Dearly departed Waco coach inducted into Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Hall of Honor
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A beloved local soccer coach who died suddenly in January 2020 from a heart attack was inducted posthumously into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Hall of Honor in Galveston Friday night and was remembered as much for his success on the field as he was for his impact off it.
Mike Chapman’s biography on the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches page said his crowning achievement on the field was the 2013 State Championship team that went undefeated with 33 wins and no losses, but that “his ultimate calling was to be a mentor and a selfless friend.”
Mike Chapman was eulogized at the ceremony by his nephew, Dylan Chapman, who said he was also inspired to become a coach at University this past year. Dylan accepted the award on behalf of his departed uncle’s family.
Dylan told the crowd what makes a great coach can be defined many ways, but his uncle was all those things and more.
“We’d all have different answers to that, but I think we’d all agree to get the most out of your players and that’s what he was great at,” Dylan said during the ceremony.
“He could have coached baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey. It doesn’t matter. His teams would have been just as good because he was able to always, everyone around him would always live up to the best of their potential because he brought it out of them.”
Mike’s brother, Kyle, took over the program his brother built. His other brother, Dustin, said being inducted into the Hall of Honor is a huge honor for everyone who loved Mike.
“Our family is deeply humbled by this honor,” Dustin told KWTX. “Mike never sought credit or honors. He was truly a selfless man.”
Mike Chapman’s success as a coach is indisputable. Chapman had 443 wins during his 26 years at the helm of the University High School soccer program. At the time of his death, he ranked 20th on the list for all-time victories for Texas high school soccer coaches.
Mike took the boys’ program to 21 playoff appearances and the girls’ team to seven.
For his success as a coach, he was named The Super Centex Coach of the Year in 2003, 2005, 2012 and 2013. He was named the Super Centex Coach of the Decade in 2019.
Chapman was also the District 17 4A Coach of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2013.
His accolades stretched far beyond the field.
Mike was named University High School Teacher of the Year in 1994, Baylor University Teacher-Motivator of the Year in 1994, Centex Hispanic Chamber Volunteer of the Year in 2007 and UIL Man of the Year in 2012.
But perhaps what he’s remembered for most is his impact on elementary-aged kids around Christmas time.
Coach Chapman started the Make-A-Wish-Come True Program 13 years ago with a goal of granting wishes to Waco ISD students who may not otherwise have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.
The first year, the wishes of about two dozen students were granted. By 2019, the number had grown to 400.
1st Sgt. Leonard Montelongo with the JROTC at University High School said the program was Coach Chapmans’ real pride and joy.
“This was one of his highlights that he looked forward to each and every year - looking at the kids’ faces as they received their gifts,” Montelongo said.
Coach Chapman’s family, along with the University Junior ROTC program, is continuing the tradition this year.
They’re asking for gift cards this year because of COVID. Gift card donations can be dropped off at University High School or the Bush’s Chicken at the Central Texas Marketplace on South Valley Mills Drive.
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