Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Former HSC Grad Tucker Named as Head Coach

Below is an article written by Neil Fuller.  The story is from the Progress Index.  Congratulations to Coach Tucker!

CHESTER - Kevin Tucker loves baseball. And the Matoaca baseball program.
But the opportunity to return to his alma mater - Thomas Dale - and take over the football team legendary coach Vic Williams turned into the 2009 VHSL Group AAA champion was too irresistible for Tucker.  The Thomas Dale administration formally offered the position to Tucker on Wednesday. He quickly accepted.

"I'm very excited to have this opportunity at my alma mater," said Tucker, who graduated from Thomas Dale in 1998. "My grandfather played (at Thomas Dale). My dad played (at Thomas Dale). Both of my uncles, along with seven cousins, have all played at Thomas Dale.
I know what it means to play football (at Thomas Dale). I look forward to keeping the program going the way Vic had it going.  "I'm looking to build on a tradition of excellence."

This will be Tucker's first head coaching job on the varsity level.  He spent eight seasons as an assistant under Williams with the Knights and headed up Matoaca's JV baseball team in 2010.  In an ironic twist, Williams was at Thomas Dale on Thursday - leading his JV Warriors to a 5-4 victory over the Knights in their season finale.

"I'm going to miss my time (at Matoaca)," he said. "These boys have always worked hard for me. Baseball has been a big part of me for a long time. ... I love (the Matoaca JV players). I'm always going to be behind these guys in baseball."

Tucker will not be joining the baseball staff at Thomas Dale.  His sense of loyalty to Matoaca's program is too great.  "I made a promise to (Matoaca varsity baseball coach) Fred Stoots, who has been a mentor to me, that I would continue to help him in any way," Tucker said. "If he needs help with the field or just moral support, I'll be there for him. ... I want a chance to watch some of my former (baseball) players without having to coach against them."

Tucker, a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, will teach history and social studies at Thomas Dale - while trying to fill the spot left by Williams, the reigning Associated Press VHSL Group AAA coach of the year.  Williams stockpiled 219 victories and seven region titles during his 23-year career with the Knights, including a 35-21 win over Lake Braddock to capture the program's first state championship on Dec. 12 at Scott Stadium.

"Honestly, you can never replace a Vic Williams," Tucker said. "He's one of the greatest football coaches Chesterfield County has ever seen - and one of the best the Central Region has ever seen. My job is to come in here and keep the staff in place that we currently have. I want to continue what (Williams) has built upon.  "My goal is to keep the program at the top (of the Central Region) and keep helping the young men at Thomas Dale grow to be good citizens. I intend to keep Thomas Dale football No. 1. ... There's a lot of pressure - but I welcome the pressure.

Williams confirmed his hiring has been approved by the Chesterfield County School Board.  "This is something I've dreamed about since I was a little boy," he said. "Since I was 3-years-old, I was watching Vic roaming the sidelines at Thomas Dale. This is something I've always wanted to do. It's a way for me to give back to the school.

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