The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

December 10, 2012

Cuthbert retires as Independence football coach

Scotty Cuthbert remembers what former Independence coach Wayne Peters told him back in 1988.

“He was the coach for a long time at Beckley Junior High and was offered the job early in his career but he passed it up,” Cuthbert said. “He advised me that if I wanted to be a head coach, don’t pass it up.”

Peters had long been the Patriots head coach before resigning to take an assistant principal position at the school. Cuthbert was an assistant to Peters, and eventually was hired to replace him.

That was 25 seasons ago, and there has been much success along the way. But on Nov. 3, that run finally came to an end.

Cuthbert recently retired from coaching, saying that it is somebody else’s turn to lead the Patriots onto George D. Covey Field on crisp autumn Friday nights.

“It was getting tougher and tougher,” said Cuthbert, who will turn 62 next month. “Coaching high school football is a 12-month-a-year job, if you do it the right way. The coaching part isn’t bad. The weight room, the equipment, that was getting harder every year.”

Cuthbert’s career concluded with a 24-12 win over Fayetteville and capped off a 5-5 season. He finished with a career record of 130-119-1 in the regular season, but the Patriots were never able to win a playoff game in seven trips during his tenure.

“We were in the top eight one year and got upset by Iaeger,” Cuthbert recalled. “A lot of times we were in the bottom half and were competitive.”

In 25 seasons, Cuthbert amassed plenty of memories to look back upon. But one will stand out more than others because of its personal aspect.

“You pick one and you end up leaving somebody out, but the neatest was the 100th win against Summers County,” he said. “What was neat about it was my oldest son, Scott, was an assistant and my youngest son, Mark, was the quarterback.”

Cuthbert had already retired from teaching, but he can still be seen plenty at Independence. He still is an assistant to boys basketball head coach Chad Perkins and will probably continue to “throw batting practice for Coach (Joe) Goddard.”

He also has been able to spend more time on the golf course — undoubtedly a better way to spend his time.

“The last 25 years I have spent every Monday through Friday in the weight room,” Cuthbert said. “That was one of the hardest things about it.”

— E-mail: gfauber@

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