Remembering David Coffin – Longtime Monterey Herald Motorsports Writer

Always smiling, Dave Coffin enjoys the awards ceremony at this season's Ferrari Racing Days. Image courtesy of DMT Imaging.

An infectious laugh nearly always preceded Dave Coffin’s entry into a room. And as the door opened into a bustling media center, heads almost always turned and serious faces melted to smiles to greet the prominent motorsports writer who had an uncanny knack of making friends wherever he went.

Born June 26, 1944, Mr. Coffin succumbed to cancer Friday, November 18, 2011.

“Dave has been the pillar of motorsports coverage for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” says its CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell. “His support and enthusiasm has been unparalleled. You can go to any racing facility in the country and they know who Dave Coffin is. He was more than a reporter, he was a true friend.”

Mr. Coffin’s byline first appeared in the Monterey Herald in 1958 and later expanded to newspapers like the San Jose Mercury News, as additional media outlets relied on his expertise, reliability and in-depth coverage.

“Dave and I first met in 1989 and it’s his smile, laugh and eternal positive outlook, even in times of turmoil, that I will forever remember,” says Barry Toepke, a vice president of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “He only found the good in people and was the consummate professional who immensely enjoyed being at the track.”

Mr. Coffin’s feelings about work are perhaps best expressed in a column he penned in 2005.
“For me, the main attraction in motorsports is the people,” he explained. “I’ve been blessed to meet and get to know some incredibly gifted athletes and inspirational folks in more than a quarter century of covering races. For sure, I love speed. But bottom line, it’s the people—and not just the drivers and riders, but also the other folks associated with the various series.”

Everyone associated with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will miss this hometown motorsports legend and dear friend.