For those who have attended a Hershey Bears game, they have likely seen or met a man affectionately known as Cup. Beaker, whose real name is Dan Stuck, has been a fixture at Hershey for part of the past five decades. He is as Hershey as Hersheypark and his stories are as rich as the chocolate produced there.
On Wednesday, the Bears’ longtime head athletic coach announced he would be retiring from the team at the end of the year.
Stuck, one of the most decorated coaches in AHL history, revealed his decision in a social media post from the Bears.
It is with mixed emotions that I will close this chapter of my life with the Hershey Bears at the end of the year. I feel the team and the organization are in an amazing place – and I’m optimistic about the team’s immediate and long-term future.
I love this team and the many different roles and responsibilities I’ve had over the years. My goal has always been to help provide the best possible experience for our players and fans while proudly continuing the incredible “Hershey” legacy. It was an honor to play a part in one of the greatest sports franchises of all time.
Thank you to everyone who supported me during my tenure. Working for the Bears was my life’s dream. I enjoyed every minute of my time with the Bears organization and the incredible work they do to support the Milton Hershey School. It was a terrific trip.
I look forward to supporting the Bears and wish everyone in the organization good luck.
Thanks for taking care of me.
Dan “The Beaker” Stuck
The Bears also released photos spanning Beaker’s 35-plus years with the club.
Former Bears great Chris Bourque was the first player to respond to the news, posting on Instagram that the coach was the “best teammate I’ve ever had!”
Stuck was first hired by the Bears in the 1983-84 season as an assistant track coach according to Elite Prospects. The following year, Beaker served as assistant equipment manager for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers before returning to Hershey in 1985 with a promotion to head athletic coach. Stuck remained in that role until 2018, when Hershey made him his director of team welfare and affairs. Beaker served as a mentor to some of the team’s top prospects, helping mold many of them into the professionals they are today.
Beaker’s vast accomplishments include being a member of five Hershey Bears championship teams under five different head coaches: John Paddock (1987-88), Bob Hartley (1996-97), Bruce Boudreau (2005-06), Bob Woods (2008-09), and Mark French (2009-10). He also worked seven AHL All-Star games and is a veteran of more than 2,600 AHL games.
Beaker received the first Career Achievement Alumni Award in 2014 from the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society/Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers. Beaker was honored for his dedication and excellence in the field.
During the 2021-22 season, Beaker became part-owner of the Hershey Cubs of the USHL, joining an ownership group that includes Bruce Boudreau.
Beaker lives in Palmyra, Pennsylvania with his wife Janice. He has two children, Alexis and Dustin. Just like dad, Dustin is a head athletic trainer with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
From everyone at RMNB, congratulations on your retirement, Beaker, and thank you for all the kindness over the years! Your first drink is absolutely on us.
Main photo: Ian Oland/MRNB