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Coupeville High School soccer coach Gary Manker (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A memorial service for Coupeville High School soccer coach Gary Manker will be held Saturday, Feb. 10.

It will be at the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge Hall (63 Jacobs Road) and run from 2-4 PM.

Manker, who coached both girls and boys soccer, was a noted “goalkeeper whisperer,” working with the Wolf net-minders over the years.

He passed away suddenly Jan. 26.

Manker, who was born in Petaluma, Calif. May 4, 1968, is survived by wife Patti Manker, son Garritt Manker (Talisa), daughters Ashley Bailey (Eric), Amanda Smith (Ryan), stepchildren Riley, Tim and JT Quinn and grandchildren Adeline, Sawyer and Lillie.

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   Coupeville High School soccer coach Gary Manker (left), here with Jennifer Spark and Troy Cowan, passed away Thursday. (Photo courtesy Kali Barrio)

   Manker was an assistant with both the girls and boys teams at CHS, specializing in working with goalkeepers. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Coupeville High School assistant soccer coach Gary Manker passed away suddenly Thursday.

A gentle giant who worked extensively with the Wolf goalkeepers, he coached with both the CHS boys and girls teams.

As the news swept through a close-knit soccer community, many of his players remembered Manker fondly.

 

Lauren Grove:

Although I never had Manker as a “coach,” I did have the opportunity to work with him in goal on a couple occasions.

He was really encouraging and I could tell that he had a passion for soccer and wanted to teach us goalies valuable skills.

So sad to hear of his passing. Coupeville was lucky to have him and he’ll definitely be missed.

 

McKayla Bailey:

Honestly I was so sorry and saddened to hear about this.

He was such an amazing coach and a great person all around.

 

Julia Myers:

Manker was one of the most amazing and influential people throughout my high school career.

I don’t think high school soccer would have been the same without him; he truly made it what it was.

He supported me and all of the girls continuously in everything we did.

He taught me so much in the years he was my coach, and I’m so thankful.

 

Mckenzie Meyer:

Manker was an amazing coach. He pushed us to work hard but it always was worth it.

He was so supportive and always encouraged us no matter what. He will be missed.

 

Sarah Wright:

Never playing soccer before I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing, but Manker was always really encouraging and an awesome coach.

I didn’t know him super well, as he was busy during our season and couldn’t always make practice, but I could tell that he knew a lot about soccer, and loved to coach and help young athletes not only grow as players, but also as people.

 

Joel Walstad:

Coach Manker was one of the most encouraging coaches I’ve ever had. He was always positive and looked on the bright side.

He took me under his wing, and showed me what it took to be a goalie. He was truly one of a kind.

Coupeville lost a great man. My thoughts and prayers are out to his family.

 

Brian Roberts:

Not only was he my coach, but he was like a father figure to me.

He did not just teach me drills and soccer skills, he taught me life skills and helped me train to be stronger physically and mentally.

He was always there before and after practice to talk about home stuff and what he could do to help.

He never gave up on me even when I wanted to quit soccer for good; he got me to play and continue to love the sport.

He has massively helped me grow as a player and as a person.

Because of him I was able to overcome some of the hardest points in my life and for that I am forever grateful.

He may not be physically on the field with us but will forever be in our hearts. R.I.P Coach Manker.

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