Letters: Honoring Chuck Hughes

I was deeply saddened by our loss this summer of Chuck Hughes. Encouraged by the superb tribute written by Ron Agostini. I have decided to record a few of my thoughts regarding the era in Modesto Sports History in which Chuck played such an important role.

Chuck Hughes was already starring at Modesto Jr. College when I was attending the old downtown Roosevelt Jr. High School. His success inspired me, and I'm sure many others as well, to think that going to college might be a good idea! Yes, even then, role models certainly did exist and were just as important as they are today.

I have always believed that there is such a thing as a "natural athlete" and Chuck was the embodiment of that description. Simply stated, Chuck could excel in all of the sports skills that the rest of us could only aspire to, and he was able to do so in such a nonchalant manner.

Everything he did looked so smooth and easy. Also, he never celebrated even his most spectacular feats. Kids today would have described him as being "cool and laid back."

As a college coach, I always appreciated Chuck's laissez-faire approach to basketball officiating. In short, he believed in letting the kids play the game, while not overworking his whistle. Sometimes, my opposing coaches called that the "no blood, no foul" approach, but they were exaggerating because Chuck was always in control of every contest.

In closing, I would like to commend the administration of Modesto City Schools for dedicating the Downey High School football stadium in the name of Chuch Hughes. It was most appropriate and thoughtful to do so while Chuch was still living, to appreciate the honor.


Sunriver, Oregon