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Published: Thursday, 4/28/2005

Players respected Springfield coach

Allen Ray Dukate, 55, a Temperance resident who was athletic director and former baseball coach for Springfield Local Schools, died of a neurological disease yesterday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo.

He stopped working early this year because of his illness, his son, Brent, said.

Mr. Dukate loved baseball, his son said, "for the smell of the grass, and the feel of rawhide in his hand, and the friendships that he developed."

Pat Cunningham, who preceded Mr. Dukate as Springfield's athletic director, said students respected his knowledge of the game, his fairness, and his integrity. "He didn't stress winning; he stressed more doing your best," Mr. Cunningham said.

Mr. Dukate was athletic director at Springfield for six years, after serving three years in that position at Sylvania Southview and one year at Lake High School.

He previously taught industrial arts and coached baseball and football at Springfield High School for 17 years. He was also head baseball coach at Bedford High School from 1987 to 1992.

Mr. Dukate graduated from Admiral King High School in Lorain, Ohio, in 1967. Though he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, he chose to take a full baseball scholarship to Miami University of Ohio, where he was a pitcher. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in education.

He then played two years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization until a shoulder injury ended his career. He later received a master's in administration from Eastern Michigan University.

He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.

Surviving are his wife, the former Linda DeMarco, whom he married in 1971; sons, Brent and Scott; sister, Earlene Pullins, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. today and 2 to 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Bedford Funeral Chapel, where services will be at 4 p.m. tomorrow. The family suggests tributes to the Miami University Baseball Project.

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