Clover Hill Bucks head coach Chris Cofer passes away
The Rockingham County Baseball League and Clover Hill Bucks are mourning the loss of Clover Hill head coach Chris Cofer. Cofer passed away this week.
In recent years, Cofer was the face of the Clover Dome.
"He was probably one of the best people I've ever been around in baseball," Danny Grogg, who played three seasons for Cofer in Clover HIll, said. "He had a great knowledge for the game, he was very detail oriented, he was a master at his craft and he had a way of doing things and he was raised in the Clover Hill organization."
Grogg told WHSV that Cofer helped shape who he is today.
"Being able to play underneath of him and to understand how he did things and how his family was so well involved and how he involved the entire Clover Hill community in everything that we did," Grogg said. "He's got to be a top tier guy just because of his impact."
Cofer played college baseball at VMI. He was an MVP and champion as a player for the Bucks and continued the tradition as Clover Hill's manager. He won two titles in five years, including the 2019 season.
"He had a strong connection to that Clover Hill community and before every game it wasn't always talks about just the game," Grogg said. "It was a talk about protecting the Clover Hill community and protecting the tradition that the community instilled."
While he won a lot, Cofer is described as an even better person than he was a coach.
At every Clover Hill game, gatekeeper Chip McIntyre greets fans as they enter the ballpark with his work being a part of the culture Cofer fostered in Clover Hill. McIntyre says Cofer made each person at games feel welcomed, whether they were a part of the organization or not.
"Everybody that came to play, I think he went out of his way to make them as a visiting team and those visiting fans as well feel welcome," McIntyre said. "Sure, we want to beat them on the field, but we're going to be civil about it."
Cofer's wife and two daughters are oftentimes seen taking stats in the stands and helping Cofer with the maintenance of the ballpark.
"He did so much for that ballpark, not just coaching, but taking care of the ballpark, fixing things, getting the field ready for games, he was such a big part of the community and you can really see that going to games," former RCBL media director Matt Atkins, who grew up attending Clover Hill games, said.
"I've heard people describe him in the league as a voice of a reason, as a quiet insightful man," Atkins said. "He was just an all-around great guy, great to be around, great to talk to and an all-around great baseball guy."
There is no question that Cofer will be remembered as a legend.
"First class individual, easy to get along with, easy to talk to, easy to approach, would talk to anybody about anything," McIntyre said. "Never had a bad word about anybody as far as I've ever known. I know we're all going to miss him terribly."