Past Directors react to Championship

Recently one of our Founders, Ralph McCauley, was delivered a surprise at his home: a 2016 Championship ring.  Daughter, and former member, Beth McCauley shared the news and pictures for alumni (see right). While hundreds of young prospects hit the floor in November to audition for the 2017 Bluecoats.  We take this moment to look back at what our former directors had to say about winning a World Championship in 2016.

  • Ralph McCauley (one of the Founding Fathers and retired Canton Police Officer) It’s been a long, uphill struggle but we finally did it.  I am very happy and excited to be the 2016 DCI World Champs.  The thing that I am most proud of are all the members - from 1972 to the present time. I have seen this corps produce attorneys, police officers, doctors, dentists, teachers, drum corps staff and many more professionals who have become role models in their community. I’m proud of all our volunteers now and in the past, plus the original Ghetto Bug Gang (Ernie Adams, deceased) that I drove for several years, big white wall tires and all.  Love You All.
  • Kevin Armbruster (original member, former instructor)


    2016 was a season dreams were made of for sure.  We never could have imagined the things being done on the field by the 2016 corps when we were marching in the '70's, but we always dreamed the big dream. Who would have ever thought a group that started with such humble beginnings, practicing in a Police Boys Club with the drum line in the two-lane bowling alley, would change the drum corps world with such a progressive, yet relatable, show. What other corps survived two folded seasons to reach the top of the mountain? In the '80's we struggled to rebuild and had peaks and valleys of success but always still had the big dream, although the dream seemed closer as the decade came to an end and we finally broke into finals in 1987. At last, the big dream came to life, courtesy of the 2016 version of the corps! I am one of many extremely proud alumni who was honored to be photo-bombed by the entire corps for the alumni photo at the Hall of Fame show...a very cool moment! Thank you to the 2016 World Champions for such a memorable summer!


  • Ted Swaldo (former director) In 1984 I had a dream that someday the Bluecoats would win the World Championship . Little did I know it would take 32 years . It was a great victory and judging from the crowd response the vast majority of spectators were rooting for us. We have fans all over the world.   This victory is a tribute to all the volunteer , alumni  and staff who helped build the Corps foundation .  And I can't tell you how proud it makes me to see the Alumni perform !  It brings back a lot of great memories . I have seen the benefits of belonging to the Bluecoats and see what fine young adults all of them have become. I hope in some small way I contributed in their growth and maturity.  Together we defined the Bluecoats' personality, image and value system - but it took Dave and Genevieve to make World Champion a reality .  They have guided this organization for the past 13 years and are responsible for today's success. Dave's management style and professionalism has built a staff that is the best in Drum Corps. Also, all of the marching members were extraordinary!  While us old timers bask in the glory of winning the Championship, let's remember to thank the current director, his staff, the volunteers and current members for a remarkable season. I can't wait to see what this design team offers next year. I personally want to thank Doug Thrower for his 25 years of service .  It is hard to believe he wrote this years show and the Beatle’s show. That exemplifies the growth of this organization. Go Blooooooo. 


  • Larry Hershman (Program Coordinator) In addition to congratulating this year’s staff and membership, there are a few other acknowledgements from me.  First to the people who marched 86/87, thank you!  You drove the transition from hometown corps to the national recognition.  Second, to the people who didn't leave the corps after 1999 and marched in 2000, thank you!  Your dedication set the stage for what finally happened this year.  And finally to Dave Glasgow who lived through 1999/2000 and learned from it.  Dave you were named DCI Director of the Year in 2014 and while that is something to be proud of, it falls short.  You are the Director of the Decade!


  • Bill Hamilton (Original member, Instructional Staff, former Director) A lot of history was going through my mind that night.  I remembered what it was like to have the goal of merely getting a corps on the field, to making the top 25 to making finals, to placing in the top 6.  When I was marching, we always thought there was something different about the corps at the top.  But now, 6 words….I remembered the struggles and disappointments of 79 and 83, and also the passion and commitment of our founders, Art, Tom and Ralph.  Standing next to the trophy was surreal and the impact probably hasn’t hit me yet.
  • david g
    David Glasgow (current Director)

    To think of where our organization has been in various points of our history, from folding twice to, to starting the 1984 season with a dozen some members in a gym playing basketball, to be where we are today is an amazing feeling.  It’s truly a testament to EVERYONE who helped us get here - all of our alumni, all of our former staff & volunteers and of course our outstanding group of people currently associated with the Bluecoats.  All that said - we are not done!  Plans for 2017 are already in motion!"