College of the Redwoods

Teammates, colleagues pay tribute to ‘gentle giant’ Brian ‘Chudd’ Charity

Photos by Sarah Quist

By Ray Hamill — Former teammates and colleagues of Brian “Chudd” Charity have been paying tribute to the “gentle giant,” who passed away earlier this week.

The former Humboldt State football player and College of the Redwoods coach was hugely respected during his two decades here on the North Coast after first moving here to play for Humboldt State (now Cal Poly Humboldt) in 2002.

“It’s a real tragic loss,” longtime Humboldt strength and conditioning coach Drew Petersen said. “It happened too soon. He touched so many people.”

Charity, affectionately known to his friends as “Chudd,” played one season for the Lumberjacks after transferring from Norfolk State and would go on to be a part of the strength and conditioning program at the local university for several years.

The San Diego native also served as an assistant football coach and strength and conditioning coach at College of the Redwoods from 2014 to 2020.

And his passing has been felt by many at both schools.

“Brian had a powerful, positive and significant impact on many students and their development as athletes and people in his time as assistant football coach at College of the Redwoods,” CR Athletic Director Bob Brown said. “He was a well-respected colleague within our department who always had a smile on his face. He will be truly missed.”

Former Lumberjacks teammate Corey Thedford, who played on the same offensive line as Charity, also expressed his sadness at the loss and remembered his friend’s trademark smile.

“That smile was infectious and he was a brother you just felt like you knew your whole life,” said Thedford, who added “I can’t tell you how many times we’d be at practice and something was said that was on the fringe, Chudd and I would exchange a lil glance at each other and we’d both just start laughing. Frequency was big with Brian.”

Charity passed away from complications from a heart attack and is survived by his wife Ashli Sines and their three-year-old daughter Ava.

Photo by Dan Pambianco

Former CR football coach Frank Borba wrote of Charity on Facebook, “You had an amazing ability to connect with people. As physically imposing as you may have been on the outside, you were the most welcoming soul. I don’t know anyone who was lucky enough to know you who you didn’t have an amazing impression on.”

Petersen saw up close just how much of an impact Charity had with the Lumberjacks student athletes.

“He just impacted so many lives,” Petersen said. “He was a larger than life figure. A gentle giant.”

After his time with the Lumberjacks, Charity had a brief spell working with the Denver Broncos and a couple of years at Washington State, before returning to the North Coast and joining the Corsairs.

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been established to help his family with expenses, and can be accessed here.

A celebration of life will be held in San Diego on June 18.

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