Chuck Hubauer rightfully earned a reputation for making the most out of tough situations during his run as a football coach, athletic director and teacher in Barstow.
He brought a town divided together at Barstow High after Kennedy High folded in 1977. Later he stepped up again as the Barstow head coach when he returned a few years later when two other coaches were hired in the offseason but never showed.
“When the pressure gets on you can see it,” Chuck’s son Steve Hubauer said. “He wasn’t that way. I think he always kind of looked confident. I think that made people believe in him. I’m not sure he was always as confident as he looked, but he put that persona on and it affected people in a way that they weren’t afraid to go.”
Hubauer died on April 7 in his home in Helendale at the age of 85, losing a battle to Alzheimer's disease.
Hubauer was a longtime figure in Barstow. He coached football in various capacities from the 1960s into the '80s and also served as the Barstow High athletic director for a period of time.
Hubauer was born in Clarion, Pennsylvania, in 1931. He served four years in the Navy in the Korean War. He landed in Barstow in 1959 to begin teaching at Barstow Junior High. He grew to love the town, eventually buying a house right next door to the high school.
“I think he loved Barstow,” Steve Hubauer said. “That was where he raised his kids. He spent almost his entire life working, at that high school, doing the best he could. I think he just loved Barstow.”
He worked a counselor and a special education teacher in addition to his roles in athletics. Hubauer retired from Barstow High in 1991 and moved to Helendale to play more golf.
Hubauer coached current Barstow athletic director Vince Williams during his junior and senior seasons at Barstow High. Williams, who played quarterback, remembered him as an excellent coach and also had him for a typing class.
“I never learned how to type because all we talked about was football all the time,” Williams said. “I loved playing football for him. He was really good coach. We had some good teams back in the day.”
Hubauer would still come by the high school and visit in recent years.
“He was a really good person,” Williams said. “I enjoyed talking to him.”
He coached during a golden age in Barstow football. Hubauer was an assistant coach to Art Davis on Barstow’s 1969 CIF-Southern Section title team. He helped coach Barstow legends like the Evans brothers, Paul Veloz and Larry Jones and went head-to-head with Don Markham while he was the coach at Colton for some classic matchups. He also spent a year as the head coach at Barstow Community College.
Hubauer applied for head coaching position at Barstow High in 1976 but didn’t get it. He landed at Kennedy High instead for what ended up being the Spartans' final season before the school closed and merged with Barstow High.
The next year he took over as the Barstow High coach and was tasked with bringing together players who had been fierce rivals previously.
“I always thought that was really remarkable because that rivalry was amazing,” Steve Hubauer said. “To bring those guys together, I think if you look back on it that was one of things he did really well.
“He loved football. He played it and he was passionate about coaching it. He wasn’t the kind of guy who would say this was a bad situation. I think he was ready to take challenges. I really believe at the time when Barstow and Kennedy came together it was a huge challenge to make that work because that rivalry was fierce.”
Hubauer coached at Barstow until the 1980 season that was shortened by a teacher’s strike. He stepped down as the head coach to focus on being the athletic director and activities director. He returned in 1983 when several coaches fell through. Hubauer became Barstow’s fourth coach in the span of eight months and stayed on as head coach before eventually stepping down in 1986.
Matthew Peters can be reached at 760-955-5365 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter @DP_MattPeters.