One high school is mourning the loss of their former gym teacher and football coach.

This is a tough one.

High School can be great and it can also be one of the most complicated times of your life. You're navigating growing up, friendships, dating, school work, sports and making some big decisions about your future.

As a former high school student I can safely say during this time you pretty much hate all and any adults. You think they don't understand anything you're going through, they are just a pain and they have no idea what kind of pressure your under. Every now and then there's a special adult that is able to connect with their students and become more a mentor to them during this time.

That was Coach Chuck Drury from Pomperaug High School in Southbury. I have vivid memories of walking down the hallway and seeing students high-five him and joke around with him at all points of the day. It's a rare sight to see especially at a time where students usually despise their teachers.

Chuck Drury was a physical education teacher at Pomperaug High School in Connecticut for 33 years and helped coach football for 40 years. He was even honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Walter Camp Football Association which is a HUGE HONOR. Most importantly, he was a beloved husband, father, teacher, coach and friend to all those who were around him.

I have my own personal experience with Coach Drury.

I was a senior and taking my last semester of gym class. For the record, I'm not the most athletic person and at that time sports was the LAST THING on my mind. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but there was confusion and I was getting marked down absent for gym class. Trust me I was going and DID NOT LIKE IT. Anything that ruined my hair and makeup at the time where your the most vein was a pain, but I was going and participating.

I can still feel my wrist hurting from I took being marked absent pretty personal.

So a letter was sent to my home saying I've missed a lot gym classes and this could impact me passing the class. Needless to say, this letter did not go over well at home. My parents pretty much let my brother and I do what we wanted within long as we kept our grades up. Also, I was going to class, changing into the uniform and messing up my hair so the confusion made me upset too.

At the time, the person to talk to was Coach Drury. I was nervous and couldn't believe this was happening....seriously over senior gym class? I even had a few other people in class who said they would vouch for me and mention how they have seen me in gym class too. I walked in his office afraid like really afraid, but right away he was so, so nice. I explained the confusion and expected to get chewed out, lectured or told there was nothing that could be done.

I was shocked what happened next.

Coach Drury was so unbelievably kind. He told me to not worry and he said that about 3 times. He said there must be some kind of confusion and he'd talk to the teacher about what's going on. He also mentioned if i went to the weight room a few times that could excuse everything and I'd be all set and would pass gym class with flying colors. I will never forget how nice he was, how quickly he solved the problem and never once made me feel like I did something wrong.

His kindness always stood out to me and I credit him to helping me pass senior year gym class. Thank you Coach Drury, the story of me not passing gym class would have ended up on atleast one radio station here.

I was devastated to learn that Chuck Drury passed away yesterday (Tuesday) in a fatal car accident in Newburgh. Like i said, this is a tough one. A few of my high school friends have posted about how sad they are about his passing and what an amazing human he was.


These are some of the messages JUST on Instagram:

  • Kaden- "Wouldn't know how to hold a football if it wasn't for him. Rest in Peace"
  • Nick- "Such an amazing coach, we will miss you thank you for everything Coach Chuck"
  • Ryan- "I owe him a lot. Rest in Peace Coach"
  • Luis-" He never failed to put a smile on all of our faces. Rest in Peace Coach"
  • Johnny-"Absolute legend. What a huge loss to the sports world and the state of Connecticut. Coach was the best. Bar none. Thank you for all you did for so many player coaches and families. You will be missed'

Rest easy Coach and thank you for touching so many lives.

We need something positive, here's some awesome pictures from Shop With a Cop:

WRRV's Shop with a Cop 2023

Gallery Credit: Chuck Merrihew