Lifelong Red Devil Player and Coach Honored at 2003 Homecoming
From THE LINCOLN JOURNAL, November 6, 2003 -- The field house at Buddy Bufford Field was officially named the "Coach Thomas H. Bunch Field House" at a ceremony held following the LCHS-Warren County football game Friday, October 24.
In addition to Coach Bunch, other special guests in attendance were members of the 1962 and 1963 state championship football teams and members of the beloved coach's family including his three children, Tommy Bunch of Washington, Tim Bunch of Gainesville, and Lynn B. Nagy of Harlem.
Taking part in the dedication ceremony were Welcome Mason and Ken Kelly, both former principals of LCHS; Larry Campbell, athletic director and head football coach at the school; and former Red Devil Lamar Leroy.
It was Leroy who had the honor of reading a proclamation adopted by the Lincoln County Board of Education in recognition of Coach Bunch's many contributions to his community.
According to the proclamation, Bunch, a Lincoln County native and UGA graduate, was hired as a dual head football coach at LCHS in 1958. He served in this capacity with his friend and former coach Buddy Bufford.
Bunch was then named head football coach following Bufford's untimely death in 1961. Under his leadership and guidance, the 1962 edition of the Lincolnton High School Red Devils posted a 12-0 season record and went on to become Class C state champions. Bunch was honored as The Augusta Herald Coach of the Year.
The story was about the same in 1963: 12 straight wins and another state title.
Later in his career, Coach Bunch served as the system's athletic director and as the high school counselor.
In conclusion, the proclamation stated that "through his teaching, coaching, and counseling positions, Coach Thomas H. Bunch has served as a positive role model for countless young people in his church, community, and school."
In his comments, Coach Campbell, who served as an assistant coach and as a head coach under Bunch, emphasized that the coach was definitely a role model for both the students and coaches.
"Speaking for all the assistant coaches, I would like to say it was a pleasure to serve under Coach Bunch's leadership. He was an outstanding Christian on and off the field, and I have all the respect for him in the world. He is very deserving of this honor."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a picture of how the field house will look sporting its new Coach Thomas H. Bunch Field House sign was unveiled by Charles Ware and Marcene Powell, former chairmen of the Board of Education, and Dr. Robert Williams, current Board chairman.
Click here for our profile of Coach Bunch, truly a friend to all.
Those honoring Thomas Bunch (seated) included (standing, left to right) former Board of Education chairperson Marcene Powell, Superintendent Randall Edmunds, former BoE chairman Charles Ware, and current BoE chairman Dr. Robert Williams.