Duchesne Alum to be Inducted Into GAC Hall of Fame
On September 23, 2022 Duchesne alum John Prinster ‘73 will be one of nine individuals inducted into the Gateway Athletic Conference (GAC) Hall of Fame. Prinster was selected for his accomplishments as a football player at Duchesne, and to honor his 27 years of coaching at St. Charles High School.
While at Duchesne he was very involved in the sports program; he lettered three years in football, soccer, and track. He attended Southeast Missouri State University where he played football for a year and graduated with teaching certificates in PE and social studies.
Prinster coached freshmen football and 8th grade basketball for three years at Orchard Farm High School until a recommendation from his former Duchesne coach Frank Barro helped him secure a position with St. Charles High School.
Prinster explained, “[Head coach] Jim Williams was looking for an assistant coach ... Frank said, ‘Hey, give John Prinster a call.’ I got the job as PE teacher and assistant varsity coach. I stayed there for 27 years. I also was a counselor for 24 years.”
Frank Barro will be posthumously inducted into the GAC Hall of Fame this September as well.
“For me [he and I] being inducted at the same time really is an honor,” said Prinster. “He did a lot for [Duchesne] to get things started. He was just a super man who shaped a lot of us.”
In 1982 Prinster helped lead the St. Charles Pirates to the Missouri 4A State Football Championship, making them the only St. Charles County school to win a state football championship at that time.
Along the way, Prinster became head track coach and helped further the success of the program by winning the 1990 conference championship, and finishing 4th in 1991 and 1995 state track meet in class 3.
“I had a lot of good athletes,” he said. “We did fantastic.”
During this time Prinster always maintained a friendly, yet competitive relationship with his alma mater.
“It was pretty cool because the kids from Duchesne would come over and practice at [our facility] because we had an all-weather track,” he said. “It was good competing with each other ... It was just fun. There was a rivalry, but also they rooted for us, and we rooted for them.”
Stephen Jacob, athletic director at St. Charles High School from 1995 to 2006, worked with Prinster throughout the 80s and 90s.
“I worked with him in track and field, and felt that he was an excellent coach. He’s well deserved of the honor that's for sure,” said Jacob. “He understood his athletes and got the best out of them.”
Prinster would go on to teach and coach at Chaminade High School before retiring in 2011.
During his career, Prinster maintained a strong connection to his Catholic faith. He said it was a connection that was made stronger by his time at Duchesne.
“My faith has always been pretty strong,” he said. “The various things they instilled in us in terms of living your faith and trying to continue to grow in your faith, that’s what I continued to do. It’s still very important.”
The GAC recognizes individuals based on their high school and post-high school athletic accomplishments. A committee of former and current athletes, coaches, and activities directors makes the final decision as to who is inducted.
Prinster will be recognized during a ceremony on September 23 before the football game at St. Charles High School.