Ex-Chesapeake coach Warner, 58, dies in N.C.

Elementary P.E. teacher was struck by car Sunday

January 19, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Dave "Pop" Warner, baseball coach at Chesapeake from 1981 through 1985 and later an assistant at UMBC, was hit by a car Sunday night in Nags Head, N.C., and died yesterday morning.

Warner, 58, an Anne Arundel County elementary school physical education teacher, was on a vacation at the Outer Banks with his wife Claudia and daughter Wendy.

"They had been to supper [Sunday night] and came out of the restaurant, and crossing the street, Dave was run down by a car," said John Irvine, retired Chesapeake physical education teacher and golf coach.

"His wife and daughter just missed getting hit by the car."

Dr. Rick Gehlert, Warner's personal physician and close friend, said Warner "had a fractured skull and lived about three or four hours after the accident."

"He probably didn't know what hit him and died at Norfolk General Hospital. He requested to be cremated and donate organs," Gehlert said.

Warner graduated from the University of Maryland and was an avid Terps fan. He began his 34-year teaching career at Bodkin Elementary and in recent years had taught at a couple of other county schools.

It was at Northeast High in the late 1970s that Warner began his coaching career as JV baseball coach under the late Harry Lentz.

On the recommendation of Lentz, Warner landed the Chesapeake baseball job in '81 and in his third year led the Cougars to their first of two appearances in the state playoffs.

Chesapeake went 14-8 in 1983, winning the 4A East region and advancing to the state final, where it lost, 7-3, to Dundalk.

In 1984 Warner led the Cougars to the region playoffs and an 11-8 record, earning him county coach of the year honors in 1984. He coached one more season before joining the UMBC staff in 1986.

"The kids loved him," said Chesapeake football coach Tom Kraning.

"He was always looking to help people from the kids to his peers."

Jill Irvine, John Irvine's wife, who taught Warner's daughter Wendy in second grade at Bodkin, said that she was always impressed "with the all kids who came back to see him after they had grown.

"Dave kept in touch with so many of them, and they would come back to see him or ask for advice. He was a happy man, full of joy. My mom always said there are two kinds of people, givers and takers. Dave was definitely a giver."

Warner is survived by his wife, daughter, son Michael, , his mother Elizabeth Warner and a twin sister Debbie, who lives in Washington state.

Pub Date: 1/19/99

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