Mick Chapman, the Hunter Academy of Sport head coach that oversaw the rise of 2004 Olympian Olivia Gollan, passed away on Wednesday after being admitted to hospital earlier in the week. The 67-year-old was a key figure within the sport in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region.
Chapman spent 20 years as the HAS head coach, having previously owned bike shops around the Lake Macquarie area and competed himself. He claimed a state team time trial title and a sprint title during his own riding days.
"He just knew what was required to take a rider to the next level. Without him I would have got nowhere near to what I achieved," Gollan told The Herald.
Gollan went on to claim events like the Scandinavian Open GP, Berner Rundfahrt and a stage of Le Tour du Grand Montreal. She was an Australian Open Road Champion in both the road race and individual time trial disciplines.
Chapman also coached youngest son Craig to a stage victory of the 1989 Commonwealth Bank Classic, the only local rider to have won a stage of the race. Craig also represented Australia at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.
His passing caps off a difficult year for the family, after the life of eldest son Paul was claimed in a motor vehicle accident last year.
Chapman is survived by wife Fran, son Craig, daughter Kelly.