Former Atchison High School basketball coach and Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Matthew “Chic” Downing passed away Monday morning at the age of 72.

A moment of silence was held in his honor prior to Monday night’s home games at Atchison High.

Downing was a local Atchison legend as a Redmen player and coach, as well as a Benedictine player.

Downing won four state championships as a coach and two as a player for Atchison. Downing’s 255 wins at Atchison High School are the most in school history and he was named the KBCA Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988.

Downing was named Kansas All-State in 1968 and then went on to play at Benedictine College.

As a Raven he was named a NAIA All-American twice, is the leading scorer in school history with 2,042 points, was a 4-time NAIA All-American, and was named to the Benedictine College Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

Downing was a draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1972 and was a finalist for the Men’s Pan-American Basketball Team.

Downing is in a total of five Hall of Fames including the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Chic loved attending as many events involving his children and grandchildren as he could. He also enjoyed dominoes, bid whist, blackjack, and his daily trips to Walmart to socialize.

Chic was preceded in death by his parents, Matthew (Junie) and Delores Downing; two sisters, Vicky Downing and Rogena Richards; and one son, Tyson Kyle Downing.

Chic is survived by his six children, Matthew “Cougar” (Leslie) Downing, Lawrence, KS, Clifford “Par” (Catreece) Downing, Olathe, KS, Shauna Downing (Errol “Clutch” Copeland), Lawrence, KS, Shaye Downing, Lawrence, KS, Sher Downing, San Diego, CA, Jaurrice Maag-Downing, Atchison, KS; one sister, Mildred (Tootie) Birch, Atchison, KS; 28 Grandchildren, and 4 Great Grandchildren.

Also left to cherish his memory are his honorary children: John Robinson, Talsa Hutchinson, Cecilia “Alex” Westmoreland, Patience Shields and Candace Shields; and his 6 honorary grandchildren.

Members of the public will be able to pay their respects to Downing Friday, March 5, 2021 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home. A private family service will be held at a separate time. Details are still pending.

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