Steve Hucke is ready for a change. So at the age of 52, he is packing his bags and heading to North Carolina.
Hucke has spent the past 17 years as a coach at Rochester Community and Technical College. This spring he stepped down as the RCTC women's basketball coach following the 2018-19 season so he could focus more on his new full-time job at the Rochester YMCA. And on Monday, Hucke stepped down as the RCTC baseball coach, citing he was moving to North Carolina for personal reasons.
"At certain times of your life you just feel like it's time for a change," Hucke said. "It's something different and I just decided this was a good opportunity and as good a time as any. There's never a good time — you can always second guess it — but I just hope that it goes well and I'm looking forward to a new adventure."
While he is leaving coaching, Hucke will still be involved with baseball when he leaves for North Carolina in August.
"I'm going to be doing group lessons, camps and clinics at a facility down there," Hucke said.
Hucke was the women's basketball coach and baseball coach at RCTC for 17 seasons.
"I would like to personally thank Steve for his years of dedication to and work with our student-athletes," RCTC athletics director Mike Lester said in a press release. "He has positively impacted so many students, not only in the baseball program, but in the women's basketball program as well. We wish him the best of luck as he makes the move to the southeast."
Hucke had a 297-174 record as basketball coach at RCTC. That included a 34-0 record and an NJCAA national championship in 2008-09, when Hucke was named the NCAA Division III national basketball coach of the year.
Hucke's RCTC baseball teams compiled an overall record of 339-282-1. He also had a 14-25 record in one season at Wisconsin-River Falls.
In baseball, RCTC qualified for the Minnesota College Athletic Conference state tournament in 13 of Hucke's 16 seasons. The Yellowjackets were division champions in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. They won division, state and regional championships in 2011, when they qualified for the NJCAA Division III World Series in Tyler, Texas.
Hucke coached six All-Americans and dozens of All-Region, All-District, All-State and All-Division baseball players.
"I'll miss it," Hucke said of coaching. "There's a lot of great memories there and a lot of great players who played for me in both sports. On the baseball side of things, I really enjoyed the guys I coached. I've had a strong relationship with the guys after they've left here. I'll miss going on spring trips and going to regionals and having a chance to go to the national tournament."
Hucke is also going to miss the other coaches at RCTC and the fact that he is leaving his job at the YMCA.
"I've also made a lot of good relationships with my colleagues," Hucke said. "(Men's basketball coach) Brian LaPlante has been one of my best friends and Amber Zitzow, the volleyball coach, has been a big support for me the last few years. (Wrestling coach) Randy Rager, they have all been big supports. And Mike Lester, I can's say enough about what he's done out there. So there's going to be a lot of aspects of that part that I'm going to miss."
Hucke, a native of Iowa, will be making return trips to the area. His son, Colin, just graduated from Byron High School and he is going on to play college baseball at Viterbo in La Crosse, Wis.