Hartford, Conn. –Trinity College lost a beloved member of its community on Friday, as Chester "Chet" McPhee, former head coach of the College's men's and women's swimming and diving teams and its men's lacrosse team, passed away at the age of 83. McPhee suffered from a heart attack during his Friday morning radio show on WRTC-FM, Trinity's campus radio station, and died at Hartford Hospital. He hosted the weekly jazz show "Sunrise Serenade" for almost 20 years. McPhee was recently written about in a sports column by Lori Riley in the Hartford Courant and a news story by Anne Hamilton in the same paper.
McPhee started the men's lacrosse program at Trinity, and coached the Bantams from 1961-1978. He totaled 78 wins and 77 losses, qualified for the ECAC Championship Tournament in his final season, and guided the Bantams to a No. 9 final ranking in New England in 1971. McPhee also coached the Bantam varsity men's and women's swimming and diving teams from 1979 to 1994, compiling dual-meet records of 76-71 for the men's team and 71-65 for the women's team. His 1984 women's swimming and diving squad recorded a perfect mark of 10-0, and he coached All-American women's swimmers during his tenure.
McPhee was also a professor in the Trinity College physical education department, and taught one of the College's most popular first-year seminars for many years. He coached Trinity's freshman football team in the 1960's and 1970's, and served as an assistant women's soccer coach.
McPhee attended Oberlin College for his undergraduate years and earned two master's degrees -- from Ohio State University and from Trinity in 1968. He added a doctoral degree from Ohio State, becoming the only member of the Trinity athletic department with a Ph.D. From 1951-1953, McPhee served in the Army, reaching the rank of corporal. In November of 2010, a new scoreboard in the Trinity natatorium was unveiled during Trinity's Homecoming Weekend and named for McPhee.
Calling hours will be this Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home in Wethersfield. The funeral will be on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Corpus Christi Church in Wethersfield. There will also be a tribute show honoring McPhee Friday on WRTC from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., hosted by the station's jazz director and longtime friend Bob Parzych.