Audio Here: Hall of Fame wrestling coach has died
SUNBURY – Pennsylvania Hall of Fame wrestling coach Phil Lockcuff has died at the age of 75. He was known for leading Shikellamy’s wrestling program into an era of wins and statewide dominance. He was also a veteran WKOK broadcaster. Dave Ritchie, Shikellamy graduate and friend said he met Lockcuff when he was 15 as a student.
Ritchie said, “I looked up to him as being what I thought a teacher and coach should be. He was not only a coach, but he was a great mentor and someone you could learn a lot from.”
Dick Hort, WKOK’s football analyst and longtime friend of Lockcuff, said Lockcuff was dedicated to the Shikellamy School District. Hort said, “Phil was loyal to a fault and that includes everything in his life. He came to Shikellamy as a football coach and he was a football coach for at least five years. You know, he loved the school. He liked the tradition and he helped build the tradition, especially the wrestling program. He was a likeable guy. You couldn’t help but like Phil.”
Jeff Walter is a two-time state champion and a national collegiate champion and coached wrestling for a time at Shikellamy. He said, “Lockcuff was just always so supportive no matter what the situation was. I mean, you have a lot of people who will be your friend when things are going well, but he was just always there no matter what.”
Current head Shikellamy wrestling coach John Supsic said Lockcuff was his wrestling coach back in the 80s, before they coached together. He said, “I always remember Phil was very passionate about the sport. He cared deeply about the kids. He was always a really good motivator. He always knew how to motivate you and get the best out of the team.”
As wrestling coach for Shikellamy, Lockcuff guided his team to AAA titles in 1984, 1985 and 1991 and coached 12 state champions. He led the team to numerous District 4 tournament championships and six Northeast regional championships. Lockcuff was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998. He coached Shikellamy between 1974 and 1998. Lockcuff’s career coaching record was 348-74-6. Lockcuff was a wrestling analyst for WKOK for 13 years and was said to be in declining health in recent months. (Ali Stevens)
In 2010 he was part of a panel of highly successful high school coaches on WKOK’s Roundtable program. You can hear that full Roundtable here: