In Memory of
Richard Chamberlin


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Richard Chamberlin - 1966Richard Chamberlin - at event
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1974 photo from guest book                    by Steve RumrillRecent photo from memorial handout
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Richard Chamberlin - 2006
From 2006 Herald Obituary 


February 9, 2006


FACULTY (1958-1993) Richard Hartwell Chamberlin

Chamberlin, Richard Richard Hartwell Chamberlin. May 5, 1933 ~ February 9, 2006. Richard H. Chamberlin, age 72, died February 9 as the result of an automobile accident. A native of Los Angeles, he was born May 5, 1933. A US Army veteran, Richard received his BA Degree from UC Santa Barbara and, moving to Pacific Grove, began his teaching career, which spanned 48 years at Pacific Grove High School. Richard was a teacher, coach and mentor to his students and fellow staff members. He was the most recognized and honored coach in Pacific Grove High School history and was a leader statewide in Cross Country and Track as well as Wrestling. He coached ten League Championship teams, two Central Coast Section Champions and was named a Central Coast Section Honor Coach for Cross Country. Richard was voted as one of the top twenty-five coaches in Monterey County for the past 100 years. Over the course of his career, Richard touched the lives of thousands of students and his love for athletics and his commitment to his students was unmatched. He is fondly remembered not only for the caliber of his coaching but also for the season-ending parties he hosted at his home. Team members were invited to make a montage of the season pictures and bake chocolate chip cookies. Richard complained of the “mess those kids make of my kitchen”, but he always said this with a smile reflecting his pride in his students. Richard is survived by his brother, Ronald, and his wife, Katy, of Grants Pass, OR, two nephews and one niece. A Celebration of Richard's Life will take place at Breakers Stadium at Pacific GroveHigh School on Saturday, February 25 at 1:00. A scholarship fund has been established by several of Richard's former student/athletes. This scholarship will be awarded annually to an outstanding Pacific Grove High School senior. Memorials may be sent to: Richard Chamberlin Memorial Scholarship, PG PRIDE, PO Box 419, Pacific Grove, 93950. Following cremation under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, inurnment will be at El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove. Published in the Monterey Herald on 2/17/2006.



Posted on Sat, Feb. 11, 2006

Coach dies after being hit by car

Was on way home from wrestling tourney

Herald Staff Writers

Richard Chamberlin, a longtime track and field coach at Pacific Grove High School, crossed Sunset Drive thousands of times during the past 48 years.

It was a quick walk to his home, across the street from the school where he taught science for nearly 35 years.

Chamberlin, 72, was killed late Thursday while taking the familiar path home. Chamberlin was walking home after attending the Mission Trail Athletic League wrestling championships at Pacific Grove, an event he had coordinated, when he was hit by a car.

Though he had retired as a teacher 12 years ago, Chamberlin was still wearing a path between his home and the high school, still coaching and directing other athletic events.

"He probably made the walk 50 times a week," Pacific Grove Athletic Director Todd Buller said. "We're all in shock. He touched a lot of people."

Grief counselors were on hand Friday for students and teachers.

"Some kids went home," Buller said. "He had 40 kids on his cross country team this past fall. I think it's taken a while to sink in. But we're starting to feel the impact."

Chamberlin was slated to begin his 49th season as a track coach at Pacific Grove on Monday as an assistant to Tom Light. It is uncertain when practice will start.

Officers said Roger Holiday, the 74-year-old driver of the car that hit Chamberlin, apparently did not see Chamberlin in the crosswalk. Holiday was headed west on Sunset Drive, which is a part of Holman Highway.

A driver behind Holiday said he saw someone in the crosswalk. But it was too late to stop, Pacific Grove Cmdr. Tom Uretsky said.

Friday morning, Chamberlin's front porch light was still on and a rolled newspaper was sitting in his driveway.

Neighbors on Sunset Drive were shocked when they heard about the accident.

Moe Ammar, who has lived next door to Chamberlin for seven years, heard tires screeching from inside his home.

When he and his wife, Trina, ran outside, they found Chamberlin unconscious.

A neighbor gave Chamberlin a blanket and clutched his hand while he lay in the street.

"(Chamberlin) should have died a peaceful death in his bed," Trina Ammar said.

She said Chamberlin sent her flowers when she and her husband celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last year. When asked, Chamberlin told Ammar to "expect to get one bouquet each month for a year because it's quite a task being married for 25 years."

Despite retiring as a teacher 12 years ago, Chamberlin remained the head cross country coach and was an assistant in track, where he continued as meet director of the annual Pacific Grove Rotary Invitational.

"It broke my heart when I heard about it," Carmel track coach John Ables said. "He was old school and I like old school. He was about sacrifice and giving. I already miss him."

Pacific Grove canceled all sporting events and a school play Friday in memory of Chamberlin.

"That guy was an institution," said Mike Ramirez, former track and cross country coach at Gonzales High. "When you think of track and field and how to do things right, you think of Richard Chamberlin. It's put a damper on this season. It's puts things in perspective."

Chamberlin had the distinction of coaching a Central Coast Section champion boys cross country team in 1974, when there were no divisions. He also coached long jumper Johnny Johnson, who holds the Monterey County record with a leap of 25 feet, 2 inches in 1964.

Last year, the Mission Trail Athletic League changed its annual League Relays meet to the Richard Chamberlin Invitational.

Chamberlin made up the league schedules for all sports in the Mission Trail, Monterey Bay and Tri-County Athletic leagues.

"He's irreplaceable," Ken Kline, King City's athletic director, said. "He's the heart and soul of high school sports. He kept the train running on time. He never said a negative thing about anyone."

During school Friday, a student and runner of Chamberlin's brought in a biography that he had written about his coach for people to read and reminisce.

"He is the most sufficient person we've had at this school in the last 50 years," Buller said. "I'm trying to remember all the positives. Because there are so many."

Services are pending.


More than a coach will be missed

John Devine Just a Thought In The Monterey Herald 2/19/06

Listen to the answering machine and the voice is alive and well.

Drive by Richard Chamberlin's home and his car remains unmoved, tucked neatly against the fence.

Chamberlin didn't have much use for a vehicle. He lived 100 feet from where he worked for nearly 50 years at Pacific Grove High.

At 72, Chamberlin, who never married, was still doing what he treasured, what he devoted his life to -- working with kids.

No one could have envisioned when he left the gym after the Mission Trail Athletic League wrestling championships, that it would be the last time we'd see him.

Chamberlin died 11 days ago after being struck by a car as he was crossing Sunset Street to his home, leaving a school, former athletes and a coaching fraternity in a state of shock.

One coach called him irreplaceable. Another deemed it "a dark day for track and field." And yet, another coach went so far as to call his answering machine to say goodbye.

"I first met Richard in 1966 at a CCS meeting," King City coach Jim Stireman said. "One of my sons occasionally would spend weekends with him when he was younger. He was more than a coach to me."

His untimely death came three days before the start of track season, where he was set to begin his 49th season as a track coach at Pacific Grove.

Glance through the fence at the track and something's missing. Oh, there are athletes and coaches. But the man you identify with Pacific Grove track is absent.

At some point, you expect to here his voice. Instead, the sound of kids gasping for air and the wind howling through Breaker Stadium would have to do.

Somehow, you got the feeling there was a twinkle in Chamberlin's eyes from above, a smile as big as the sky beaming down on his track team.

Chamberlin would be the first to tell you, "Do not grieve over me." When his coaching peers in the MTAL named a meet after him two years ago, he blushed and said "Wait until I die."

Forget for a moment losing him as a coach, not to mention an organizer of league schedules and bylaws for the MTAL, Monterey Bay League and Tri-County Athletic League.

There is a void in our hearts that can't be filled. Oh, time heals all wounds. But for those that Chamberlin touched, particularly in track and field, he won't be forgotten.

"He had a lot of wisdom and an incredible wealth of knowledge," said Peyton McElyea, who ran under Chamberlin. "He gave me a lot of advice on life that was invaluable."

Chamberlin's legacy just isn't as a coach. He was deeply respected by his peers and liked by his pupils.

"One of the things we occasionally argued about is people have limits," said McElyea, who won a 1,600-meter track title in 2001. "He reminded me it was healthy to have limits. Two or three years down the line, I realized what he was saying."

Nevermind the fact that he preferred to run track meets in yards instead of meters. That dirt tracks suited him just fine, instead of a faster all-weather surface that so many schools either have or hope to have soon.

If it's not broken, why fix it?

Of course, his methods didn't always appeal to his colleagues.

"But his heart was always in the right place," Carmel coach John Ables said.

Chamberlin was efficient. His meets were run promptly. He was stern, refusing to bend the rules.

"He always gave a fair, unbiased answer," Stireman said. "He would never judge you. He just gave you the facts. I learned so much from him."

The numbers on his track team had dwindled in recent years. Chamberlin didn't believe in recruiting athletes on campus. He felt the sport would sell itself.

In a day and age where rivalries sometimes get the best of coaches and arrogance replaces sportsmanship, Chamberlin didn't hold any animosity toward other schools or athletes. He helped younger coaches. He relished a good mark, regardless of school.

Chamberlin believed in making his presence felt during practice. When meets rolled along, he laid low, preferring to let his athletes soak up the limelight.

"He'd kind of just sneak up behind you," McElyea, who with the help of several Pacific Grove graduates, is starting a scholarship fund in Chamberlin's name. "He cared about all of us."

His knowledge of the sport could overwhelm you. There wasn't an event he hadn't studied or mastered as a coach.

Distance, though, was his forte, as evidenced by leading the 1974 boys cross country team to a Central Coast Section title. His girls team won a MTAL title in 2000.

Over the last few years, there had appeared to be a resurgence at Pacific Grove for track and cross country. Last year he had nearly 40 kids come out for cross country.

An all-weather track was being discussed at Pacific Grove. The hardest part might have been convincing Chamberlin to convert his 12-lane track from yards to meters.

Either way, the hope is it would revive an invitational that Chamberlin started. In its hey-day in the late 1970s and early '80s, some 50 schools would congregate at Pacific Grove.

Before the CCS ever went to divisions for most sports, Chamberlin's meet was a large school/small school format.

To this day, it's too bad the CIF doesn't adopt a similar philosophy for track and field.

Chamberlin still had a lot to offer to the sport of track. The sport hadn't passed him. There's never a right time to leave the planet.

Of course, Chamberlin might argue that at least he spent his final evening doing what he cherished, at a site where he spent more than half his life, watching kids and helping adults.

Memorial services  When:Feb. 25, 1 p.m.  Where:Breaker Stadium, Pacific Grove  Other:A memorial run/walk will take place at 9 a.m.

John Devine can be reached at and 646-4405.

Letter to the Editor Monterey Herald Feb 18, 2006

Remembering our coach

Pacific Grove suffered a terrible tragedy last week when Richard Chamberlin was struck and killed while walking home from a wrestling match. Our loss and grief is deep in this community and especially at Pacific Grove High School. He was a staff member for over 40 years but so much more than that to so many people. Coach, beloved friend, and mentor.

This tragedy happened late Thursday. Early Friday, under the leadership of Principal Stan Dodd and Vice Principal Todd Buller, the whole staff was informed and counseled. They joined hands to inform, counsel and love our kids through this great loss. I am blown away by the level of care this school is giving my child and everyone else's.

This letter is first and foremost a tribute to Mr. Chamberlin. He will be sorely missed. It is also a thank-you to the PGHS staff members who give to our kids so mightily.

Laurie Cameron


Posted on Sun, Feb. 26, 2006


Pacific Grove: Hundreds turn out to remember fallen teacher

Herald Staff Writer

Longtime friends, former students and colleagues of Richard Chamberlin packed the bleachers at Pacific Grove High School's Breakers Stadium on Saturday to honor the man who was a fixture in Pacific Grove and Central California high school sports for nearly 50 years.

Of the more than 1,000 people attending, at least a dozen waited in line to share personal stories of Chamberlin, 72, who was struck and killed by a car as he crossed a street near the high school earlier this month.

Chamberlin's portrait hung on a stand just below a makeshift stage erected on the track field, where Pacific Grove Athletic Director Todd Buller opened the ceremony. On a stand just to Buller's right hung Chamberlin's ever-present green felt fedora hat.

Some called him Richard, some referred to him as Mr. Chamberlin, still others Mr. C. But they agreed on Chamberlin's best qualities: he was someone who paid close attention to his students, he had high standards, and expected the best in the classroom and on the playing field.

"He was one of the most wonderful human beings I've ever met," said John Ables, Carmel High School's track and field coach and a longtime friend of Chamberlin's. "He exemplified what I teach: sacrifice and giving.

"He was always there for everybody... not just kids, but for adults and coaches," Ables said. "You could always count on Richard to help you. Like I've told all the coaches at the MTAL (Mission Trail Athletic League), we have got to stick together and get better because he is going to be watching."

Community contribution|

The night of the accident, Buller said, he was visiting Chamberlin and five former P.G. wrestlers in the school's gymnasium. Buller told the crowd how Chamberlin enjoyed the relationships he had built with former student athletes.

"The look on his face, the joy he had in talking with these men, who were once boys who he taught wrestling, the great laugh he had, and the way about him... it will be the memory about him that I will have always."

Pacific Grove Mayor Jim Costello read a proclamation recognizing Chamberlin's lifelong commitment to excellence in education and athletics. Costello presented it to Chamberlin's brother Ronald.

A surprise moment during the ceremony came when a $10,000 check was given to the school's athletic program by Hugo Ferlito, board chairman of the Big Sur International Marathon, in part for Chamberlin's volunteer efforts during past marathons.

Ferlito said part of the marathon's mission is to contribute to the betterment of the community. Chamberlin, he said, embodied that spirit.

"This man really did live up to that (idea) of contributing to the health and welfare (of the community), especially our youth," he said.

Respect and admiration|

Chamberlin's influence continued years after retiring from teaching at Pacific Grove High, said Tim Minor, who graduated in 1976.

"As I grew older he insisted that I call him Richard, but to me he is, and always will be, Mr. Chamberlin. He always commanded that kind of respect," said Minor. "So, out of deep respect and admiration, I'm wearing my tie and letter sweater this afternoon just as I used to when Mr. Chamberlin required it of us on the days of our track meets and cross country meets. But today I'm wearing it to honor a loving and caring man who inspired me and had a huge influence on my life as a coach, a teacher and a friend."

Peyton McElyea, who was on the track team and graduated in 2001, talked about how some parents would ride with Chamberlin when attending out-of-town meets, and how he would set the cruise control to exactly 64 mph, making clear to the parents that he would not drive any faster.

"The funny thing was, he never went any slower either," said McElyea, in one of the service's lighter moments. "Down through every curve and every back road he could find, he did the same 64."

McElyea said students always found this funny, but not their parents.

"But they always smiled and laughed about it by the end of the day," McElyea said. "The man was simply an institution to P.G. High, and how we are going to replace him, I simply don't know."

Chamberlin was born May 5, 1933, in Los Angeles. He was Pacific Grove's track and field coach for 48 years.

He was killed Feb. 9 while walking home after attending the league wrestling championships at the high school by a 74-year-old driver who did not see him in a crosswalk.

Championship team|

Chamberlin was set to begin his 49th season as a track coach at Pacific Grove. He retired from teaching science 12 years ago after nearly 35 years, but remained the school's head cross country coach, and an assistant track coach. He continued as director of the annual Pacific Grove Rotary Invitational track and field event.

Chamberlin had the distinction of coaching a Central Coast Section champion boys cross country team in 1974, when there were no divisions.

Last year, the Mission Trail League changed its annual League Relays meet to the Richard Chamberlin Invitational. Chamberlin made up the league schedules for all sports in the Mission Trail, Monterey Bay and Tri-County Athletic leagues.

Chamberlin has been acknowledged as one of the top 25 coaches in Monterey County for the Past 100 years.

"His contributions went beyond the kids and the track. He was a human being," said Moe Ammar, who lived next door to Chamberlin for seven years. Ammar and his wife, Trina, ran outside when they heard tires screeching the night Chamberlin was hit and found him unconscious.

"Any time I asked him for anything that Pacific Grove needed, any cause, he always pulled his checkbook and wrote a big check," Ammar said. "Mr. Chamberlin, as your neighbor, as your friend, I will miss you."

Chamberlin is survived by his brother Ronald, Ronald's wife, Katy, two nephews and one niece.

A scholarship fund has been created by several of Chamberlin's former students and will be awarded annually to a deserving Pacific Grove High School senior.


Guest Book for

Richard Chamberlin


Page 1 of 2

From the Monterey Herald Online Obituary


 March 16, 2006

I was very saddened to hear about Mr. Chamberlin's untimely death. I passed through Biology in 1964 and although I struggled he helped me. I would not have passed without his intervention. We will all miss him, those from the past and the present. We are all sorry that the future students and staff at PGHS will miss his wit and professionalism

Scott Self 1966 PGHS
   Scott Self (Laurel, MD )

   February 26, 2006
For those who missed the tribute, please allow me to assure you, Mr. Chamberlin (Chamby as I knew him) was well honored. Honored to the extent that he deserved, that would be impossible. When the school names the track after him, when the city names a park after him, when the CIF finds a way to immortalize him, then we will be close.

Before the memorial, I recalled the influence he had over my life. To think that he could get so much out of me, sometimes for the simple return of a milkshake. He taught me that the finer things in life are earned. He taught me to demand the best of myself. He also taught me that the simple things in life matter. While listening to the stories told, the magnitude of his influence came through. Hundreds feel as I do. I could not believe how many people, some of them 20 years my junior some 20 years my senior, stood before me telling MY stories. Only they werent my stories. They were the experiences of hundreds of former athletes and students who had the privilege of knowing such a man.

Patrick Shabram
Class of 1986
   Patrick Shabram (Brentwood, CA )

   February 26, 2006
The Memorial for Mr. Chamberlin was a fitting tribute to someone who touched thousands of hearts and minds. He was a gracious couch and teacher and will be sorely missed. One fete not mentioned was his contribution to girls athletics. In the 70s, Mr. C coached Ann Trason, who ran on the boys team and went on to set records that still stand. She now runs (crazy!) ultra, 100-mile marathons. Girls, boys, gifted and not so gifted Mr. C treated everyone with respect and equality, and he gave unconditional support. He also added in his dry sense of humor and generous helpings of milkshakes. Where did his lips go? was the team joke. The qualities he possessed, not so coincidentally, are what parents seek to acquire. I had the fortune of being on winning teams and I ran without a team. All four years of track and cross country were fun, memorable and part of my formative years as an individual. I can only hope that my girls have an inspirational spirit like Mr. C in their lives.
   Kirsten Lyders Horak (Seaside, CA )

   February 24, 2006
Was so sad to hear about Mr. Chamberlin's death. Heard about it from Kathy Ramer (classmate) & my sister, Patsy Thomas (Graber). What a bright & inspirational man. I'll never forget the 1st day of biology. He challenged us with "What is SCIENCE?". And then we had to define it for a month! He was an unforgettable & wonderful role model.
My thoughts & prayers to his family.
Barbie Stater (Graber)
PGHS 1964
   Barbie Stater (Graber) (Santa Rosa, CA )


   February 24, 2006
Was so sad to hear about Mr. Chamberlin's death. Heard about it from Kathy Ramer (classmate) & my sister, Patsy Thomas (Graber). What a bright & inspirational man. I'll never forget the 1st day of biology. He challenged us with "What is SCIENCE?". And then we had to define it for a month! He was an unforgettable & wonderful role model.
My thoughts & prayers to his family.
Barbie Stater (Graber)
PGHS 1964
   Barbie Stater (Graber) (Santa Rosa, CA )

   February 23, 2006
I was informed of Mr. Chamberlin's Passing by a fellow classmate, the sadness is still with me.What a wonderful Teacher, Coach, but most of all,what a wonderful human being .He will be missed by all that he touched.
JIm Riovo
PGHS Class of 1966
   Jim Riovo (Terrell Hills, TX )

   February 22, 2006
I was a student of Mr. Chamberlin from 1964 to 1966 when I graduated from PGHS. I was also coached by him in my Sophmore year as a cross country participant so I got the benefit of both his coaching and teaching skills. I took biology classes from him and actually learned a lot about statistics which I promptly forgot but when I had to take it (statistics) again in college it all came back and I aced the course because of what I had learned from Mr. Chamberlin. I was never a good runner in High school but I took it up again in my 30's and competed well as an age group athlete. I remember competing in a race Mr Chamberlin sponosred in the 1980' (breakers and butterflys?), a 10 K that circled around PG. I ran a good race and finished in 9th place for my age group knowing full well I was out of the loop for receivng an award as they typically went 3 deep. But to my surprise I received a 9th place trophy not because I had finished in 9th place but because I had finished in the top 10% of my age group. I laughed to myself as I received the award realizing that only Mr. Chamberlin would think to award results based on statistical paramaters.

My other fondest memory of Mr. Chamberlin was in 1965 when we had a "wear your shorts day" to school. I had my spindly legs on full display when I asked Mr. Chamberlin why he did not wear his shorts today. His reply; "I didn't wear them for the same reason you shouldn't have!"

Mr. Chamberlin I thank you and honor you for being a big part of my life experience and my sympathies go out to your family and friends.

Greg Dorman PGHS class of 1966
   Greg Dorman (Medford, OR )

   February 22, 2006
Thank you for all you have done for me Mr. Chamberline. I wouldn't have passed college Biology if it weren't for the fact that your class was harder than my college courses. If it weren't for you and Ruth Young, Bob Greate, Jim Lebec, and Charlie Howell I would have never become what I am today...a 30 year teacher. You were and will always be my inspiration. You had so much class, I'm lucky to have gone to the greatest school, with the greatest teachers and staff, in the greatest town on this planet. D. Chamberline made it so...Thanks Mr. C, Heaven will be a better place now that you have arrived!
   Ben Culala (Turlock, CA )

   February 21, 2006
Coach Chamberlin was one of the few coaches at PG High that I can say coaching wasnt just another job for him, but coaching was his life and PG High wont be the same without him. He never made you feel uncomfortable. He always made you feel like you could reach any goal that you wanted in your life. At the end of the day, he was just happy that you gave it your best and that you didnt give up on yourself. Getting to know such a good man, was enough for me, I just hope that I can be as great to someone else as he was to all the students that he coached and instructed, my heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Darla McDonald
   aka: Darla Vining c/o 1997 (Marina, CA )

   February 20, 2006
I was very saddened to hear of Mr.Chamberlain's sudden passing. I say "Mr." because I could never imagine calling him anything other than that, no matter that it has been over 30 years since I was at PGHS with him. My time spent interacting with him back then is among my most fond memories of high school- I still have my track sweater and medals tucked away at home along with my scrapbook. I can count on much less than one hand the teachers that have impacted me in a positive and long-lasting way, and Mr. Chamberlain was one of them. I am saddened that, during my past two visits to PG, I stopped by his house to say finally say hello but he had stepped out. Now, when I visit and drive by the high school, I'll look at his house and feel regret. I am now a teacher myself and appreciate even more the positive impact Mr. Chamberlain has had on countless students.
   Dean Roddick (Laramie, WY )

   February 20, 2006
We would like all of Richard Chamberlin's friends to know he also had a step brother
Robert Gitsham. They were brothers for approximately 48years. Robert has a wife, Linda, whom he will be married to for 35 years this July. We also have two sons, Robert 34, wife Jennifer, grand nephews Owen, Cheyne, and grand niece Mia.Other son Jeff and his new wife Raquel. Rich was a very important role model in my life growing up, he was endless in knowledge. He coached me in track, unfortunately, i never made it to the Olympics! Rich was very kind, caring, loving, to my whole family. Most important,my deceased mother Margaret Chamberlin raised and provided a loving home until Rich left home. He was a devoted stepson.Always there for family. I feeel blessed to have had Rich for so many years. He is greatly missed. I won't say good bye, because I know we will meet again. Lovingly, Robert Gitsham and family....
   robert & Linda gitsham (san bruno, CA )

   February 19, 2006
I was deeply saddened to learn of Coach Chamberlin's tragic and untimely death. As a student in his science classes and a member of his cross country and track teams in the early and mid 1970's, I truly appreciate the dedication, guidance, and good humor he offered as a teacher, coach, and mentor. We became adults under his watchful eye, and he taught us to give an honest effort in everything we endeavor. I will always remember his infectious smile, quirky laughter, and quiet encouragement that gave us the confidence to chase our dreams and become the best that we could hope to be. Coach Chamberlin was a pillar of a man, and a monument to those of us who toiled to realize and achieve our goals in the classroom and on the race courses. We shared those years together as student and teacher, as athlete and coach, and I will look back with gratitude on my memories of Coach Chamberlin as a friend during my formative years in the fog, sun, and pines.
   Steve Rumrill (Coos Bay, OR )
Show picture     

   February 19, 2006
Mr. Chamberlin was my stepson Richard Barraza's coach when he held the mile and crosscountry records; and later the MPC mile record. Richard always talked about his coach every time I have seen him over the years. Since my son doesn't know yet, I thought I would express my regret for him.
   Harry Shaw (Groveland, CA )

   February 19, 2006
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mr Chamberlin was my teacher, coach and friend. He made me realize I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it. He was a wonderful mentor at the High School and was well respected by the students and staff alike. He will always be remembered for all that he did and brought to our High School. I will never forget him. He was the BEST!
   Carol Ackerman-Padgett (OR )
   February 19, 2006
Richard Chamberlin was my very first high school teacher (first period in my freshman year, 1969). He befriended me back then, and he remained a friend for the next 36 years. I am grateful to have had the chance to exchange a few pleasant words with him on his last day with us. He was a man whose entire life was exemplified by dedication and loyalty to his students and athletes, to his school, and to his community. As a science teacher and coach, he helped build the minds, bodies, and characters of generations of students. He was a mentor and friend to many, and a positive influence on hundreds of young (and not so young) people during his half century of service to Pacific Grove. His untimely and shocking passing has left a hole in many lives; he will be greatly missed.
   Anthony Troia (Pacific Grove, CA )

   February 18, 2006
Pacific Grove High School has lost a goldmine of wisdom and humanity in Mr. Chamberlin. As my Cross Country and Track coach, he made a profound impact on my life and all of my teammates. Memories of North Lake Tahoe, Toro Park, and the infamous "Huckleberry Hill" practice are flooding my mind as I reflect on those years. As Mr. Chamberlin taught us to dig deep and tap the reserves we didn't know we had, he inspired us by providing a living example of self-discipline and integrity. Although he had led 10 teams to league championships and 2 to section championships, he never talked about it, and didn't seem to mind that we weren't as talented as the teams of the "Glory Days". He truly cared about us, and motivated us to work our hardest to achieve both athletic and personal goals. Many years later, I realized my lifelong dream of becoming a Navy pilot. Thank you, Mr. Chamberlin, for the tremendous part you played in helping me achieve that dream. And thank you for your 48 year investment in the lives of PG High students. We are forever grateful!
Craig Korte
PGHS Class of 1990
   Craig Korte (Midland, TX )

   February 18, 2006
It is hard to express how much Mr. Chamberlain has done for the students and community of Pacific Grove. Richard Chamberlain was an excellent teacher, coach and mentor. He was always encouraging, even when we did not deserve it. Mr. Chamberlain put his students' well being above his own. Even after I graduated high school he kept up an interest and never forgot me. I hope that Richard Chamerlain felt as appreciated as he truly was. He will be truly missed.
   Keith Krueger (Seaside, CA )

   February 17, 2006
We are still in shock over the tragic news we received from our parents - we are deeply saddened and extend our heartfelt condolences to the Chamberlin Family.

When we were students at PGHS, Mr. Chamberlin saw us through as our science teacher, cross-country coach, track coach, and was a familiar face in the Breakers Stadium "pressbox" during football season. He was a great person and will continue living through all the lives he has touched. Rest in peace, Mr. Chamberlin.

Nancy Wong (1982), Sammy Wong (1983), Judy Wong (1984), Gordon Wong (1986) and Dale Wong (1988)
   Nancy Wong (Pacifica, CA )

   February 17, 2006
It is with great sadness to the students and citizens of Pacific Grove to have lost such a kind gentle man in such a tragic way.
I did not have Mr. Chamberlin as a teacher in high school but remember him walking in the halls and on the track field.
A few years back the Pacific Grove Alumni Assn. honored him at their annual dinner and I had the privilege of sitting next to him.
It was at that time that I realized he truly was a honored teacher and special person who I sensed was liked and respected by many students, teachers and PG citizens alike.
To his family and friends I send my deepest sympathy and pray that God will give you His peace.
Joanie Hyler
Class of 1968
   Joanie Hyler (Pacific Grove, CA )

   February 17, 2006
My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Mr. Chamberlin,

He will be so deeply missed by all the students at P.G. High School, and all those in the community who cared so much about him. How very sad that incoming students will not get a chance to meet this wonderful man. He truly gave of himself and gave so much to others. He was a wonderful inspiration to so many. The community of Pacific Grove has lost a great friend. I was one of his students back in the 60's. He was my math and science teacher through those years, and always willing to help me when I needed it. (which was most of the time). I remember he mentioned how lucky he was to have been able to buy his home right accross the street to the school. He could now walk everyday with no car to worry about. I will always have great memories of him. Now it's time to move on and celebrate his life and to know that he is now in another wonderful place where he will continue to be deeply loved and cared about. May his life, dedication, and compassion for others live on foever in our hearts. Sandi Heldt Ellis
   Sandi Ellis (Pacific Grove)

From The Carmel Pine Cone, February 17, 2006

Beloved Pacific Grove track coach to be memorialized

by Kelly Nix

A MEMORIAL service has been planned to honor Richard Chamberlin, the most celebrated coach in Pacific Grove athletics, who was killed after being struck by a car Feb. 9.

Chamberlin, 72, a longtime track and field and cross-country coach at the high school, was fatally injured while walking across Sunset Drive.

For almost half a century, he has been at our school Todd Buller, the high schools athletic director and vice principal, said the morning after Chamberlin was killed. You hear about people who cant be replaced; he was the definition of that. He was a great coach and man, and he gave everything to our school.

The service will be Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. at the high schools Breaker Stadium. Hundreds of people are expected to attend.

There will be so many people there, Buller said.

Chamberlin was a fixture at the school for 48 years and was its most successful coach, winning 10 league championships and two Central Coast Section championships in track and field. He was also named a Central Coast Section Honor Coach for cross country. He was voted one of the top 25 coaches in Monterey County for the past century.

Chamberlin also coached wrestling for years and was on his back from a wrestling match at the high school when he was killed.

Last night, there were firemen he had coached and police officers he had coached, Buller said. The people in the emergency room, half of them he probably had.

He was a very significant person in my life; said Tom Light, a mathematics teacher at the school and its lead track and field coach. You could talk about any thing for hours and he would listen.

Light was a student at Pacific Grove High School in the 1960s and Chamberlin was his coach.  When Light began working at the school 24 years ago, the two became friends. For years, Light and Chamberlin worked together for the schools track and field team.

Everybody benefited from his generosity; he said. He just made it so easy to do things.

Chamberlin groomed Light to become the schools track and field coach.

In just the last couple of years Richard and I switched roles, and I started being coach and he was assistant. He was just a great man.

Although he hadnt done so in about 10 years, Chamberlin also taught biology and computer science at the high school.

The school offered counseling for students upset about Chamberlins death.

He affected thousands of kids, Buller said. I think everyone is in shock and saddened. But I think he would want us to move on after we grieved a little bit.

Police said Roger Holiday, 74, the driver of the vehicle that struck Chamberlin at about 9:30 p.m., didnt see him in the crosswalk.  Police and the California Highway Patrol are investigating the accident.

Although Chamberlin was not married and had no children, Buller said his family was the students, teachers and staff he interacted with. He was still involved in so many of his ex-players and students lives.

At the end of a season, Chamberlin would often hold montage parties at his house where team members would make a montage of the seasons photographs and Chamberlin would bake cookies for the players.

Richard complained of the mess those kids made of my kitchen, but it was always said with a wry smile and a touch of pride, noted a tribute to Chamberlin on the schools website.

I just keep expecting him to walk through my door, Buller said.

   February 17, 2006
Mr. Chamberlin was one of the most important people in my life- instilling not merely scientific precision and the building ground for my entire scientific and medical career, but also allowing me to participate in sports and the important bonding and development that occurs during that oh-so-ackward phase of life. PG has lost a very, very rare exquisite species seen only once or twice in a person's life, I am proud to say I was one of his student's...
Steve Collins aka
Stephen D. Collins M.D., Ph.D.
   Stephen Collins (Lake Forest, IL )

The following is taken from a handout at the February 25, 2006 Memorial at PGHS.

( I have just a few originals.  I'll mail them to classmates requesting it as long as they last.)


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