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.

 


Covenant Men's Soccer Unveils 2017 Schedule

The 2017 Covenant men's soccer season will get underway on  Friday, Sept. 1  as the Scots begin a 20-match schedule with a tilt against Wilmington. The Scots will play nine home matches at Scotland Yard on the year to go along with a full USA South slate. Covenant and Wilmington kick off the season on  Sept. 1  at Maryville. It will be the third ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: CFC Wins Big Over Birmingham

Public Markets To Manage And Operate Finley Stadium

The Stadium Corporation has selected Public Markets, Inc. as the primary management group for Finley Stadium/Davenport Field and the First Tennessee Pavilion. Public Markets, which stepped in as interim managers in April, will take on broader responsibilities and oversight moving forward. “We evaluated several strong candidates and management options, but ultimately felt ... (click for more)

Eyewitness To Murder Says Man In Back Seat Told Another Youth To Fire After Failed Drug Deal

An eyewitness to a murder told a Criminal Court jury that a man in the back seat of her boyfriend's car told another youth to shoot the boyfriend. Charles "Chaz" Holsey, 19, died as a result of the gunfire after a drug deal gone bad on March 2, 2015. Briston Smith, who was 18 at the time of the slaying, is standing trial for felony murder and attempted especially aggravated ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Leaders Stand ‘Way Back’

Franklin McCallie, a former principal at Howard School and the maverick in one of Chattanooga’s finest families known for education, delivered an impassioned speech before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday. Sadly, his remarks came after the commissioners had passed the FY2018 budget that has no financial methodology for the Department of Education, much maligned in the ... (click for more)