Part 1 of 2 – High School Athletic Director delivers blunt speech about Coach Luecke’s departure. Video of Steinhoff’s entire speech

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New Haven, Mo – High School Athletic Director, Ray Steinhoff, began Monday night’s Athletic Banquet, delivering an emotional speech about Dave Luecke’s departure from New Haven High School.

Steinhoff said, “For all of us [coaching staff] this is somewhat a bittersweet night.”  Steinhoff said that he felt it was important to mention; “There is also a lot of sadness on the part of us [coaching staff] and really the entire high school faculty as well as our student body I believe.”

Steinhoff said, “Coach Luecke will no longer be coaching or teaching here at New Haven.”

Steinhoff went into great detail about all Luecke has done during his 21 years at New Haven.  Steinhoff said, “He has served our athletic department in numerous capacities.  Luecke has been the junior high basketball coach, assistant track coach, assistant girls basketball coach, and served as the girls varsity coach for the past five years.”

Steinhoff brought to attention and acknowledged how Coach Luecke has “gone above and beyond what he is contracted to do…a coach DOES NOT have to give up their time, make the effort to conduct open gym, conduct summer camps, take teams to those camps, set up preseason conditioning, or weight lifting programs because if you do that you have to be there to supervise.  Coach does not have to organize Elementary school teams, because doing so means you have to order the uniforms, you've got to set up a schedule, and you have to find the coaches.”

Steinhoff said, “A coach DOES NOT have to conduct youth tournaments to give those kids a chance and opportunity to play here in New Haven.  All that takes time months in advance, finding teams to come to your tournaments, organizing the tournaments, finding volunteers to officiate, keeping the scorebook, running the clock, running the gate, etc.”

Steinhoff was direct in saying, “Some think all coaches everywhere do these things, they DON’T.  When you find one who does you can consider yourself lucky and we’ve been lucky.”

Steinhoff also spoke about being a parent, having Coach Luecke coach his daughter.  Steinhoff said, “I expected the coaching to be hard, to the point, and demanding.  If she gave less than her best effort, didn’t except the coaching, copped an attitude, or continually repeated mistakes, Coach Luecke did all these things… so as a parent and I think I can speak for my wife as well; we are grateful, extremely grateful.”

Steinhoff reiterated, “So again I have observed Coach Luecke on a daily basis through many different perspectives through the years, coming away with nothing but admiration and respect every step of the way.  I am also confident in saying that every coach on this staff as well as our entire faculty has that same admiration, respect, and appreciation for what he’s done.

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff as well as others here tonight; we’re going to miss you, wish you nothing but the best, we thank you for all you’ve done, and we hope you’ll forever be a shamrock at heart.”

Luecke received a standing ovation from the majority, although not all, of those in attendance.

Part 2 of this story will have more video of what other coaches said at Monday night's banquet.