LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Chester Forsh

Position: Physical Education Teacher/Coach
School: Douglas County High School
School District: Douglas County School System
City, State: Douglasville, GA

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Music that Describes Chester

Chester Forsh's nominator would like to remain anonymous.

Chester "Chet the Jet" Forsh, more commonly known as Coach, has been a pillar in the Douglas County community since the early 1970's. He is a product of two incredibly hard-working parents who faced great adversity in the South. Despite racism and segregation during much of Coach's formative years, he persevered and became the first Black head coach in the Douglas County School System. Even though every move he made was scrutinized, he accepted and embraced the role with grace and integrity. His tenure at Douglas County Comprehensive High School (DCHS) commenced 48 years ago, and he is still an educator and coach at the same school.

Over the course of his career, Coach Forsh has coached year round, from cross-country in the fall, to track in the spring. He has collected many awards and accolades throughout his exemplary career. As the varsity girl's head basketball coach, he has over 650 wins, an eight year streak of 20+ victories, and 13 appearances in the state tournament. He coached in the state All-Star game in 1985 and 2011, was named the 1984 state level Coach of the Year, and coached many All-Star game participants, as well as a McDonald's All American. He began the track program at Douglas County, and the team excelled for many years without having a track on campus. Coach Forsh also began and supported the first girl's cross country team in 1979. In the area of track and field, he was named Coach of the Year in 1975, 1976 and 1987. He has also been voted twice by his colleagues as the Douglas County High School Teacher of the Year. He has directed and organized the Special Olympics for over 30 years working with athletes from across the county.

While at DCHS, he earned two more advanced degrees in education and has easily coached over 100 student-athletes who earned collegiate scholarships. Additionally, he finds himself coaching against his former players/students on a regular basis. For many, there is no DCHS without Coach Forsh. In fact, a petition was created to name the school gymnasium in his honor. The petition has garnered thousands of signatures, which is a testament to his impact on the community for the past 4+ decades.

"Coach Forsh has committed to shaping the lives of young people in the Douglasville community for nearly a half a century," said Kim Eldredge, a retired/teacher coach and former student of his. "He has provided a lifelong foundation for hundreds of student athletes who have successfully transitioned to college, both athletically and academically. The standard he has established has made him a pillar in so many lives."

Coach Forsh has spent his own money sending students to camp who otherwise could not afford to attend. He is seen at all types of Tiger performances, including theater, band, choral, etc. He has sat with families and mourned with them through loss. Coach Forsh spends weekends traveling to see his college athletes play in order to remind them how proud he is of them. In short, he has done so much for those who he calls "his kids."

"Oftentimes, people are honored after someone after they have left this world," said Eldredge. "I believe it would be more fitting to acknowledge Chester Forsh while he is alive and well so that any person who wonders, 'Who is Coach Forsh?' will be able to see an example of one of the most caring, selfless, dedicated people the Douglas County community has ever known."

Comments (32)

Ren Kelley Posted 14 days ago

I love Coach Forsh to pieces!

Lori Blevins Posted 16 days ago

Coach Forsh is a legend in Douglas County. If you are an educator who wants to have an example to follow look no further. His dedication is well known by the community. His thought and effort for his students is well-known. He gives of his time daily to students who need mentoring and continues to mentor after students leave his care. Students that are coached by Chet know they are always able to support them. He continues to be a model and educates students on how to do life. He has changed many students lives and has never stopped teaching students how to do their best and how to succeed.

Sharon Bachtel Posted 18 days ago

Coach Forsh coached my kids in track and basketball twenty five years ago. The best thing that he taught them was that if they improved themselves, they were winners. Wonderful person to know.

Elle Lindley Posted 19 days ago

Coach Forsh exemplifies commitment and consistency as a lifelong educator. He works tirelessly for his students and athletes, yet remained a devoted husband and father. His work ethic is unmatched and the many hats he wears communicates his willingness to go above and beyond without complaint. He is truly a life changer!

Kelly Summerlin Posted 29 days ago

Chet Forsh has poured into our students and students at DCHS for almost 50 years. He cares about the students and it was an honor to work with him.

Dewayne Brown Posted 30 days ago

I had the privilege of learning from Coach as a student athlete and I learned more about how to carry myself as a man than a student. One of his many golden rules were, "Go where you're supposed to be going. Be there when you're supposed to there. Do what you're supposed to be doing when you get there." This rule helped me succeed in college and beyond. Coach Forsh will always be attached to DCHS in many ways, but nothing will replace his love for teaching students, driving the bus to away tournaments, singing "Sittin on the Dock of the Bey" by Otis Redding and Steve Cooper at the talent show, the bright orange hats, and taking pictures of his students at graduation ceremonies. I love you Coach and thank you for being a role model. P.S. Sorry for canceling track practice. We can laugh now. Lol

Stephanie Remillard Posted 1 months ago

He loves his students, his players, his school, and his community. His impact is immeasurable. There is no one more deserving. Love ya, Coach!

Rachel Hendee Posted 1 months ago

We had the privileg of watching our son gain 4 years of invaluable experience with Coach Forsh. As a classroom teacher and cross country coach, he gave his students positive, and at times fatherly, and always selfless advice and time. He truly cares for his students, he encouages them to succeed in all aspects of their lives. He knows when to be firm and knows when empathy is needed. Truly an irreplaceable one in a million man.

Shauna O’Bannon Smith Posted 1 months ago

Coach Forsh changed my life and didn’t even know it. I first started DCHS my sophomore year after being homeschooled. He was my advisement teacher. On my first day of school I didn’t have my schedule and had no idea what I was walking into. He put my mind at ease as I was terrified. He was always so helpful and was a joy to be around. He made my time at DCHS memorable and enjoyable. I was always such a shy child and that day helped me become the woman I am today. I strive to be like him. ?? Thank you Coach Forsh for helping me when you did. You’ll always make a mark in my life!

Ann Vogt Posted 1 months ago

Chet loves his kids, he loves his job, and he loves his school. He will do anything for them.

Erin Bentley Posted 1 months ago

Can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Phyllis S Isennock Posted 1 months ago

Seven and a half years after graduation from high school my family still speaks with great admiration and appreciation for Coach Forsh, my son's cross country coach. He has dedicated his life to directing and shaping the lives of Douglas County's youth as a coach and teacher. Coach Forsh is more than deserving of recognition as LifeChanger of the Year.

Brandi Caldwell Posted 1 months ago

You are TRULY a legend....We love you Chet!!!!

Michelle Landers Smith (Mark Smith) Posted 2 months ago

Thank you for your commitment to teaching and coaching. You truly are respected by Mark and I. Mark always said that you had a tremendous impact on his life. Thank you for continuing to stay invested in us past high school. You deserve recognition for being a “life changer”.

Mattylin Hubbard Posted 2 months ago

Coach First is a true trailblazer and the best coach at Douglas County High School

Katy morris Posted 2 months ago

You always kept me on the straight up and up and pushed us further than we thought we could go. You have never given up on a student. I thank you for always staying true to your morals and value in family and for helping everyone grow to be a better them. You deserve every award that the world has to offer. Love ya coach!!

Rebecca Balcomb Posted 2 months ago

Go Coach Forsh. You always gives lots of insight and wisdom. You push students and coworkers alike to strive to be better and work harder - to set high goals

Tarrah Clark Posted 2 months ago

One of the greatest that I have ever met. Makes a huge impact on the people’s lives that has had the honor of being around him. A true legend of DCHS.

Shunda Pounds-Luke Posted 2 months ago

Mr Forsh work speaks for him. The character of Mr. Forsh goes beyond the ocean width. He is well deserving of what us due him, he has earned it. Known Author Shunda Pounds-Luke

Steffanie Halley Posted 3 months ago

Most deserving of all the accolades !

Marceia Lindley Posted 3 months ago

Coach Forsh deserves more than we can ever give him!! You were my Coach and still are a Great, Awesome Coach! Thanks for all you do!!

Stephanie Moyse Posted 3 months ago

Coach Forsh was a phenomenal teacher, coach, and guide in my days as a high schooler, and still is today. I don’t think I’ve met another teacher who put so much of themselves into their work. He balances his roles as a coach and teacher so well, there wasn’t a single student on my campus that didn’t love and appreciate Coach Forsh. This man is beyond supportive, he takes time to get to know every student and remembers them, he offers up wisdom when he can, helps students plan for their future, and always is their ready to listen. Coach taught us things far beyond the standard curriculum as well. As a man who has experienced many historical events first hand, Coach Forsh has so much knowledge and guidance he has passed down to students. He helped prepare me for life beyond high school, gave me guidance on what college would be like, helped put into perspective how important tests and finals were, and helped calm me down when I would get stressed about about my grades. My parents are both teachers, I’ve seen what the stress of teaching can look like and yet Coach Forsh continues to work each year and strives to help each and every student. I can think of no one better to become the life changer of the year than Coach Forsh.

James Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Coach Forsh is the glue of Douglas County High School! He deserves every award.

Any Worthy Posted 3 months ago

I had the privilege of playing for Coach Forsh in high school and then teaching alongside him many years later. He has always been a man of utmost respect to his players and his colleagues. He teaches the young ladies that play for him responsibility and respect in the contract that they each sign to play for him. What a wonderful way to show how much Coach Forsh means to those he has touched!

Buddy Walters Posted 3 months ago

He is a great friend and brother from another. Lol. It is a well deserved honor that should be bestowed on a good man. God Bless Chet and his family! Love you Coach Buddy

Quiana Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations on this well deserved nomination. He is a well respected man of his community.

Kelly Summerlin Posted 3 months ago

Coach Forsh is the heart of DCHS. He has influenced multiple generations and it was a genuine honor to habe worked with him. He is legendary.

Julie Thomas Posted 3 months ago

Thank you for all you do for students and athletes! You helped shape the teacher and coach I became. Well deserved recognition!

Albert Lindsey, Jr. Posted 3 months ago

Coach Forsh is one of the most authentic educators I have met and worked with.

Teresa Wellmaker Posted 3 months ago

You are a life changer. Thank you for making a difference in my life and others.

Sylvia Baker Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations on the nomination. You deserve every honor. Continue in all you do knowing that you are blessed and highly favored!

FRED FORSH Posted 3 months ago

This is my brother in whom I am immensely proud!