New athletic director has roots in local sports


Chas Kok played as a wide receiver for Lynden High School in Jay Dodd’s first game as head coach of Blaine High School football. At Blaine, the Lions won 14-0. Taking the Blaine athletic director job in July, Chas has returned to the position of boss.

(Last season, coach Dodd notched the record for most games won by a coach in school history. Phil Claymore held it for 46 years at 70 victories.)

Chas grew up in Lynden and played football, basketball and baseball for the Lions. He went on to play college basketball at multiple schools. He played basketball and baseball at Skagit Valley College for two years, then played basketball for a year at Simon Fraser University before they went to Division II. He transferred to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. where he played for two more years and assistant coached for two years after graduating. He received his bachelor’s degree in teaching from Thompson Rivers.

Chas then coached Burlington-Edison High School’s boys basketball team for five years while teaching middle school math and physical education. He said he also helped out with the football team.

As Blaine’s new athletic director, Chas said he hopes to have a wider impact on more students and focus on character building.

“Especially in a small school district, you can have an impact on, not just the high school, but you can have an impact on middle school, you can have an impact on elementary,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is a wider net that I can cast’ in regards to building people with character.”

Chas has asked all of his coaches what character skill they can develop in their athletes. Chas certainly doesn’t lack character.

This January, Chas lost his dad, Jerry Kok. Having coached, volunteered and refereed, Jerry was a well-known figure in the Lynden youth sports community, and was remembered as such.

“He was the ultimate servant warrior,” said Blake VanDalen, Lynden’s head football coach in tribute to Jerry in the Lynden Tribune. “He had the servant’s heart, there are so few things that he hasn’t had a part in.”

Chas said at one point his dad was battling three or four types of cancer yet most people who interacted with him wouldn’t have known. “And if they did, nobody really talked about it,” Chas said. “He was somebody to say, ‘You know what, it’s about other people.’”

Chas said he’s looking forward to being able to bring his wife and their two young, twin daughters to Borderite games this year. As a coach, he said he had to be focused on the games. But, now, as athletic director, he can have more time to support all of the school’s teams alongside his family.

“My dad was able to have an impact on a community,” Chas said. “But not really one community, I think it was Whatcom County as a whole, just serving others. I think that’s infectious.”

This story was updated September 8 to clarify Jerry Kok did not die of cancer. We regret the error.


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