By P. Erik Meyer ’14 & Aakash Jain ’14
Nearly a half century ago Mr. John Chambers first stepped foot on Brophy’s campus.
He will retire this May after 45 years.
Over his career, he has served in a number of different roles.
“I came here as a teacher and coach. I’ve coached football, basketball, coached one year of baseball and one year of track but most of the time it has been as athletic director,” Mr. Chambers said.
Mr. Chambers even served as dean of students for a time.
“When I was the dean of students it was fun being in a different role,” Mr. Chambers said. “That was interesting.”
As a veteran faculty member on campus, Mr. Chambers has witnessed the community grow and evolve.
“His greatest achievement or his greatest legacy is that he has seen Brophy go through all kinds of phases and stages of evolution and throughout all of it he maintained a really positive and energetic posture towards the students and the work,” said Principal Mr. Bob Ryan.
Despite the growth of the student population and the expansion of campus, Mr. Chambers said that the Jesuit presence has remained a constant.
“When I first came here there were a little under 600 students,” Mr. Chambers said. “Even though the student body has gotten bigger, it’s always been the same type of environment. We are going in the right direction, I think we’ve maintained the ‘Jesuitness’ of the school which I think is important. When I first came here there were 35 Jesuits, now we are down to a few, but we still maintain what Jesuit education is about.”
Though the athletic program has expanded over the years, Mr. Ryan said that Mr. Chambers has always remained focused on students.
“He for over 40 years has remained a guy that is student-centered,” Mr. Ryan said. “What’s most important to him is the students here and not necessarily wins and losses, though he cares a lot about having a strong athletic program.”
As athletic director, Mr. Chambers has been able to keep student interests a priority while also continuing athletic success.
“Under his term as athletic director, Brophy’s athletic program has become one of the powerhouses in the state where consistently all of our teams finish among the top teams in the state, and that has not always been the case in our history,” Mr. Ryan said. “Mr. Chambers has provided steady consistent leadership of Brophy’s athletic program for a long period of time and Mr. Chambers in many ways embodies what servant leadership is.”
Although the school work is challenging and the student body is smaller than many of Brophy’s public school competitors, Mr. Chambers has continued success at Arizona’s highest level of high school athletics.
“I think our athletics are heading in the right direction,” Mr. Chambers said. “It’s always going to be a struggle going up against the best teams in the state with our population.”