ST. PAUL — Doug Tuck won his 600th career game on Friday night when the St. Paul Indians girls basketball team defeated Northeast in front of a limited home crowd.
Tuck, who took over in 1989, is one of the most celebrated coaches in the state. St. Paul is one of the most respected programs not just in Southeast Kansas but in the entire state.
The St. Paul program has won countless league titles since Tuck took over and have also appeared in one state championship game in 2018.
Here’s what some of Tuck’s former players as well as others in the area have to say about Tuck winning his 600th game:
Jessica, Erin and Jordyn Tuck | Former players, Doug Tuck’s daughters
“We are so proud of our Dad for his success and the culture he’s created at St. Paul. He’s put in a lot of time and energy into making programs that consistently perform at a high level. Winning 600 games is a huge accomplishment, but not surprising to us as we’ve seen his hard work over the years to make it happen. Most people may not realize how many hours he’s put in from watching game film, scouting, game planning, and researching new techniques — although we weren’t always thrilled when he made us practice new drills in the driveway.
Basketball has been more than just a game for us and we hope for his other players as well. Even though we are past our basketball careers now we’ve taken with us all the things he has imparted as a coach: how to be self-disciplined, mentally focused, mentally tough, take constructive criticism, and don’t be satisfied as there’s always more to learn.”
Mike Kastle | Three Rivers League Commissioner
“It’s quite an accomplishment. Doug shows so much integrity. He’s very well liked. He’s an honest coach that works hard. All 600 wins show longevity and respect to his community. He’s a great guy.”
Ross Albertini | Parsons City Attorney
“My three daughters were better basketball players for playing with him and ended up being better people. He does a great job of making the kids who play for him mentally tough. That’s something my daughters gained from the experience with him and they carry that for the rest of their lives. It’s bigger in small towns. There’s a lot of identity and pride a community gets when its sports teams are successful. Year in and year out, the St. Paul girls are one of those teams that walk out on the court and are expected to win. That’s brought a great deal of pride and notoriety to the community. It’s amazing how many times you go somewhere, you say you’re from St. Paul and they say that we have a good girls basketball team.”
Katelin O’Brien | Former player
“I will say that Coach Tuck has helped make me into the person I am today. He showed me that anything I wanted was possible and always believed in me. I appreciate it even more now than I did when I was playing. I am not surprised about this achievement because Coach Tuck is very deserving of those 600 wins. He would push everyone to be the best like he knew we could be. Being able to play for him and be a part of such a good program will always be some of my best memories."
Korntey Bevins | Former player
“Playing for Coach Tuck was tough! He taught work ethic, commitment and preparation in every practice. It’s been 20 years and I still recall the nerves I would feel going into basketball season anticipating the conditioning and long practices ahead. I remember an opposing friend telling me that her team had better be ready to run because the St. Paul girls wore track shoes.
A phrase I recall Coach saying repeatedly was “do the little things,” whether that was pushing yourself harder in practice or staying late to shoot more free throws. We all knew he also meant outside of basketball — in class and at home. Yes, he expected a lot and he pushed you to be your best but he did it in a way that taught loyalty, teamwork and determination. He built a tradition and I’m so proud to be a part of it. Congratulations Coach on 600 wins!”
Ashton Wood | Former player
“I want to congratulate Mr. Tuck on 600 wins. It is very well deserved and I hope he sticks around for at least another five years so he can coach my little sister!”
Lee Odell | USD 505 Principal
“Coach Tuck is a hard-working, humble man. He definitely does not expect or feel he needs any recognition; however, we feel this is a tremendous feat and are extremely proud of him.”
Kristi Snider | Labette County Girls Basketball Head Coach
“600 wins, what an accomplishment. It stands on itself with the quality of teams that he produces. It’ll be hard for anybody to repeat that. Coaches like that don’t come around often. There’s so much time and effort that people don’t understand. He does a great job, especially with girls.”
Jill Blackledge | Former player, Former Chetopa Volleyball Head Coach
“Coach Tuck is one in a million. He always expected 100% of his athletes. He would always push you to do your best. Playing for him was an honor. He always pushed you to get the best out of you. He didn’t put up with any crap. When you stepped on that court, you were there for one reason and that was to get better and play hard and win. He once told me, when a coach yells at you or picks on you that means they see potential. It’s when they have nothing to say you should worry. That is something I will never forget. 600 wins is an amazing achievement and I’m very happy for him and glad I got to be a small part of that success.”
Breah Schibi | Former player
“Coach Tuck played a big role in who I am and in my work ethic. I have a million things I could say about him. He saw the potential in me before I saw in it myself. He expects his athletes to give every ounce of talent and effort every single day and that’s what his kids do for him.
He has an art of taking a hardworking kid and developing them into a fundamentally sound, gritty athlete and great competitor. He had a way of getting kids to buy into his program and buy in 100%. He has invested so much of his career into building a legacy. And he has done that. The legacy of Doug Tuck and Lady Indian basketball will live on for a very long time.
Coach Tuck laid the foundation of hard work and a dedicated, never quit attitude that I try to carry out in my daily life. That is why so many of his former athletes are successful adults. I’m so happy for Coach Tuck and proud of the program he continues to build. I’ll forever be proud to have been a part of the Lady Indian basketball tradition.”
Chet Kuplen | Owner, Sports in Kansas
“He’s definitely one of the most respected coaches across the state. He was that in the 8-Man football ranks as well with a couple of state titles. When I think of Doug Tuck, I think of consistency. Every single year, with 20 games, he’s averaging 18 wins a year and you’re only guaranteed 20. He’s not afraid to play anybody and that’s made his team better. He’s always respectful to us in the media. Any young coach should watch a guy like Coach Tuck, what he does and learn that consistency. You can always count on him having a team that will compete hard and put a good product on the floor.”