As dusk segued into darkness Friday at Chamberlain High, the legacy of Doug Aplin was illuminated like never before.
A 1972 CHS graduate who won 512 games in 31 seasons as Chiefs boys basketball coach, Aplin returned to his alma mater for a ceremony in which the school's gymasium was formally named for him.
Aplin's wife, mother, brother and sister were among the dozens of relatives, former colleagues, administrators and ex-players who convened outside the gym's front entrance to honor the man who led Chamberlain to three final fours.
"Whoever was responsible for this, I will never, ever forget this day," Aplin said, his voice cracking. "Thank you so much."
In a brief speech dripping with emotion, Aplin thanked his family, administrators, boosters and players. Former CHS principal Henry Washington, an ex-coaching rival of Aplin, lauded his commitment to family and integrity.
Chiefs career scoring king Jesse Salters, who led Aplin's 1990 team to the Class 4A state final, hailed Aplin for being the patriarchal figure in his life. Salters, who went on to star at USF, now is athletic director at Blake.
Other current and former Chiefs coaches in attendance included Billy Turner (football), Joe Severino (football), Bobby Diez (softball), Ray Rairigh (football) and Norm Soash, who assisted Aplin for years with basketball -- and later -- girls flag football.
The current Chiefs basketball team and coach Christopher Snyder also attended, as did Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon and Hillsborough County superintendent MaryEllen Elia.
"I'm honored, I'm overwhelmed," said Aplin, a 1,000-point scorer at CHS during his prep career. "I don't know what to say, really. So many people went into this."