Westmont Magazine Chad Has a Champion Season
After a grueling season scouting 20 or more basketball games a month, Chad Kammerer ’90 sat behind the Miami Heat bench during the NBA finals in June. He had no more opponents to analyze; his work for the year was done. All he could do was watch his team — something he rarely did during the season. When the Heat lost their first two games to the Mavericks, the Dallas papers mocked Miami and city officials starting planning the Maverick victory parade route. Despite trailing late in the third game, the Heat came back to win and kept rolling to triumph 4-2 and capture the national championship.
“Sitting behind the bench during that sixth game in Dallas when the team won was the biggest thrill of my life,” Chad says. Hugging players on the court, standing on the stage with the team and staff, getting wet with champagne in the locker room, arriving to cheering fans at the airport, and riding in the victory parade —Chad relished every championship moment.
“It’s hard to describe in words what an incredible experience it was,” he says. “It was extra special to share it with my dad and Randy [Pfund].”
Chet Kammerer, who coached the Warrior basketball team for 17 years, is vice president, player personnel, for the Heat. His former assistant coach at Westmont, Randy Pfund, is Miami’s general manager. The two men coached together for the Los Angeles Lakers before joining the Heat.
Chad grew up around Westmont basketball players. “They were great role models for me,” he said. “How to be a Christian and live that life was modeled for me at an early age.” He played at Santa Barbara High School for Larry Knapp ’64 and then for the Warriors and his father for four years, winning two NAIA District III titles. “I loved my time at Westmont,” he says. “My best friends today are guys I met my freshman year.”
After earning a master’s degree in exercise science and leisure management at the University of Mississippi, Chad was an assistant coach at Concordia University. He spent a year on the UCLA coaching staff and a few months at Valparaiso University before becoming an advance scout for the Heat in 2001.
“I enjoy college basketball, and I like the atmosphere of campus, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work at the highest level of basketball,” Chad says. “I can’t believe I get paid to sit courtside at NBA games.”
As a “spy” for the Heat, he watches upcoming opponents in action, recording play calls, diagramming plays, looking for offensive strategies and evaluating strengths and weaknesses. Before he goes to bed, he sends an email to the coaching staff with his findings and recommendations for ways to beat the team. With other scouts, he has a table and seat near the court. Although they work for competing teams, the scouts form a kind of community.
The constant travel gets tiresome—Chad sometimes forgets where he is when he wakes up in the morning. “I live in Marriotts,” he says. “I get my mail in Dallas.” He enjoys walking around Dallas in a Heat championship shirt.
“It’s hard to be part of a church when you live on the road,” he says. “My family and good friends keep me grounded. They help me think of my job as using the gifts God has given me in the arena of basketball.”