Photo courtesy of Bob Bucsko
Bob Bucsko

By Matt Taylor

The Liberty Bell High School football team will start the 2017 season under new coach Bob Bucsko, who is looking forward to rebuilding the program.

Bucsko, who has 27 years of head coaching experience, is looking forward to the challenge.  “I have always been drawn to programs that were experiencing tough times,” he said. “To be able to go into a program and rebuild it is a challenge that I readily accept.”

The Mountain Lions have struggled in seasons past for lack of players and a shortage of wins.

Bucsko has a long history of rebuilding programs. His head coaching career began in a small town on the Siletz Indian Reservation, west of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The team had gone seven years without a single win before he arrived. In the first year under his direction, the team ended their season with a  6-3, win-loss record.

Siletz is not his only success story. In a career working primarily with struggling programs across Washington and Oregon, Bucsko has taken teams to the playoffs eight times and earned a Coach of the Year title seven times. “It is all because I have had some great assistant coaches and great kids,” he said.

Football has always been a part of Bucsko’s life. His career began in Olympia, where he played for local middle school and high school teams. In college he played for Greys Harbor Junior College before transferring to Eastern Washington University, where he was temporarily sidelined by an injury. Shortly thereafter he started playing semi-pro football for teams in  Olympia and Everett. “I have always had a passion for the game,” he said.

A strong believer in the importance of class and character, his primary focuses will be ensuring that his players believe in his process and demonstrate respect toward each other, their coaches and other teams.

“The obstacle is not the other teams, it’s ourselves,” said Bucsko.