WICKLINE, Daniel C. Jr. Former Boca Ciega High School Football Head Coach and educator Daniel Clyde Wickline, Jr., died December 2, 2020. Coach Dan was born in Fayetteville, West Virginia in 1927. His father worked in the coal mines as an electrician and the family lived in a coal camp that housed miners working at the Kaymore#2 mine on the ancient and majestic New River prior to moving into their own home. In high school he excelled as a student-athlete and attended Marshall College in Huntington, W. VA. on a football scholarship where he graduated with the B.A. degree. He was a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and served as a member of the Military Police stationed in Japan at end of WWII. He moved to Florida in 1957 with his wife and sons to take a position as a teacher and football and track coach at Boca Ciega High School. During his tenure as Track Head Coach, his track men routinely excelled in county, regional and state meets. He was named Football Head Coach of the Boca Ciega Pirates in 1965 and took his team to its first District 4A Championship in 1971. He also spent many years working off hours as a top credentialled Florida State high school basketball referee for local and regional games and state tournaments. He transitioned to Athletic Director of Boca Ciega in 1975 and was elected an inaugural member of the Boca Ciega High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. The Boca Ciega "Dan Wickline (football) Field" was named after him in an honorary ceremony in 2017. He is predeceased by one son, David; and survived by three sons from a first marriage, Samuel, Daniel, Joe; four step-daughters from a second marriage, Laura, Jennifer, Maria, Melissa; and 10 grandchildren. His sons remember him as an outdoor enthusiast and sportsman enjoying activities with the family including canoe and camping trips, hunting, fishing and boating, and languorous summers spent as the business manager in residence of the Weeki Wachee Christian Ministries Youth Camp. His step-daughters remember him as a caring and affable father figure, and a devoted husband. His many friends, students, and players remember him as an indefatigable and inspirational leader with an excellent sense of humor, and an endless stream of stories to tell. And he considered himself a lucky man, despite frequent bad hands at the poker table. He was an avid reader and an amateur historian with a breadth of knowledge of the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, politics, and local folk lore. His enduring personal characteristics were pride in oneself, honor, fortitude, and a fierce sense of independence, which projected intensely to those he knew or mentored. Lines from his favorite poem, "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley (1875), exemplify these traits: "Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever Gods may be for my unconquerable soul... In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud... My head is bloody but unbowed... I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." He will be cremated at the National Cremation Society, Clearwater. A private family memorial service is planned for a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to any of the local food banks or organizations devoted to eradication of hunger in honor of his past interest and volunteer service to Meals On Wheels.
Published by Tampa Bay Times from Dec. 23 to Dec. 24, 2020.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Coach Wickline was an unwavering symbol to us on the team. We all respected him. Strong, straightforward, and fair, he was a great example of a coach and a human being. Glad he was recognized for his contributions in 2017.
January 10, 2021
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love of God and support of family and friends.
December 25, 2020
Dan came into my life when I was about 10 when he and my Mom, Donna started dating. Ten years later when all the kids were out of house (not me) they got married (1983). Dan taught me by example how to follow through, have integrity and work hard. He and my Mom traveled the US in their camper which he often talked about after my Mom passed away in 1998. She was taken way too early and Dan always questioned whether he "did right by her" in the end days but I never had any doubt. He cared for her with gentleness and grace which didn't come easy for him. He missed her fiercely until the day he passed. He and I were quite close and had so many fun times when he visited me in North Carolina a few times and me traveling "home" many, many times to see him. As strong a presence as he was, he made it very easy on those that loved him when the sad day came to stop driving, then move from the home he loved which I know left him so sad. He did what he had to do and did it with humor, integrity and grace. For those reading this that continued to call and/or visit him, that meant the world to him! His memory of his students and colleagues was amazing. I miss him more than words can say although I know he's no longer bored (his words) and feeling like he's taking up space (his words too). There will never be another like you Dan(d)! XOXO
Melissa D. Gelineau
December 24, 2020
Coach Wickline was a good man with a great sense of humor. His West Virginia roots made him tough and fair. He lived a long life and gave more to others than he ever took. RIP Coach Dan.
December 24, 2020
My mom Donna, was the love of his life. He missed her so much after she passed away over 20 years ago. In her last days, Dan took tender care of her. They had a great life together and traveled across the U.S. from Florida to Maine to Washington State in their camper. Dan was a true role model to me of what a father should be. He had integrity, honor and values. He was a terrific Grampa Dan to my children, Alina and Ben, and took them camping and bike riding at Fort Desoto. I will always love him and am happy heymoved on to that coal camp in the sky.
December 23, 2020
Coach Wickline was a big influence on me in high school. He was tough but caring and had a great sense of humor. I much later taught at Marshall and we shared a “Go Herd” when we were together. I can picture he and coach Ramsberger together as close colleagues and friends. They were both inspirations.
December 23, 2020
I have lost another coach in my life. As you get older you realize how special these men were. I lived nearby in more recent years and ran into him one more time in the past year or so. We talked what seemed like hours. He could remember everything about his old football teams (me the class of ‘70). I loved seeing him each time. Miss you Dan. Tom Zimmer - M.L. Baseball Scout