coach.
“I have really enjoyed having Scott on the sideline with me,” noted Stoeckle. “For him to join our staff was special for me having the opportunity to work with your son.”
One thing Stoeckle said he won’t miss are the long bus rides that have become part of the B-U experience when the last reclassification of teams by the WVSSAC moved most of the area Class AAA teams down to Class AA.
“Bus rides to Martinsburg and Princeton are something I won’t miss,” joked Stoeckle.
While looking forward to his retirement Stoeckle stated that he will always keep tabs on the football team.
“I will be listening on the Buccaneer Network and cheering on the team,” said Stoeckle. “I really think that the football team is back on the upswing. I really think they are going to make some noise the next couple of years.”
In closing, Stoeckle added, “I really want to thank all the head coaches I’ve worked for and say thanks to all of my assistant coaches and especially thanks to all the players I’ve been able to work with over all these years.”
Stoeckle and his family will retire to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.