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Remembering Gil Chavez
December 6, 2011West High School
West High School and Denver Public Schools lost a longtime leader and mentor on November 30 when Gil Chavez Sr. died from injuries he suffered in a car accident outside of West.
Mr. Chavez was an icon in the West Denver community. He began working at West High School in the 1970s, serving as an assistant coach of the wrestling team and a teacher at the school and spent the next 30 years teaching, coaching and counseling countless student-athletes at the campus.
Mr. Chavez will be remembered for his many contributions to West High School. As a coach, Mr. Chavez took over the wrestling program and transformed it into a powerhouse. From 1984 to 2002, Chavez coached wrestlers and racked up victories at city, regional and state competition. The wrestling team as a whole held the Denver Prep League title for five years during his tenure as coach.
Even after retiring in 2002, he continued to support the team as an assistant and continued to see his wrestlers win. Beyond the gym, Mr. Chavez will also be remembered for the way he developed students into leaders. Mr. Chavez was a man of great integrity, and he consistently strove to instill that virtue in every student he worked with. He not only wanted to develop their athletic abilities, he wanted to develop their character too. He helped a number of his students and athletes apply to college and begin successful careers after graduation.
Mr. Chavez's legacy will live on through his former students. In West Denver, there are teachers, coaches, elected officials, community leaders and countless others that can trace their success back to lessons they learned from him.
Posted - Thursday, December 1, 2011