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Madison High Coach Loses Battle With Cancer

Robert Chandler, a teacher at Madison High School for 30 years, died Thursday, according to the high school athletic director.

Robert Chandler, a coach and teacher at for three decades known for holding students to high standards and earning their respect, died Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to Madison Athletic Director Sean Dowling.

Chandler won two state championships in his tenure as varsity soccer coach and, last month, students and alumni showed their appreciation and support for Chandler —the Chandler Cup—in his honor.

In addition to coaching the varsity boys soccer team, Chandler coached varsity baseball and basketball, winning a sectional championship in baseball and qualifying for the state tournament several times in basketball.

Chandler, a Millburn resident, taught physical education, driver's ed, health and first aid. He retired from the district effective July 1.

In an interview at the June 20 tournament, he credited students and his family with keeping him going. He also said the years teams didn't bring home titles were still successes in his book.

"They did the best they could," he said. "That's sometimes as good as winning the championship."

Information about services was not immediately known Friday afternoon.

Lisa Ellis July 13, 2012 at 08:37 PM
So many of us who knew him were so hoping he would be the exception and beat this horrible disease but sadly that didn’t happen. He was a true Madison icon and will be so deeply missed by all but he will never be forgotten. He touched the lives of so many students at Madison High School as a coach and gym teacher, including my five children who all adored him. He was tough but fair, irascible, yet endearing…complicated, unique. He helped teach my kids respect, the value of hard work and made them laugh. He was one of a kind and can never be replaced. My heart goes out to his family.
Madison Station July 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I just felt a jab to the heart, of a different sort. We'll miss you, Chandler.
Christina Negri July 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Chandler put a smile on very student face who walked the halls of Madison High School. He truly was one of a kind and will certainly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
Dan Phillips July 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Chandler made my sons better men at everything they do. He will be sorely missed. From the bottom of our hearts we are sorry. And thank you. The Phillips Family
Robert I. Grundfest July 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM
On behalf of the Madison Education Association, I am deeply saddened by this news. I worked with Bob Chandler as a teaching colleague and coach since I came to Madison in 1989. You always knew where you stood with Bob (though this did make some people uncomfortable) and he was committed to educating every one of his students. As a coach, he won two state soccer titles in the 1990s, and I was proud to be part of that coaching team. Bob taught his players, and me, the importance of preparation and dedication, but he also coached fairness, teamwork and love of the game. As a person, he was intensely loyal to people who showed loyalty back to him, and he was a friend through thick and thin. We will all miss Bob. Our condolences go out to his family.
Eileen Reeve July 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Three of my four children had Coach Chandler. They loved his "Chandler way" of doing anything. The one who didn't have him felt deprived, she had to settle for being the sister of....while wishing & hoping right up to senior year that she would finally get lucky & have Coach Chandler for a teacher. That about says it all. The kids loved & adored him for the honest & fair person he was. And his "way" was what endeared him to us all the more. Madison has lost more than a teacher, we've lost a great example of a human being.
Dusty Rhodes Sr July 14, 2012 at 02:01 AM
We are so sorry for the lose of Bob. We enjoyed knowing him and may he rest in peace. God Bless him and his family at this sad sad time, many students will miss you Coach..
Greg Lowe July 14, 2012 at 04:16 AM
I am very saddened by the news of coach Chandler passing. My heart and prayers go out to him and his family. Rest in peace.
Kevin Blair July 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Madison Station, thanks for making me laugh. I was the recipient of numerous "Chandler pokes" during my time at MHS. I was always amazed how sometimes he did it so perfectly that it caused the sound from your sternum to echo across the gym. I can only hope that Chandler knew how beloved a teacher and coach he was to thousands of kids whose lives he touched, literally and figuratively. He will be missed, but never forgotten. My deepest sympathies to his wife and his kids. Godspeed Chandler. Thanks for everything you did for me, and countless others.
peggy burns July 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM
I am truly brokenhearted at the news of "Chandler's passing. We were colleagues and friends at MHS for 11 years. I was the school nurse there and he came into my office every day to say hi and chat a bit. He was quite a guy, an original character and always put a smile on my face. My heart goes out to his family. "Rest in Peace"
Jaclyn Negri-Turney July 15, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Chandler was truly a fighter! Thanks for teaching us all to be a little more "tough skinned" and for giving the families of Madison memories that can never be replaced! No other educator/coach that walks the halls of MHS will ever leave the impression that Chandler has left!
kerri masiello July 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
I feel so bad for mr. chandler i had him for gym he was such a great teacher. He will be missed. My prayers go out to his family.

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