The name Joe Stauffer may not mean much to many Yorkers, especially those under the age of 50.
But Joe Stauffer meant a lot -- an awful lot -- to Brad Livingston.
Livingston is the longtime and highly successful head coach of the Central York football and boys' volleyball teams.
He also played football at Central York from 1963 through 1965. During that time, his head coach with the Panthers was none other than Stauffer, who died on Saturday at the age of 76.
Livingston said Stauffer's influence on his life was huge.
"He is one of my most significant mentors," Livingston said. "Coach Stauffer believed in me when no one else did. He encouraged me throughout my playing and coaching careers. Coach was instrumental in my becoming a coach and continuing in the profession for all these years."
Stauffer was Central York's head football and head baseball coach for approximately a dozen years each.
As the Panthers' football coach from 1960-1971, Stauffer compiled a 70-43-3 record, according to our records here at The York Dispatch. That included a York County Interscholastic Athletic Association championship in 1963 -- the Panthers' first-ever football title. Livingston was a part of that history-making squad, which finished with a 7-1-1 record.
"His 1963 championship team was outstanding," Livingston said. "He is the man who built the program to a legitimate playing level in the York league."
Stauffer's impact, however, extended far beyond the football field, according to Livingston. The Red Lion native taught English for 37 years in the Central York School District.
"First and foremost, Coach was a true gentleman," Livingston said. "He has been my coach, my mentor and my friend. I feel honored to have played for him. Coach was a true educator and molder of young people. He was treasure."
Earlier this year, Stauffer was awarded with an Outstanding Service Award from the York-Adams League. It's an award that Livingston believes was richly deserved.
"I love the man dearly," Livingston said. "My heart goes out to his family and all those who loved him. Panther Nation has lost one of its founding fathers. God bless Coach's family and all those who were lucky enough to have had our lives touched by Joe."
Joe Stauffer's name may not be familiar to many younger Yorkers. But for folks such as Livingston, who played for and knew the man, his impact on their lives was immeasurable.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dis patch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com.