Legendary Coach Clifford Kirk 'Responsive' After Ballfield Collapse

Family Confirms 'Cardiac Event,' ICU Overnight

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - by David Jenkins

Legendary local softball coach Clifford Kirk, in the midst of one of the most remarkable seasons in his nearly 40-year career, collapsed during the seventh inning of his Sale Creek's team Region 3-A battle with Whitwell Wednesday night.

Playing on their still-under-construction home field, Kirk had the winning run on second base in a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. As he turned towards his runner, he raised his left hand as if to convey a message, but uttered a very audible groan and collapsed directly across the bag, seemingly unconscious.

A trained medical attendant began CPR almost immediately, but there was no portable defibrillator on hand in the makeshift stadium or the two Hamilton County Sheriff's cars that arrived in less than five minutes. Approximately three minutes later, paramedics arrived and attempted to defibrillate the fallen coach once. CPR continued until he was loaded in the ambulance for transport to Erlanger.

Sale Creek principal Tobin Davidson said that the last word he got from the paramedics was that Kirk had a pulse and had opened his eyes, but was non-responsive. However, Channel 9 sports director Darrell Patterson has tweeted that Kirk became responsive during his transport to Erlanger. East Hamilton coach Cara Stiles, who played for Kirk at Soddy-Daisy and whose own team won its region championship game earlier Wednesday, tweeted from the hospital that Kirk conversed with EMTs.

Late Wednesday night, Kirk's family confirmed that the coach had suffered "a cardiac event" and was being closely monitored in Erlanger's ICU.

Sale Creek and Whitwell were locked in a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning of their Region 3-A final game, a rematch of the District 6-A tournament last week. Sale Creek players were allowed to leave for the hospital and it was agreed between Davidson and Whitwell coach Grace Pickett that a decision on the game would be made Thursday. Both teams already advance to Friday's sectional round by virtue of first-round region wins on Monday.

This was Kirk's first season at the small school, persuaded from retirement from former Soddy-Daisy athlete, teacher and coach Davidson. Last year's Sale Creek team won only one game, but this year's squad took a 21-16 record into Wednesday's contest with Whitwell.

 


Five Area Players Voted to TSWA All-State Boys Basketball Team

Five area players have been voted to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association boys all-state basketball team. Area players voted all-state were Bradley Central's Cole Copeland, Brainerd's Kentrell Evans and Dajuonta Ross, Central's Ryan Montgomery, and McCallie's Junior Clay. 2015-16 Tennessee Sports Writers Association Girls All-State Teams   Class AAA   ... (click for more)

Lookouts Rally, Then Falter In Ninth Falling To BayBears Thursday, 6-5

Chattanooga rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at five in the top of the eighth inning, but ultimately lost the game, 6-5, on a ninth inning walk-off home run from Ronnie Freeman. Freeman was a Lookouts killer all night, he was 2-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs. Starter David Hurlbut pitched three effective innings for Chattanooga before giving up ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Mother And Son At House Near Dodds Avenue

No one was home when fire broke out in a Chattanooga home near Dodds Avenue late Friday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around 11 a.m. and responded to 2609 Reece St. with four fire companies.  Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said the firefighters made a quick, interior attack and got the fire under control in roughly 10 minutes. ... (click for more)

Planning Commission To Review New Form-Based Code Monday At 1 PM; Start Zoning Cases At 3 PM

The Planning Commission on Monday afternoon will be reviewing the proposed Form Based Code in addition to a large number of zoning cases.   Officials said the new code and the zoning cases "have generated significant public interest so we are expecting a large crowd."  The review of the Form-Based Code by the Planning Commission is scheduled to take ... (click for more)

The History Of Avondale Recreation Center

I grew up in Avondale from third grade until I was married and two children. East Chattanooga had a center since before I was born. The only time I was gone was when I, along with six buddies, joined the USMC.   The families in Avondale, a working class neighborhood, wanted a community center closer to home so the Avondale Civic League took on the task. They raised the money ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)

  • Tropical Rain Forest Climate At Memorial Auditorium
  • Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com
  • Look At The Town Of Signal Mountain Water Options - And Response