BLACKFOOT – He has patrolled the sidelines for 38 years, 28 of them at Blackfoot High School. During that time, thousands of players have crossed the chalk lines of the field under his leadership.
Some have been great players and gone on to bigger and better things. Others, like the majority of high school athletes, have played for a year or two and while they have fond memories of the games and the coach, they are mere figments of most people’s imagination.
Coach Stan Buck is a legend in Blackfoot. He recently announced his retirement and the school has already posted a notice of a search for a new coach.
Buck has won more games than any previous coach in the history of Blackfoot High School. Included in those wins are four state championships in the 4A classification. He also has a handful of state runner-up finishes.
His teams have been an example of excellence over the years and in his 28 years at the helm of the Broncos, 23 teams have made the playoffs.
Buck has had many great players take that walk from the locker room to the field over the years, and while he claims no favorite, one that will always stick in his memory is Josh Hill, currently a player with the New Orleans Saints of the NFL.
“Josh just had that body that you knew could play well at the next level,” Buck said. “He went to Boise State and was fighting for playing time as a freshman. He made the decision to transfer to Idaho State and that proved to be a great choice for him. He got much more playing time and caught the eye of the NFL scouts and the rest is history. Josh was a great player for us.”
Colby Pearson is another athlete who left his mark on the game with Buck. Pearson left Blackfoot and had a storied career at BYU before heading to the NFL. He has been on a couple of taxi squads and signed with a couple of different teams, but hasn’t had the NFL impact of Josh Hill.
In all of his teams that made an impact, Buck has been blessed with a good, strong, smart quarterback.
“The one thing that stands out over the years is that you have to have a quarterback that takes care of the ball,” Buck said. “In every one of the years where we made a strong run and ended up in the finals, we had a quarterback who was solid. Some could run and pass, some could throw the ball really well, but all of them were smart and didn’t make many mistakes.”
Buck cited that it was quarterbacks like Trae Pilster, Chase Monson, and Anthony Clark that always seemed to come around when the rest of the team was ready to chase down a title.
Those three quarterbacks combined to win the four titles that are part of the legacy that Buck will leave behind when he retires at the end of the school year.
Defense and the ability to make players better will always be trademarks of teams that Buck coached. His teams that won always won with strong defense and he had a knack for taking a player and getting the best out of them.
“Kids just want to learn the game and get to play,” Buck said. “The key is to put them in the right spot and let them have some fun. Along the way, they either get better or they get replaced. That is the tough lesson that they all learn, one way or another.”
While Buck will be remembered for all of the victories on the field and the championships won, he is an excellent teacher as well.
Buck started out as a biology teacher and currently is a physical education teacher. While his journey at Blackfoot is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that he is finished in the teaching field. He said he can see himself teaching at another school in another state and furthering his retirement pension elsewhere.