Gary Tocke used to tell his players: "things don't always turn out the way you expect them
Tocke certainly expected he would return this fall for his 42nd season as the Kenmore
East volleyball coach.
Instead, Tocke finds himself on the sidelines after being bumped by his modified coach,
Kyle Horvatis, a physical education teacher at the high school.
Tocke retired from teaching in 2000
leaving him open to being bumped by a teacher in the district. At Ken-Ton, like all public schools, is mandated by its contract with its teachers that teachers get priority for coaching jobs.
"It's just the way it happens in Kenmore," said Tocke. "The only thing that's bad is I wish
I could have left on my own terms, but there's not much you can do about it. It's a little
hard, volleyball has started, you read the scores in the paper and you're not coaching..."
Tocke founded the Bulldogs' program in 1968. In fact, he was the varsity and JV coach from
He coached the Bulldogs to Section VI titles in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1983, 1984, 1994.
Niagara Frontier League titles came in 1992, 1994, 1995, 2004 2005.
He started the Ken-Ton
Tournament in 1981. That event was re-named in his honor this year. Tocke ended his career at
Kenmore East with exactly 500 wins.
---Mary Jo Monnin