Tradition of excellence: Legendary football coaches Terry Logue and Scott Savoie leave a proud legacy at Bear River
With integrity, class, toughness and an abundance of success, the Bear River football program has earned its motto: “Tradition of excellence.”
“In three words it wraps up a lot,” said longtime Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie, “Not only do we want to be good and want to be successful in the win-loss columns, but we want our kids to grow up to be solid men and fathers. We’re going to do things right. … You’ll always see our kids helping other kids up, and you don’t see that across the board. We help our opponents up whether they do or not.”
Fellow co-head coach Terry Logue added, “I hope when you hear the words ”Bear River,“ you think of success and class. Our kids, they play good football, they play hard and they play clean.”
After decades at the helm, Bear River’s legendary co-head coaches said they have accomplished all they set out to do and feel it’s time to step away from the gridiron grind.
“You always want to have won a few more games,” Logue, 70, said with a laugh. “But we feel like we put everything we have into our jobs. One of the things we try to do is give kids a chance to win, and I think over a long period of time we’ve done that.
“For me, it’s plain as day. It’s time to retire. I’ve never felt that before. I’ve been on the bubble a couple times, but there was no doubt throughout this season. My disease (Parkinson’s) is progressing, and physically I can’t do it anymore and do it right. I’m very calm and at peace about it.”
Savoie, 63, said it’s time for him to retire as well, but for different reasons.
“Football is a grind,” he said. “I haven’t had a summer off since I was in, like, sixth grade. So it’s time for me, too, for different reasons. It’s time for me to move on to my next chapter. No regrets. It’s been a great run. Lots of fun. Very rewarding. It’s time.”
BUILDING A POWERHOUSE
When Logue first came to Bear River in 1987, he took over a high school football program still in its infancy. The Bruins had played one winless season before Logue arrived and turned things around.
Logue, a Paradise High School product who played college football at Long Beach State, led Bear River to its first ever win in 1987, and a 4-6 record in 1988. The next year they posted their first winning season and didn’t have another losing season until 2016. By 1991 the Bruins were league champs and being recognized as one of the best small school teams in the state.
Savoie, an Edgewood High School graduate who played college football at Cal Lutheran, joined the staff as an assistant in 1994. The Bruins won their first Sac-Joaquin Section championship that year, beating Golden Sierra, 3-0, in overtime. They would go on to reach five more title games (1995, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018) and win two more championships (2014, 2017) together.
Making the championships in 2014 and 2017 even sweeter was they came against their rival, the Colfax Falcons.
“Those two are the reasons we can retire happily,” Logue said.
Logue left the program in the 2002 to coach at Sierra College for a couple of years, and Savoie took over as head coach. When Logue returned they split head coaching duties, much to the benefit of the program.
‘LIKE AN OLD MARRIED COUPLE’
It’s not often a ship has two captains, but with Logue and Savoie complementing each other so well, the co-coaching dynamic worked seamlessly.
“As people we get along,” said Logue. “I liken it to a marriage. We’re like an old married couple. We’ve been married 25 years out on the football field.”
Savoie added, “our wives definitely see it that way, that’s for sure.”
When looking back on their time together, they both said it was rare that they disagreed and when they did, it was easily resolved.
“When we do disagree, we are good enough friends to work it out,” said Savoie. “But it’s never about the big things. I’ve liked him since the moment I stepped on this campus.”
Their chemistry on the sideline and overall success can’t be denied.
Logue, who first started coaching in 1973, has 251 wins to his credit, many of which came at Bear River with Savoie at his side either as an assistant or as co-head coach. Together the two shared the sideline for 197 wins.
“I think we have a lot of the same values,” said Logue. “We believe in the same kind of things, like what we expect of the kids, what we demand of the kids and what we demand of the coaches. Very seldom do we disagree about how to do something. … The other thing is we try to put our egos aside.”
Savoie said it was his desire to raise his children in a good community that landed him at Bear River in 1994.
“What brought me here, turned out to be the truth,” Savoie said. “I mean this is a great place to raise a family. It’s a great place to be a kid.”
Savoie and Logue both had the pleasure of coaching their sons during their tenure. The Savoie boys John, Landon and Jake, as well as the Logue boys Matt and Zach all donned the cardinal and grey.
“It’s awesome to be able to coach your own kids and their friends,” said Savoie. “I got to coach all three of mine, and Terry got to coach both of his.”
Logue’s sons both went on to be high school coaches, and this past season brought Zach back to Bear River where he coached his Western Sierra Wolves in a game against his father.
Savoie and Logue also expressed gratitude for their wives, who were often on the sidelines rooting on the team.
“Without her support I could have never done this,” Logue said of his wife Andrea. “She was a football mom all-around.”
Savoie, who is also retiring from his roles as teacher and athletic director, said he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife, Carreen.
“It’s time for Carreen and I to be able to go and do some things we want to do,” Savoie said. “And one of those things is get out and watch some football. I know one thing, she deserves to go to Lambeau Field. She’s a Packers fan, and that’s something that is going to happen sooner than later. She’s just been super supportive and she knows football. I’m looking forward to spending some football moments with her.”
Through all the wins, losses, achievements, awards and championships, the coaches simply hope they made a positive impact on the players they mentored over the years.
“The words you hear constantly are: commitment, sacrifice and loyalty,” said Logue. “We were always trying to build that into the kids, so they could take that and carry it on.”
Savoie added, “I just hope that I had somewhat of the impact my coaches had on me. My high school and college coaches, that was an extended family. Those coaches helped shape me and helped me grow up, and I hope I had that effect too.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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