The Face of Titan Football Steps Down

November 6th marked the end of an era as Coach Buck resigns as coach.


Safiya Khan

Coach Buck leads the timeout discussion as the Titans take on the Wolverines.

“It’s a great place and it’s been a great ride,” said Coach Karl Buckwalter. On Tuesday, November 6, Coach Buckwalter (“Buck”) announced he was stepping down as the head coach of Dominion High School’s varsity football team.

Eleven years ago Coach Buckwalter took over the head coaching duties at Dominion High School and helped flip Dominion’s football program around. Coach Buck was a major part of the Titan Football successes as he led Dominion to their first ever postseason win in 2013. After that win the successes kept growing as he led the Titans to a state semifinal playoff run in 2016, and helped lead the Titans to back to back district championships in 2016 and 2017.

“I wanted to try to open a new school and that opportunity is out there,” said Coach Buck. This next year a new high school, Independence High School, will be opening in Loudoun County, and Coach Buck will be applying for the head coaching job there. “I’ve opened a school before, and I just wanted another challenge and chapter in my life,” Coach Buck said.

Numerous players for Dominion had high praise for Coach Buck after playing for him for years. Starting safety and wide receiver Trey Hayes said, “He did a great job in making a strong foundation in the program and helping put our school on the map.”

He always brought out the best in his athletes and constantly talked about how important the team is as three star recruit Jimmy Christ said, “Coach Buck always said he doesn’t care who you are and what age you are, because he will play the best person. He made us all compete week-in and week-out. He always preached that no one was above the team.

One the best things Coach Buck did for the football program was not just reflected in Dominion’s football record, but in how good he was at getting players college looks. “We’ve had hundreds on hundreds of colleges come through here. Last year from November 16 to May we had 94 colleges come through Dominion,” said Coach Buck said.

After a down year in comparison to the 2016 and 2017 Dominion football seasons, quarterback/wide receiver/safety Aidan Dolan said, “It wasn’t very surprising (that he stepped down), Coach Buck was a huge part of our program and in the past has shown a certain love for the game that I haven’t seen before. This year he just seemed different.”

Coach Buck is known for being the head football coach, but he also has a major role in Dominion’s physical education staff. “If I do end up teaching at another school I certainly will miss teaching physical education here at ‘King’s’ Dominion. Our department is phenomenal, so whatever happens, happens, and I will just carry on.”

“There have been a lot of great memories, but in my early years we were playing senior night against Potomac Falls. They were going to win the game, and all of a sudden our lights just went out. Potomac Falls wanted to end the game, because he game was over on the scoreboard, but not time wise. There was about 6-8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and Dr. Brewer asked me what I wanted to do. I answered him and said that for the love the game our seniors want to finish the game. Then we got on buses and went to Potomac Falls and finished out the rest of the game. It was an awesome memory, “ Coach Buck said.

“I will miss him helping during practices, but mostly outside of practice as he was a good person and always wanted the best for us. He made sure we were on the right track and always tried to get us to the next level,” Hayes said.