• 43°

Former players turn out to honor Tucker

By Staff
Scot Beard
Most schools have at least one iconic coach during its history.
The University of Alabama had Paul "Bear" Bryant and Russellville had Jack Tucker.
"I didn't play for Coach Bryant, but (playing for Coach Tucker) was like playing for him," said Jeff Masterson, a Russellville city councilman and a player on Tucker's 1982 state championship team. "He could get your attention without saying a word."
Tucker and several members of the championship team helped honor Tucker during halftime of Friday's game. They presented a plaque to Tucker featuring his career accomplishments and a photo of the coach.
The plaque will hang next to the photo of the title winning team – which does not feature Tucker – in the gym's lobby.
"He was touched, especially when we called all his former players to come down," Masterson said. "I want to thank Dr. Wayne Ray, Don Cox and Sara Terry. They got this together and asked us to run with it."
Although Tucker retired in the 1980s, he is well remembered in Russellville thanks in part to his former players who talk of him often.
Many of those players were on hand Friday and took the opportunity to come down and briefly talk with their former coach during the ceremony.
"I love that man," Masterson said. "We would have run through brick walls for him."
Harlan "Peaches" Winston agreed, saying if Tucker believed he could do it he would lower his shoulder and begin running.
"He is one of the greatest coaches ever to coach," Winston said. "He was straight up with you."
Winston said Tucker would coach during the week but if you didn't perform during the game he would sit you on the bench.
"We are still friends and buddies after all these years," Winston said. "I was glad to see what they did. I think he is the greatest."