Bukowski hired as Southmoreland football coach, replaces late friend Frederick


Thursday, March 10, 2022 | 10:51 p.m.

Tim Bukowski had planned to be Ron Frederick’s right-hand man on Southmoreland’s football coaching staff.

But when tragedy struck and Frederick died of a heart attack the next day after learning he would be the Scotties’ next head coach, Bukowski felt he had to go above and beyond the call of duty. .

“I knew right away I had to level up and fill his shoes,” said Bukowski, who was hired Thursday to lead the Scotties through a tough time and into a new era. “I coached with Ron at Ringgold, and he took me with him to Southmoreland. We became best friends.

Frederick, 40, was to replace Dave Keefer, who resigned as head coach in January. Frederick was held in high esteem around the program.

Now, 54-year-old Bukowski will replace his late friend and embark on his first head coaching adventure.

When he got the official word that he got the job, he picked up his cell phone.

“My first call was to my wife (Laurel),” he said. “The second was for Ron’s wife (Liz). Then I called his brother (Rob) and his father (Ron). I wanted his family to hear it from me.

Bukowski has been on the Southmoreland staff for four years as an offensive coordinator and helped the Scotties make two WPIAL playoff appearances.

He hopes to be a soothing and familiar voice for players who have grown attached to the coaching staff and their system.

“The kids also played a big role in my decision,” he said. “When we arrived here, the program was not going well. We had 16 children. I felt like we were making a difference and making it a competitive team. I didn’t want to see everything we had dropped off.

Bukowski is known for his call play, but he knows he’ll have to get to grips with defense and promote the team on social media. Frederick was known to promote the Scotties on Twitter with his weekly uniform reveals.

“Dave was great to work with,” Bukowski said. “I called every game for four years. The attack was my base. I didn’t even have the helmet for defensive plays. I’m going to have to be more of a game manager now.

Southmoreland thinks Bukowski is the best fit at the worst time. Once Bukowski showed interest, the district only had to sort out the paperwork.

Hiring a new coach who didn’t have the familiarity Bukowski has with the program and the situation could have been a challenge.

“I’m excited for him and for the kids,” Southmoreland sporting director Dan Boring said. “He came here and he was successful. He knows what it takes to win. I think with all the circumstances surrounding this position in recent weeks, he is the right person to return to work.

Five other staff members included Bukowski, a Monessen graduate who started coaching right after graduating from IUP.

He was running backs coach at Cal (Pennsylvania) from 2000 to 2002 and was offensive coordinator at Charleroi from 2003 to 2005.

After that, he joined perennial Class A powerhouse Clairton, where he called games for a program that won six WPIAL titles and four PIAA championships while there (2006-12).

The Bears have won 66 straight games to set a state record.

After two years at Ringgold (2016-17), he joined the Scotties. In 2019, they broke a 40-year drought by qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs.

“I worked with excellent head coaches. Everywhere I’ve coached, we’ve had a run,” he said. “My goal here is for us to win a playoff game.”

Bukowski, sales manager for Advance Auto Parts, said he wanted to boost Southmoreland’s numbers.

“I want to get as many kids out as possible,” he said. “I want to keep building what we have here. I want to do it for Ron.

Bill Beckner Jr. is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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