One of the greatest coaching careers in Southwest Michigan history has come to an end.
After 33 years as a varsity football coach, including the last 26 at Lakeshore, legendary Lancers coach Denny Dock has decided to retire. Dock walked into Athletic Director Greg Younger's office on Thursday afternoon and told his bosses of his decision.
He will continue on as the school's softball coach.
Dock finishes his career with an incredible record of 263-76 in those 33 seasons, coaching at Hartford, Dowagiac and then at Lakeshore.
Perhaps his most amazing statistic is the fact that he never suffered a losing season in all 33 years. An amazing accomplishment considering Lakeshore did not win a single game in 1987, the year before he arrived. Dock took the program over and guided them to a 5-4 record in his first season in 1988.
He went on to lead Lakeshore to the playoffs 18 times, including guiding the Lancers to the post-season for the last 16 straight years with 209 wins at Lakeshore. Under Dock, Lakeshore won five regional championships, including this year as the Lancers turned around a sluggish start to not only battle their way into the post-season but to then upend rival St. Joe and ultimately reach the Division 3 State Semifinals.
Dock captured his 250th career win in 2012 in fitting fashion--with a dramatic victory over arch rival St. Joseph.
Known for his big smile and his great laugh, Dock is an old school coach that was beloved by his players and community. He will be sorely missed on the sidelines as a football coach.
Perhaps the most amazing testament to how good of a coach and teacher Dock is, he's had even great success coaching another Lakeshore team. Dock has been the school's varsity softball coach as well, guiding the Lancers to six state championships over the last two decades.
Dock has been retired as a teacher for four years. He said in the past, that when he felt he was no longer able to connect with his players as much because of that distance--he was going to step away. He feels now is that time. 61, Dock will spend more time with his wife Sue in Florida. He will continue to coach the softball team in the spring and will even continue to ref some JV basketball games in the winter.
We'll have much more on Coach Dock's incredible career tonight on WNDU.