The following is a personal message from St. Augustine coach Tim Bentley on the passing of his colleague, mentor and friendAl Buhl.
We, at the TucsonCitizen.com site, want to also send along our condolences. The “Small School” Coach of the Year awards in Cross Country and Track & Field will from now on be presented in his name. The Cross Country Awards for this past season have been updated to reflect this honor. Actually, it is an honor for us to be able to use his name to recognize other fine coaches.
“It is with a sad and heavy heart that we share this news with you today. Coach Buhl passed away yesterday afternoon, losing his battle with cancer. We pray for his wife Ann, and two sons, Matt & Kevin.
Coach Buhl had an impact on everyone he met. From athletes, students, teachers and coaches, we all came away better people. He influenced all of us, maybe it was a request – ‘We’d love to have you on the team,” or ‘We sure could use your help’, that introduced us into a lifelong love and passion we never knew we had. He had that affect on people.
Coach Buhl loved all of us dearly. He was a friend, a coach, a leader confidant and mentor – someone in our corner, someone that always had our back. His ability to get the best from us as athletes was amazing – the 24 state champions, multiple region champs and athletes he coached can all attest to that. But it was his ability to get the most from us as people that made him the man we grew to love.
We all have those 1 – 2 people in our lives that make a profound difference. Someone who resonates with us, makes an imprint that shapes us for the rest of our lives. Coach Buhl is that for us – our 1 -2 people. We’ll take comfort in knowing that we had the same impact on him too – Coach Buhl coached us, taught us, guided us because we made a difference in his life.
We miss Coach Buhl dearly, but know that he will always be with us in spirit and the lessons he taught us. We will try to live the motto he impressed upon us every day – Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.
Rest in peace Coach Buhl, rest in peace.”
Tim Bentley, St. Augustine coach
From The Sierra Vista Herald:
Albert K. Buhl
Beloved husband, father, friend, coach and mentor, Al passed away on Nov. 20, 2013, at home in Elgin, with his wife, Ann, by his side. Al was born on Aug. 3, 1948, in Staten Island, N.Y. He graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1970 with a major in industrial relations.
Al began his federal government career as a department of Army intern in 1970 at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Penn. His career also included assignments at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J.; U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the Social Security Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals, in Arlington, Va.; and the military district of Washington at Fort Myer, Va. Al and Ann met while working at the Office of Hearings and Appeals and were married on April 16, 1983. They moved from the hustle and bustle of the Washington, D.C. area to Sierra Vista in 1987 where Al continued his federal career as a labor relations specialist with the then-Information Systems Command at Fort Huachuca. Al later became the chief of the management and employee relations branch at the Fort Huachuca Civilian Personnel Office and ultimately became the director of the Fort Huachuca Civilian Personnel Advisory Center until his retirement in October 2003.
In 1989, Al’s love of wine and viniculture led him and Ann to acquire the R.W. Webb Vineyards located in Willcox. Al renamed the vineyard “Dos Cabezas Vineyards.” A true labor of love, the grapes harvested were purchased by many Arizona wineries and several in Texas, and were the foundation of many award-winning wines. After an abundant grape harvest in 1995, Al and some friends tried their hands at making wine, which Ann affectionately referred to as “garage wine.” The wine was later entered into the Arizona State Fair winning the blue ribbon and resulted in the birth of Dos Cabezas Wineworks.
Following his retirement, Al established and coached the cross country and track and field programs at Saint Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, where his son, Matthew, attended and graduated. Starting out with a handful of kids, a minivan, a love for running, and the help of friend, Coach Don Ryan, Al mentored and developed the qualities he saw in each student athlete. As the programs grew, Coach Arden Dohman and Coach Tim Bentley joined Al in further developing the top-notch Running Wolves teams into regional and state champions.
Al is survived by his loving wife, Ann; and sons, Matthew and Kevin. His family is grateful for the wonderful care he received from the team of doctors, nurses and the many health care providers at the University of Arizona Medical Center and La Canada Care Center; and especially the home care and support provided by Valor Hospice and Bayada Home Health Care. Although Al is no longer with us, he will remain forever in our hearts.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, from 2:30-6 p.m. with the Rosary service at 6 p.m. at the Hatfield Funeral Home, 830 South Highway 92, Sierra Vista.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Therese of Lisieux Roman Catholic Church, 222 Third Avenue, in Patagonia, on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, at 10 a.m.
A pot-luck reception celebrating Al’s life will be held afterward at the Walker Guest Ranch, 99 Curly Horse Road, in Sonoita. Private family interment will be held at the Fruitland Cemetery in Elgin.
Al’s family welcomes flowers or donations to: The Catholic Foundation, Diocese of Tucson, ATTN: Saint Augustine Catholic High School — Al Buhl Memorial Scholarship Fund, 111 South Church Street, Tucson, Arizona 85701; The Al Buhl track and field practice facility, c/o Saint Augustine Catholic High School, 8800 East 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85710; or Our Lady of the Angels Building Fund, P.O. Box 1272, Sonoita, AZ 85637.
To leave the family an online condolence, please visit hatfieldfh.com.
Arrangements are by the Hatfield Funeral Home.