Panthers Unleashed: The staff comes full circle

Panthers Unleashed: The staff comes full circle

As you enter the Lastinger Athletics Complex and stroll past the weight room you will see a hall of offices, leading the hall is the football office. This is a place where you can always catch ESPN on, find an abundance of snacks including my personal favorite jar of peanut butter pretzels, and have a nice chat with the one and only Head Coach, Bob Owens.

If enough time is spent in the office it becomes apparent that the coaches that reside in the hall have a special connection to one another. I figured that there had to be some history behind the coaching staff and how they all came to be the powerhouse behind Chapman football, and I was right.

Coach Casey Shine, Chapman's offensive coordinator, has had connections with Owens for most of his life as his father knew him way back in the day.

"My dad and he played high school football together at the Duarte High School, near Arcadia where the 57 and 210 meets," said Shine, "They both became coaches afterwards and kept in touch. I played high school football, then college football and got recruited to Nevada-Reno. Coach Owens then gets hired at Nevada-Reno as the receivers coach, I was a tight end so we worked a lot together up there for a year. He then got the Whittier job. I finished my college career and started coaching and, as fate would have it, about twelve years later Owens called and needed a coach. That is how I ended up here at Chapman."

Tom Shine, Coach Shine's dad, and Owens shared their first job together coaching at the high school that they had both originally attended.

"We have known each other for quite some time," said Owens. "We played in youth baseball programs together. Tom Shine has been a part of me growing up, we were boys together."

Coach Kevin Ashton has spent quite some time with Owens over the years as he played for him and has coached alongside him.

"I met Coach O because I played at Humboldt State and he was the offensive coordinator. I ended up coaching up there so we spent time up in the booth together when I first started. I got to travel with him as a player and as a coach so I got to see his personality both ways. You are more behind the scenes so you know what goes into the game plans and all that type of stuff. As a player you are in your own world doing all your stuff so as a coach personally you get to know about him"

"Kevin was a really outstanding player. He always worked hard," said Owens, "When you are around a guy that works hard and does the little things right then it is an easy decision to make as a head coach. Those are the kind of guys to bring into your program if you have the opportunity."

Ashton and Shine also realized that they had connections through an old coach. Ashton's head coach in college was also at Reno when Shine was there. "I didn't even know Shine back then, but then I found out we had all these connections. It's a small world," Ashton commented.

Assistant coach Dave Bishop can be thanked, in part, for bringing Owens to Chapman as he was part of Coach Visser's original coaching staff when the program was revived in 1994. The two go back to 1988 when they first met coaching at Long Beach State.

"He [Owens] left to go to Fresno State and I stayed at Long Beach State for another couple years," said Bishop, "We went a long time not coaching together and then I came to Chapman first in 1994 with the original staff that came here. When Visser left I contacted Coach Owens, who was coaching at Humboldt State, about the job being open and he was interested and ended up getting the job. He kept me on staff, which was a good thing. You tend to hire people that you have been around before and that you know you can trust."

Coach Augustino Adams ran into Owens right out of college as he was looking for a summer job and happened to end up at offense defense youth camp. At the time Adams was a kid just looking for a way to make some money over the summer and Owens singled out his passion, drive, and potential to be a great coach. Adams stuck with it and now works alongside him at Chapman.

"At the time I was thinking bigger, like I would go to the NFL, or if I coached it would be at a bigger school, I was an adolescent," said Adams, "I killed it that first year at camp and then the next year he invited me back. It was a match made in heaven after that, he knew how I coached and he could tell me how to help this guy or help that guy. There is actually a kid on the team right now from when we first met. He came to camp every year and now he is a freshman here at Chapman. He grew up going to offense defense with Coach O and myself. He had other schools he could have went to but chose Chapman because of the relationship which is pretty cool."

"Adams had played for a personal friend of mine that I have had constant communication with most of my coaching career," said Owens. "When I met Coach Adams it was like connecting the dots. He was, and still is, a very high energy coach. In programs you need guys with that energy level."

It is safe to say that it's a small world inside the halls of Chapman's Lastinger Athletics Complex, the football coaches' relationships with one another really go "full circle" as Owens puts it.  Beneath the constant bustle that remains day to day around the office a little family exists and has created the team that our Chapman Football program is today.

By Chloe DeVries
Contributor

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