Vaught's Views: Buchanan honored to coach All-Stars

June 21, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

For someone who grew up loving high school football in this state, being named head coach for the Kentucky all-star team is an almost indescribable honor.

"It's a tremendous honor. Growing up in this state, playing football in this state and my father being a coach, it means a lot to me," said David Buchanan, the former Mercer County player who will be head coach for the Kentucky team in the 2005 game.

"I think because of the coaching in Kentucky, we are playing the best football we've ever played in this state right now. That's what makes this so humbling. I am smart enough to know I am getting to do this because of a lot of other great people - my assistant coaches, my wife, great football players. I am doing this on the shoulders of a lot of other people."

But he'll be doing it. He was the running backs coach for this year's team that beat Tennessee Friday. However, his real job was to shadow Rockcastle County coach Tom Larkey, this year's head coach, and start preparing for next year's game.


"I tried to take notes on each thing that went on. Things I learned, things I want to try, things I want to implement," Buchanan said. "I want to be organized. I primarily was just trying to learn what I was supposed to do for next year."

Based on his past, he's a quick learner. He was an outstanding quarterback at Mercer, which was no surprise considering his father, John, was a successful high school coach. David Buchanan later coached at Mercer under Larry French, who will start his rebuilding effort at Lincoln County this season, and with Chuck Smith, now the head coach at Boyle County who has won five straight state titles.

Buchanan has made his own mark as a head coach, first at Paris and now at Mason County.

He also knows the impressive list of coaches who have led Kentucky in this game. It's a who's who of Kentucky football with names like Sam Harp of Danville, Jack Morris of Mayfield, Tom Duffy of Danville, Mike Glaser of St. Xavier, Dennis Lampley of Trinity, Smith, Bob Redman of Male and Mike Holcomb of Breathitt County.

"I am very humbled by this," he said. "I've got to be around a lot of good people in my life and this is just one more blessing."

Larkey, as expected, helped Buchanan immensely. He knew Larkey had a keen sense of humor from facing him in the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic here two years ago. "He busted me in the banquet," Buchanan said. "I remember that. But he is a wonderful coach and person. I am glad it worked out for me to get to work with him."

What about next year? Wouldn't it make sense to add coaches he knows - and respects - like French and Smith to his all-star staff?

"I don't know," Buchanan said. "I want to see how the team gets selected and go from there. I don't want to gum up anything now. We'll just see what happens."

Don't be surprised to see his father, who now teaches at Danville, involved in the all-star game. Maybe not in an official capacity, but there's no doubt the coach would like to have him there.

"I would like for my dad to be involved," Buchanan said. "I couldn't put into words the role he has played in me being a coach. I am still trying to be the man he is. I would certainly like to find a way to have him involved in some capacity."

He likely will have area players involved. Buchanan was impressed not only with the way Danville's Charles Penix, Harrodsburg's Mark Dunn, and Boyle's Brad Cloud and Ian Young played for the all-star team this year, but also the way they represented this area.

"They are talented, but they are also nice young men," Buchanan said. "The people back home ought to be proud of those two guys."

Next year he might look at players like quarterback Brandon Smith of Boyle, running back Andrew McCloud of Mercer, running back Kelvin Turner of Danville, quarterback-defensive back Ronnie Hawkins of Danville, receiver-defensive back Greg Peck of Boyle and quarterback-defensive back Spencer Crutchfield of Garrard County.

"To let you in on a secret, I started looking at players back in February when I found out I would be coach," Buchanan said.

He says he'll rely on video and coaches' recommendations far more than 40-yard dash times or bench press totals. He's more interested in what players do on the field than what they do in skill tests.

"I want to focus on what I see and who the coaches in this state tell me can play," Buchanan said.

What else could a coach's son who is a former player and current head coach do?

Central Kentucky News Articles