Paul 'Shep' Chappelle died this morning (5 March 2014 - 6.00 am PST). . .he was a much loved swimming coach from Laney College, Oakland City College, Castlemont High School and Indiana University.
He was the first coach in the California Community College System to allow a woman on the men's swimming and diving team (there was no women's team). I am proud to say that was me. I dove 1M, 3M and swam the 200 butterfly. Why would I swim the 200 fly you ask? Because Shep asked me too (none of the guys would swim it). He had to fight every day with his AD and the other coaches in the Golden Gate Conference to keep me on the team (Title IX had passed in April of 1972 and my first season with Laney College Men's Swimming & Diving Team was Winter/Spring 1973).
He encouraged me to become a coach and Physical Education Instructor. He helped me get my first college and high school coaching/teaching jobs (Laney College, Oakland High School and De Anza College). He gave me the opportunity to go to a US Swimming Coaching Convention in Las Vegas in early 80's.
On one of my visits back to Oakland, Erik Toliver took me to see Shep. We did not call because we wanted to surprise him. When we got to the gates of Rossmore, the guard asked who we were and Erik told him that we were his son & daughter. The guard did a double take (if you know Erik & I then you know why the guard did the double take) and called Shep. Of course Shep said yes they are my kids and we were let in. I am so glad I made that visit. He talked of ‘old' times, of what he was up too now and wanted to know what we were up too. I wish I could've have visited more often, but it is kind of hard since I now live in Australia. I did surprise him with a phone call from Perth a couple of years ago.
In the 40+ years that I knew him, Shep supported me as a coach, as a mentor, as a boss and most important of all as a friend, as he did with so many of his student/athletics.
From the bottom of my heart, Shep I love you. You changed my life and will be sorely missed, not just by me but by many.
Rest In Peace
~ Nanci (Patterson) Taylor ~
There is a Facebook Tribute page for Shep. . .please like, share and share your memories & photos there, thank you
Below is from the Castlemont High School Sports Hall of Frame
Paul Chappelle is the 2010 Inductee into the Sports Hall of Fame.
Castlemont's 1950's Swimming, Wrestling and JV football coach, consistently producing OAL Championship teams. Chap was doing in wrestling, swimming and JV football what Stu Carter was doing in football. One impression I had was that Chap's teams always had great spirit. Rick Madrid, one of Coach Chappelle's wrestlers said, “At that time in high school wrestling, some coaches taught a wrestler to get ahead on points and stall. Not Chap. You either went all out all the time or rode the pine.”.
Coach Chappelle had a full time job at the University of Indiana and left it to become a Castlemont coach in 1950. His swimming teams were a dynasty.
In the early 1950's, Fremont was the power in wrestling. It was two years before we beat Fremont, but once we beat them, we became the power, winning year after year.
Castlemont's football teams were always good. Coach Chappelle was proud that his JV teams won more games than the Varsity.
Coach Chappelle is 90 years old and we'll give him is plaque at a private ceremony.