City honors longtime coach for service

by Dan Holland

Brecksville Councilperson Brian Stucky was honored by Mayor Jerry Hruby and members of city council during a Nov. 21 meeting. He was presented with a proclamation designating Nov. 22 as “Brian Stucky Day” in honor of his 40 years of coaching youth and high school sports in the city and also in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District.

Stucky officially “retired” from coaching in October.

The recognition came as a complete surprise to Stucky, who has lived in the city with his family since 1994.

“They snuck that in on me; no one let me know,” said Stucky. “I was totally surprised by the proclamation honoring me for 40 years of coaching in the city. I got choked up, and couldn’t even look up at my 3-year-old grandson, Tyson, who was waving at me.”

Not only was Nov. 22nd declared Brian Stucky Day, but the city is planting a tree and dedicating a plaque in Stucky’s honor.

“It’s great to live in a city like Brecksville and have a mayor like this who will take care of people,” he said.

Stucky, who has owned and operated Suburban Maintenance & Construction, Inc. for 33 years, first began coaching track & field at Logan-Hocking Junior High School in 1983.

Over the decades, Stucky has served as a coach in football, wrestling, track and field and soccer, including a number of stints at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. His wife, Marylou, taught fifth grade in the BBH school district for 33 years, with stints at Hilton, Oakes Road and Central elementary schools.

“While she was teaching them, I was coaching them,” he said. “We had a lot of overlap with the kids.”

Some standout moments over the years included Stucky coaching Councilperson Dominic Caruso to an individual state wrestling title at BBHHS in 1994. He also coached Eric Urdzik to a third-place finish in the state wrestling tournament for BBHHS in 1998. He then went on to coach Urdzik at John Carroll University, where he won a D-III national runner-up wrestling title in 2002.

Stucky eventually coached his own children at BBHHS.

“I coached for so many years before my own kids came along, and then I coached all of them in the youth programs. Later on, I got to coach my son Josh in wrestling at the high school; my daughter Allison in soccer and my son Eric in soccer. So, after coaching everyone else’s kids, I got to coach my own kids and watch them all become really good athletes.”

Programs he initiated include Run For Your Life, the Bees Soccer Academy and the Brecksville Home Days 5K Race and 1-mile walk/run. He also served on the Brecksville Recreation Board for a dozen years and worked with the Brecksville Travel Baseball Association and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Association.

One of his fondest memories is volunteering to play Santa Claus for the Brecksville Kiwanis.

“You don’t realize how fun it is until you see these little kids, and how excited they are to see Santa, “said Stucky. “I got out of the sled, and I was taking pictures with these kids, and this little girl threw her arms around me and said, ‘I love you, Santa.’ It was so touching.”

Looking back, Stucky said he is fortunate to have been able donate his time and efforts within the community. “It’s nice to look back on your life and know that you’ve given something back to the kids in the community. I wish everyone could do that,” he said. “It’s such a treat to have been able to have put the time in with these kids – just really wonderful kids. I just want to say how proud I am of my own kids and all of the kids who played sports for me over the years.”  ∞

Photo: Council members Dominic Caruso and Laura Redinger, and Mayor Jerry Hruby congratulate Councilman Brian Stucky (second from left) on his 40 years of service as a coach in the city of Brecksville. Photo submitted