Gym to be dedicated in honor of J.C. Duncan

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One of Missouri's most successful high school football coaches will be paying tribute to a long-time Cassville basketball coach on Saturday when Cassville R-IV School District renames the rock gym in honor of J.C. Duncan.

Camdenton Lakers Coach Bob Shore will offer remarks during the dedication ceremony, which will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 24. All community members, especially Duncan's former students and players, are encouraged to attend.

Duncan coached Shore from 1959 to 1962, and according to his former player, Duncan was the kind of coach who touched many lives.

"It's very unusual in coaching for a person to coach at the same place for a long period of years," said Shore, who has earned six state football championship during his 33-year tenure at Camdenton High School. "Coach started in Cassville and ended his career there, which speaks volumes. He dedicated his entire professional career to one school, which tells a lot about his talent and abilities."

Shore said he would describe Duncan as a coach with high expectations who stressed fundamentals.

"He was very demanding, but he was very fair to everybody," said Shore. "Coach was also there for all the students, not just his players. He was very accessible."

Shore agrees with other former players, like Bill Lee, who invited him to speak at the dedication, that Duncan was a man who led by example.

"Coach was an outstanding role model," said Shore. "He was also a family man all the way."

Duncan's tenure at Cassville lasted 31 years, dating back to 1956. The Wheaton High School graduate played college basketball at Tulsa University. In 2002, Duncan was inducted into the Tulsa Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Golden Hurricanes' 1954-55 team.

The idea to rename a gym in Duncan's honor was presented to the Cassville School Board by several of Duncan's former players and students. The board voted to approve the group's request, and private donations were raised to purchase lettering that now graces Main Street side of the gym.

"We wanted to recognize J.C. for the impact he had on his students and for the basketball program he developed at Cassville," said Lee.

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