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Ferris cross country, track and field coach Chris Caviness dies of cancer at 56

Chris Caviness, the Ferris boys cross country and girls track and field coach, died on Monday after a 15-month battle against cancer. He was 56.

Caviness was diagnosed in early 2019 and continued to coach while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments during track season last spring and into the fall cross country season.

“Chris was one of the kindest human beings I have ever known,” Ferris athletic director Stacey Ward said. “While I am heartbroken by his loss, I am smiling through my tears because he is no longer suffering. He was truly one of a kind.”

Caviness, a 1982 Ferris grad, competed in cross country, track and basketball. He was the winner of the Valhalla Award his senior year, which honors one three-sport athlete each year.

Upon graduation from BYU, Caviness taught and coached track and cross country at Spanish Fork High School in Utah.

He moved back to Spokane and coached several state champions as girls track coach at Rogers.

Caviness found his way back to Ferris, where his father Herm was a longtime teacher and coach.

He served as a math teacher and assistant to boys cross country coach Mike Hadway for 13 years, taking over as head coach in 2018 after Hadway retired. He was hired as the girls track coach in the fall of 2018.

“He was a kind and compassionate teacher and coach who enjoyed helping kids find success in the classroom and on the track,” Ward said.

Caviness is survived by his wife Lara and three children, Chad, Halle, and Sean.