Chris Connors, a longtime soccer coach and teacher at Bishop Blanchet, passed away Monday after a battle with stomach cancer. Connors was 41.
Connors started at Bishop Blanchet in 2000 as an assistant with the boys soccer team and a teacher, and took over as head coach in 2003. The team made three state tournament appearances under Connors.
“He always taught his players to do things the right way,” Bishop Blanchet athletic director Rick O’Leary said. “To win with humility and to lose with grace. Throughout his battle these last three months, he demonstrated that to all of us — his former players, his students — that you may not always win, but it’s how you compete and how you handle yourself in that competition, whether you’re winning or losing, that really says a lot about your character.”
O’Leary said Connors reached the 100-win milestone a couple years ago, but downplayed the achievement because he refused to make it about himself.
“Somebody asked me, ‘What was his record?'” O’Leary said. “I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t know. A lot of that was Chris kind of hesitated to share his record … he said it’s not about the wins. I know a lot of coaches say that. He really made a point about that.
“He was more interested that his players come out of the program as better people — better students, as better sons and brothers. His hope was that they grow up to be excellent fathers and husbands and bosses and employees and members of their community. And he modeled that for them. Day in and day out, he modeled that.”
A funeral service will be held Saturday, Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Seattle and is open to the public.