written by journalism student Summer Neal
You may not have known Darrell Kingery personally, but there is a good chance your life was affected by him. Whether he was your science or physical education teacher, track or cross country coach, or just a friend, he impacted your life, whether you know it or not.
Kingery was a teacher at Clarksville High School for 27 years, the track and field and cross country coach at CHS for 25 years and then would go on to coach at Silver Creek High School. Some of his accomplishments are leading the Silver Creek boys’ cross country team to four sectional titles, and the boys’ track and field team to two sectional titles. He also earned multiple state titles including coaching Amanda Bell (CHS class of 1999) the 1998 women’s individual cross country Indiana state champion, and two-time 1,600 meter run girl’s Indiana state champion in 1997 and 1998 and in 1999 an Indiana All-Star and Tracy Alexander the 300 meter hurdles Indiana state champion in 1988. “Within a couple of months after joining the team, I wanted to make him proud just as much as I wanted to make myself proud. That drove me everyday for the next four years,” Bell said.
In 2005, Kingery changed the Clarksville Relays to the Sgt. James Daniel Faulkner relays at Clarksville High School in honor of one of his student athlete’s whom he was very close to. “Winning the Daniel Faulkner Relays meant more to Coach K then even winning the Mid-Southern Conference that year. He pushed us everyday, made us believe in ourselves, and instilled a dogged, relentless pursuit of a goal to defend our home track,” Nick Wilson said,” No matter where I was or what I was doing, I always kept that medal close by as a reminder of the individual life lessons Coach Darrell Kingery taught me in the shot put and discus rings and in the classroom.”
Not only was Kingery a coach, he was a family member to all of his runners.”He knew my parents weren’t around that much after my parents divorce in high school and I was very close to going down the wrong path. If my husband and I had gotten married in Louisville, I would have asked him to walk me down the aisle. I’ll continue to spend the rest of my life hoping that I make him proud up in heaven,” Bell said.
Kingery also helped run the Paavo North North Camp for 25 years. The Paavo North Camp is a 5 day camp in Michigan that focuses on cross country running and running long distance running. “His leadership was of few words, but his silent leadership was incredibly infectious. His actions would speak many louder words. They don’t make them like Coach Kingery anymore,” Coach Marshall Sellers of the Paavo North Camp said. Sellers and Kingery worked together at the camp throughout the years.
Kingery taught science classes at CHS including Biology and Chemistry. His coworkers knew him as the guy who could always make you laugh. “Darrell was the teacher across the hall from me; snakes, lizards and mice kind of guy. He had such a quiet demeanor. He always chose his words wisely and what he had to say was always worth listening to. He would get tickled pink over a comment he would make and you couldn’t help but laugh,” Christine Allred, fellow teacher at CHS, said. Kingery retired from CHS after the 2010 to 2011 school year.
Darrell “Coach K” Kingery passed away on Thursday Nov. 1, 2018 at the age of 65. Clarksville High School’s track is in the process of being named after Kingery, and the students at Clarksville Community Schools celebrated Kingery’s life with a spirit day on Monday, Nov. 5.