Snohomish High School
Hall of Fame Class of 2016
Charles Edward Gionet was known all over the state of Washington as Tuck, and those who knew him would testify to his amazing ability to get things done the right way. To be perfectly honest, the reason we are all gathered each year at a large Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon conducted in the middle of the annual Washington State Track and Field Coaches Association is because he helped to create it, and he worked to make it happen each year. Without Tuck, the WSTFCA would not be what it is today. He conducted business with integrity. He displayed a commitment to doing the job right. Most importantly, he put others ahead of himself, content to be a tireless advocate behind the scenes who received no attention or recognition. Tuck is the equivalent of a founding father, someone committed to the sport of track and field. Because of his efforts, the association that represents the sport of track and field is respected and looked to for advice. Under Tuck’s leadership, the association has become a very coach and athlete centered organization. His greatest strength was the courage to say what many might be afraid to say. He had the ability to say what needed to be said without pushing people away. In a letter to all the coaches in the state, he offered this advice, “Don’t sit on the sidelines and gripe about this and that, become involved in your association and continue to make track and field the greatest sport in the world.”
Tuck’s contributions to the WSTFCA and the sport of Track and Field are many:
1. He organized the restructuring of the WSTFCA and wrote the original constitution
2. He served as in the position of vice president, president, and treasurer while working with the WSTFCA
3. He developed the idea of the Washington vs Oregon Meet of Champions and then did all the work for the event
4. He helped create the annual WSTFCA Convention
5. He redesigned the Coach of the Year Award criteria so all coaches would have an opportunity to be recognized
6. He served on the Hall of Fame Committee helping to ensure that coaches around the state would be recognized
7. He created Academic All-State Awards and personally mailed out the certificates to coaches around the state
8. He helped found the Eason Invitational in 1989 and built that meet into one of the premier high school invitational
9. He represented the sport of track and field on the Washington State Coaches Association (WSCA)
10. He established a relationship with Brooks Running that continues today
Tuck did not believe he was a Hall of Fame coach. As he talked with his wife Marci near the end of his life, what he really wanted everyone to know was how much his family meant to him and everything he did for his family. As the track coach at Snohomish, he built an atmosphere where his own kids could be a part of the program he built. He wanted to build a program where he wouldn’t have to worry about his kids being around the high school athletes. He was more about character than he was winning. He tried to teach leadership on and off the track. Of all the sayings he is remembered for, there is one his family thought was most appropriate for his induction into the Hall of Fame: “It is family and citizenship first, academics second and athletics third, and in that order!” Tuck held his athletes to that up to the very end of his life! He always remained true to the principles and values that defined him and his program. And he did all of this while building a track program that was able to produce league and district championship teams, along with so many individual champions on the district and state level competitions. Tuck never claimed any of the success for Snohomish Track and Field but it definitely had his fingerprints on it.
Tuck was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but he was raised in Green Bluff, Washington. He graduated from Mead High School in 1978. Upon graduation, he attended Western Washington University where he majored in Political Science and was a member of the Lacrosse team. Tuck was an outstanding teacher! He started teaching and coaching at Snohomish junior high school in 1983. While at the junior high, he would take his athletes to the University of Washington to work on the hurdle crew for their home meets. Tuck moved to Snohomish High School in 1988, the same year he became the head track and field coach. He loved Snohomish High School, proudly claiming to people “Once a Panther, always a Panther!” In 2013 he was recognized as the Civics Teacher of the Year in Washington State, a testament to the fact that his Hall of Fame ability extended into every aspect of his professional life. Tuck was a powerful voice for the sport of track and field, he was an amazing man to work with in the state association, he was the consummate professional in school, a civically minded community member willing to help those in need. Tuck was a good friend to so many. And, he could coach! Above all else, Tuck loved his family and he was a devoted husband and father. Family was at the center of his life and he made those kids he coached, the people at Snohomish High he worked with, the people in the community, the coaches in the state association, part of an extended family.
It is with the greatest honor that the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Association recognize Tuck Gionet as an outstanding coach and one of the founding fathers of the WSTFCA. There isn’t a finer representative of the sport of track and field or of the coaching profession anywhere. It is with great honor that we recognize his important achievement as a coach and his contribution to the sport and welcome Tuck into the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame.