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Remembering John Buchanan

Daarik Gray

Herald Staff

Former Mercer County football coach John Buchanan passed away Thursday, Oct. 1, at the age of 72.

Buchanan, who was born to Reuel and Sue Buchanan in London,  was an assistant football coach at Lakeview High School in Decatur, Ill. and Lafayette High School before becoming the head football coach at Boyle County High School in 1969 and finally Mercer County High School in 1974, where he helped lead the Scotties to the first winning season in school history.

Prior to Buchanan’s arrival at Mercer County the Scotties had won only one game the previous two years. In his first year the team went 6-4.

“He disciplined an undisciplined group,” said Tim Horn, who played for Buchanan from 1974-1976. “He brought us together as a team.” 

“We were bad before he got there,” said Gary Caton, who played under Buchanan during the 1974 season. “When he came he changed everything.”

But what he did off the field, is how people will remember John Buchanan most.

“To this day, there is not anyone that I have more respect for than Coach Buchanan,” said Caton.

“He was a man of integrity,” said Bo Ashford, who played for Buchanan in 1974-75. “He wanted to win football games, but he cared about us as people even more.”

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