During the Nashoba Regional football program's awards banquet today, head coach Ken Tucker announced that he is retiring after nearly 40 years on the sidelines.
Tucker leaves behind a Chieftains squad that currently holds the state's longest active winning streak at 26 games, having gone 13-0 the last two seasons with two Div. 2 Central Super Bowl championships. Tucker also won a Division 1 Central/West Super Bowl in 1999, his first.
Under Tucker, the Chieftains also made Div. 2 Central Super Bowl appearances in 1985, 1995, 1996 and 1997. Currently, they have won three straight Mid-Wach B titles. He joined the program in 1977 as an assistant, was promoted to head coach in 1983 and held that position until 2001, when he resigned. He returned to the sidelines in 2007.
Tucker finishes his career with a record of 180-94-1.
In a statement released to local media, Tucker shared his final words to the team as head coach:
“As a head coach and as a football staff we are extremely proud of the way we have created a program and a “Culture of Success”.
I have been involved with Nashoba football for close to 40 years. I have coached close to 400 games in that time. I have been the head coach for 275 of those games. Getting people to perform to the best of their ability is what being a leader and head coach is all about. That is what I have always tried to do as an educator and as a coach. I would add that it is perpetuated by mentoring others, giving them opportunities to accept a lead role, then handing it over to them to continue on.
We have often told you as players: “Once a Chieftain… Always a Chieftain”. I, too, will always feel I am a Chieftain, but next year I will not be doing it as the Head Football Coach.
At the beginning of this season, I sat down with these wonderful assistant coaches and told them that the 2012 season might very well be my last one. I did not tell the players or anyone else except my wife, Deb. I did not tell Ms. Rich (Athletic Director) until recently, either. They, as far as I know, kept that between us. I did not tell the players until now because playing football is about them, not about me, and I did not want them to feel additional pressure or have their year become shadowed by it being my last. Plus, it always gave me an out should I change my mind. I have the greatest faith that this Nashoba coaching staff can continue to perpetuate the great program that we have all built together. I am sure one of them will make an outstanding head coach to continue the tradition, should the district choose to go in that direction.
I can add that when you love what you do and work with great players, coaches, and people, that this kind of decision is never easy. But, I felt it was time for me, personally. I want to thank you all for supporting us and thank Nashoba for the opportunity to represent the school so long. Most of all, I want to thank all the players who have been part of the Nashoba program over the years. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with me.”