HAVEN, Kan. (KSNW) – Students, teachers and the town of Haven are mourning the death of a beloved basketball coach.
David Chamberlain, a coach many people say went above and beyond for area kids, is being remembered by a lot more than his time spent on the hardwood.
“He was one of those type of people, you’d go right up to them, say how are you doing and he had that gift of gab you might say,” said longtime-friend and former coworker Merritt Wright. “I cannot tell you how much he did for the kids in Haven.”
The Kansas Highway Patrol said David Chamberlain was driving on I-135 early Thursday morning near McPherson when he rear-ended a motor-home. They said Chamberlain’s car then went into the ditch, hit a fence and caught fire.
Chamberlain, 51, was the assistant girl’s basketball coach at Haven High School. The district said he coached at the school for nearly 20 years.
“He’s been with us a long time and built relationships with students and staff members alike. He cared about the kids that he worked with,” said Haven Schools Superintendent Clark Wedel.”Obviously, there’s a lot of tears being shed and a lot of upset folks today. In the end, our team and coaches and staff have to put the pieces together and move forward.”
“He was a great inspiration as a coach,” said Alek Royer.
Alek Royer played for Chamberlain when he coached the freshmen boys basketball team at Haven High School.
“He was just a great role model and great coach and just a pleasure to know him,” Royer said.
Chamberlain was also a long-time board member of the city’s recreation commission.
“He was always proactive, always giving a kid a chance,” Wright said. “We have lost a very important man in this community.”
The school district said it will continue to have counselors on hand for students and staff.