Bob Chambers – a Legend of Legends

Published 11:54 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021

BY C.Y. PETERS
This past week Coach Bobby Chambers reunited with a few coaching friends at the Legends Lunch held each Wednesday at Dino’s Restaurant in Elizabethton.

Chambers, a TSSAA Hall of Fame candidate and an Elizabethton High School and Carter County Sports Hall of Famer started his coaching career working with some of the best starting as the JV coach for John Treadway who won the 1950 state title at Happy Valley.

Chambers played sports at Elizabethton and Milligan College where he graduated in 1959.

One of Chamber’s former players was Mark Mason, who played at Sullivan East. Chambers coached Sullivan East as the school’s first basketball coach.

Mason was a long-ball shooter and if there had been a three-point shot, would have held many unbreakable records in Tennessee. Mason hit 86.6 percent from the charity stripe and is third all-time in the TSSAA record books.

Mason hit 349 of 403 in his career and was 118 of 132 for 89.4 percent his senior season.

Before East, Chambers coached from 1966-1968 at Lynn View High School where he compiled a record of 124 wins and 16 losses.

After East, he took the Tennessee High coaching job where he stayed for ten years, from 1970-79. During his time as coach, he played in three sub-states and one state tournament.

He coached great players like Mark Mason, Martin Crussell, and Derrick Hord who some believe was the best athlete to play in the East Tennessee area. Hord went on to play at Kentucky. He played in all 35 games as a freshman.

Chambers left Bristol to become an assistant coach at Kentucky for four years.

In high school coaching, Chambers had 13 twenty-win seasons. He coached the 1979 McDonald All-Star game. Chambers was voted Coach of the Year eight times in the Big Six and was Coach of the Year three times in the Big Nine.