Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jack Buckham has died.
He was 78.
"I'm shaken right now just thinking about it," said Brian Olthuis, a friend to Buckham for nearly 50 years. "He was a tremendous leader. I'm shaken."
Buckham, inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2007 as a community builder, coached basketball, football, rugby, track and field, tennis and volleyball during his 22-year career as athletics director at Kam High.
Olthuis, who led the Kam High Red Devils to three B.C. high school football championships between 1985 and 1990, said Buckham was first to welcome him to Kamloops upon moving to the city in 1973.
"He helped in every facet," said Olthuis, who joined the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. "Jack was there all the time, whenever I needed him. It was him. It was him I would go to first."
Buckham chaired the 1992 Canadian Junior Men's and Women's Basketball Championships and 1993 Canada Summer Games, both held in Kamloops, along with numerous provincial basketball championship tournaments.
“A devastating loss to the family and the entire community,” former Radio NL broadcaster Rick Wile wrote on Facebook.
“Jack mentored so many people during his lifetime of teaching, coaching and volunteering to make life and everyone better. His volunteer work in the community was unparalleled and his sage advice was always out of love for the city and those around him.”
Longtime Kamloops Rugby Club member Paddy Harrington honoured Buckham in a Facebook message posted on the club's page.
"He was a strong supporter of the club and he helped the club buy our home on Lorne Street," Harrington said. "Jack was a strong supporter of our scholarship fund and regularly joined in any fundraiser that would assist our young student-athletes in their post-secondary education."