Nov. 18, 2003
By Sean Bruich, Student Media Relations Assistant
On an offensive line big on size but low on experience, four-year starter and left tackle Kirk Chambers has provided the group with a role model of consistency and success on the field. But it has been Chambers' remarkable maturity that has impressed his teammates and coaches throughout his playing career.
At six-foot-seven and a solid 315 pounds, Chambers is an impressive athletic figure. But the man is also articulate, soft spoken, and quick to smile. Chambers presents a perfect antithesis to the moody sports celebrities of today.
"I try to lead by example," said Chambers. "I'm not the kind of guy who's going to get in somebody's face or make a big speech every week to the whole team. But I will pull somebody aside if I see something that could be improved, and I always try to make myself available for questions."
In many ways, says Chambers, he leads life on the field much as he leads life off of it.
"In everything that I do, from the mission to being a leader on the team, I try not to be overbearing. Leadership by example is underrated. If you do things right, people will notice."
"Kirk has totally taken us under his wing this year," said Edwards, who after redshirting last season has started right guard this year.
Head had similar praise. "Kirk is a great guy and he definitely makes you do your job better."
Hardly has a week gone by without Head Coach Buddy Teevens recognizing Chambers publicly at a press conference.
"I am really proud of the job he has done," Teevens said. "He brings a great attitude to the line."
If Chambers sounds like someone with a maturity well beyond his years, it is probably true. But Chambers has also experienced far more than the average college student. Before his freshman year, he spent a two year missionary journey in eastern Germany. There, he and his fellow Mormon missionaries took on a variety of service-oriented responsibilities in addition to their primary goal of spreading their faith. Chambers reports that he did everything from helping coach football to shoveling bear droppings at the local zoo.
"I took a lot back from the mission," he said. "It really reinforced that consistent, hard work can really pay off. I've tried to apply that to football and my time in the weight room."
And his mission to Germany is not all that differentiates Chambers from your average college athlete. Chambers married his wife Marilyn, an elementary school teacher, during the summer of 2001. This year, they welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Marianae who, says Chambers, has just recently started to smile.
"It's awesome to have a family, but it definitely is a time pressure," he said. "I want to spend as much time with them as possible."
"I have always looked at playing football as a full time job and being a student as another full time job," he explained. "But now I guess that it's two full time jobs plus a family."
Chambers warmly described this last year at Stanford as "a great time in our lives. It's like we live in a perfect bubble, no mortgage to worry about, no eight hour workdays. Instead, I get to come home and spend time with Marianae and have the opportunity to see her change and grow from day to day. It's definitely been incredible."