by Bob Carter
Langley — Never doubt that coaching can be addictive, and many coaches fully dedicated. Witness Coleman Chan.
On Wednesday afternoon, during the opening day of the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships, the David Thompson head coach experienced chest pain severe enough that he left his senior boys team, going in an ambulance to Langley Memorial Hospital.
The 22-year-old underwent several tests, was released six hours later and spent the night at a Langley hotel. On Thursday morning he was expected to leave assistant coach James Vuong in charge once again.
That thinking didn’t last long. Chan missed the first set of the Triple-A Trojans’ eventual four-set loss to Centennial. By the second set he was on the bench directing his team.
“I had to come. I couldn’t help it,” Chan said. “I still had pain, but I was a little more cautious. I definitely didn’t want to yell at them.”
His young team won the first set, then lost the next three with him on board.
Told he shouldn’t have come to the gym, Chan grinned and said, “I was thinking the same thing. They were doing better without me.”
The season has been a “huge learning experience” for the Lower Mainland’s Trojans, Chan said. The squad, 0-4 in the BC’s, has all grade 11s except for two grade 12s who joined the team a month ago.
Its struggles, though, hardly compare with Chan’s.
The coach began having neck pain over two months ago, and the discomfort spread to his shoulder, elbow, jaw and chest. He also has had swelling in a foot. He’s been to a half-dozen professionals — doctors, chiropractors and physio-therapists — only to find no definitive answers to his problems. On Thursday, he was heading to another medical appointment.
After the BC’s are over this week, there will be no more volleyball for him, at least until next year.
“I definitely need to take some rest,” Chan said.