Starting QB Buechel taking nothing for granted

Courtesy of Athletic Department
Courtesy of Athletic Department
Courtesy of Athletic Department

By Andrew Holman | The Duquesne Duke

Many people on campus just know him as Dillon Buechel, quarterback of the Duquesne football team, but they just might be surprised to find out that there is much more to his story than just being a football player.

A local kid, born and raised right here in the Pittsburgh area, Buechel is a family man, a future pharmacist, and a golf fanatic on the side.

He hails from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania where he was raised by his parents to whom he credits much of his success. Staying close to home has allowed him to maintain a close relationship with his family. He thanks his dad for supporting him and pushing him throughout his athletic career, and thanks his mom for well… the motherly things that mom’s do best.

Buechel played basketball and football for the Spartans at Montour High School. Through sports he developed a competitive spirit that he has carried with him to this day.

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

These powerful seven words from Hall of Famer, Vince Lombardi, have inspired Buechel to give his all in everything that he does in order to become successful.

“No matter how much people try to downplay losing or failure, when it hits, it feels like the end of the world,” Buechel said.

However, even when things don’t always go his way, he learns from them, and this is what sold coach Jerry Schmitt when recruiting Buechel back in high school. Obviously he had the arm and the athleticism, but that isn’t what stuck out.

“That Friday night what impressed me the most was his cerebral approach to the game when he came over to the sideline to talk to his coaches,” said Schmitt. “Ironically he just threw an interception, but I was impressed by the way he handled himself afterward. I didn’t need to see anything else.”

Buechel has continued to impress his head coach throughout his time here at Duquesne, even if he causes his coach to cringe every once in awhile.

“I remember one time he made a throw that I didn’t think he should make, but he completed it and came back to the sideline and said ‘Coach I put it on a dime,’ and that’s exactly what he did,” said Schmitt. “He has a competitive nature and I just love watching him play.”

Buechel has not only earned the respect of his coach, but also his teammates as they voted him team captain due to his outstanding leadership and work ethic. He’s poised to do something that no other quarterback has done since Duquesne joined the Northeast Conference in 2008 and that’s win the conference outright and make the playoffs.

By looking at Buechel stats column this year, his goal may not seem that far-fetched. In his first three games as a starter, the junior has amassed 528 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and has completed 47 of 87 passes, while only tossing two interceptions.

His competitive nature helps him on the field, in the classroom, and on the golf course, but his constant drive for success doesn’t hamper his ability to appreciate his experiences.

“The best thing is the relationships you make and the friendships you build,” Buechel said. “Winning, stats, and all that is all fun, but the things that you’ll remember 20 to 30 years down the road are the relationships you made here, not so much the scores of the games.”