2014 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

William Duff’s career with the Bluecoats began in the fall of 1973 when the idea was presented to him of a world class musical organization that would travel the United States from coast to coast performing in front of large crowds of people. This organization was to be known at that time as The Canton Police Boys Club Drum and Bugle Corps and was being formed at Police Boys Club just down the street.

The following summer of 1974 William and the Bluecoats stepped onto the field of completion for the first time at the state championships in Columbus Ohio. Marching from 1974 till 1978 William played the soprano horn for the Bluecoats. In 1979 the Bluecoats went inactive, but William still stayed active with the corps by working at the Police Boys Club and taking care of the Bluecoats equipment. The summer of 1980 brought the Bluecoats back onto the field, but William had to step into a couple of new roles. Instead of playing soprano horn for the corps he had to switch to play baritone horn due to low number of lower brass players. Parent volunteers were very short handed that year too and William ended up driving the equipment truck also for the corps summer tour. William marched and drove for the Bluecoats till his age out year in 1982. In the fall of 1983 after another season of no Bluecoats on the field Ted Swaldo approached William and told him he was planning on bring the corps back and would he help with getting the corps back. From that day in 1983 till now William has been driving trucks, painting buses, and drilling those silver pennies the Bluecoats wear around their necks.

William lives in Canton with his three children Marsha, Elizabeth and Nick. William works at American Road Machinery Company in Minerva Ohio and shortly here in the near future plans to retire and start spending more time traveling in the summer with the Bluecoats driving truck.