The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Twin Valley community mourns loss of Boys' Soccer Coach Dean Secord


By Darryl Grumling, dgrumling@21st-CenturyMedia.com

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Twin Valley athletic director John Guiseppe had a working relationship with Raiders boys soccer coach Dean Secord for the past eight seasons, as well as a first-hand look into the positive energy Secord brought to the program.

“He was probably one of the most passionate soccer coaches, and passionate coaches in general, I’ve ever seen,” Guiseppe said. “He was all about the kids. Putting kids first. It wasn’t all about soccer; it was about life lessons. In his 15 years as coach, he’s had hundreds of kids go through the system. He touched a lot of people.”

Those people — most notably in the Twin Valley soccer, athletic and school community — were in mourning Monday after hearing the news the 50-year-old Secord was killed in an automobile accident Sunday on Route 100 in North Coventry.

“For a lot of people in the Twin Valley community, this is a tough day,” Guiseppe said. “But we’ll always have his memories and remember what he was all about.”

A Daniel Boone Area High School graduate, Secord compiled a 146-132-14 mark during his tenure at Twin Valley, which was preceded by a highly-successful run at Oley Valley in the mid-90s.

Under his direction, Twin Valley went 7-3 in Berks 2 and 11-8 overall last fall. Secord, who guided the Raiders to the District 3-AA final in 2002, picked up his 200th overall coaching win in a 4-0 victory over Blue Mountain in the season-opening Raider Classic.

But there was a lot more story to Secord’s impact than success on the field, according to team captain Chase Rusden, a four-year starter.

“For me, it went beyond soccer with Coach Secord,” Rusden said. “He was such a great person. He taught me not only to be a better player on the field, but to be the best person I can be off the field. Every time you were with him, you got a new life lesson with him.”

Rusden, the president of the school’s National Honor Society as well as a member of student council, found out about Secord’s passing Sunday afternoon, and said he is still in disbelief.

“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I feel bad for his family, especially his kids.”

During his time at Oley Valley, Secord led the Lynx to District 3-AA title in 1993 and guided them to the District 3 and PIAA final in 1995.

Former Daniel Boone coach Joe Ricci, who oversaw the Blazers for 11 years before stepping down prior to last season, faced Secord’s Twin Valley squads many times on the pitch.

“We’ve had some great matches through the years regardless of what the records were,” Ricci said. “Dean always had the same kind of temperament; he always addressed you in the same way. He was a guy who had been around and you always respected what he knew about the game in the area.

When the Berks Conference re-aligned two years ago and Boone and Twin Valley changed divisions, each team made sure the rivalry would continue with the Blazers and Raiders continuing to meet in non-league action.

“Dean, myself and (current Boone coach) Matt Kade were all on the same age as far as keeping them on the schedule,” Ricci said.

Twin Valley did not have school due to Monday’s snowstorm, but Guiseppe said that members of the Berks County Crisis Management Flight Team will be dispatched to the school to help and aid students’ needs and support when classes resume.

Rusden also said there will be a meeting of soccer players with Guiseppe and assistant coach Brad Fidler.

“As of now, we’re just going to meet and support each other,” said Rusden, who added that a starting scholarship fund for Secord’s children would be a primary cause.

Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.