Teen who once asked for soap for Christmas recalls late coach’s impact

Delilah Jones says Chapman gave her more than the toy she wanted; she says he gave her life lessons. (Photo by Christy Soto)

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Waco High School sophomore Delilah Jones, who wanted a toy monkey, but instead asked for dish soap for Christmas six years ago in a letter to the Make a Wish Come True program that late University High School soccer coach Mike Chapman founded and fostered, says Chapman helped change her life.

“I would buy dishwashing liquid for my granny,” Jones said in the letter she wrote when she was 9.

Chapman, 58, described as a friend, mentor and father figure to a generation of students, collapsed outside the school's field house on the night of Jan. 14 after his team tied La Vega 1-1.

He died of an apparent heart attack.

Jones says Chapman gave her more than the toy she wanted; she says he gave her life lessons.

“He told me to never give up on anything,” Jones said.

“He also gave me some leadership skills to work on and I have,” she said.

“I'm getting better at it every day and the thought of him being gone hurts, but I always have him in my heart.”

“Coach Chapman helped a lot,” she said.

“He gave me a lot of motivation and things to get to where I'm at now so I appreciate him for that."

Asked if she had the chance to say one more thing to Chapman, she replied simply that she would tell him, “I love you.”