Bamberg gym named for coach
BAMBERG, Germany — Bamberg’s school gymnasium was named Wednesday after Charles E. "Chuck" Jordan, a beloved coach who died a week before the high school basketball team headed to its division championship game last year.
The gym, used by high school and middle school students, now will be known as the Jordan Gym. It was dedicated Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony.
Jordan, a teacher and coach of several sports at Bamberg for 20 years, died on Feb. 18, 2008, from complications from surgery. He was 55.
He passed away just a week before the Bamberg Barons varsity basketball team was to play in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe Division III championship.
The Barons won the championship and dedicated the game to Jordan.
A crowd of students, coaches and military officials from the Bamberg community and beyond gathered to dedicate the gym.
"He spent most of his life in this gym," said Dauria D’Orsi, a coach at the school who worked with Jordan for 17 years.
"There could be no greater honor than to have the gym in his name."
Patch High School coach Allen Archie, who came to the ceremony from Stuttgart, talked about how his friend might react to the honor.
"I know he’s looking down, saying, ‘It’s about time,’"" Archie said, fighting back his emotions. "Chuck was a person that once you met him he was a lifelong friend."
Photos and other memorabilia from Jordan’s years at the school decorated the gym hallways.
"What should we do, how should we honor him?" asked Jim Davis, the high school’s athletic director. "Do we put coach? Do we put teacher? And somebody said to me, make sure we put father up there, because that’s what he was to all of us."
After the ceremony, guests stayed to talk about Jordan’s influence on the community.
"Coach Jordan has taught us how to be champions on and off the court," said Joshua Robinson, a recent Bamberg graduate.
"The thing I remember him saying at the beginning of the season is, ‘If you want to be champions, this is what it takes — now get down,’ " Robinson said. "Even though he passed on, I smile because I know he is somewhere in heaven blowing his whistle."