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Former Modesto area football coach and girlfriend killed in San Luis Obispo crash

Police said Chachere and his girlfriend were found dead under brush in a heavily wooded creek bed one day after the crash.

MODESTO, Calif. — A former high school football coach in the Modesto area was killed in a San Luis Obispo crash last week.

39-year-old Matthew Chachere and a 36-year-old Jennifer Besser, Chachere’s girlfriend according to friends, were hit by a car while walking their dog, according to police.

Grace M. Davis High School Athletic Director and head football coach Timmy Garcia says this is a big loss for the community. He said Chachere was a positive asset for the school and football community, serving two stints with the Grace M. Davis team and previously as head coach of the Ceres High School football team.

Garcia said Chachere coached four years on and off at the school, including the 2017-2018 football season and 2020-2021 football seasons.

“He was our defensive coordinator on the 10-0 championship team in 2021," said Garcia. “Just completely devastated to hear this happened to him and his girlfriend. At a loss for words, just can’t believe it to be honest.”

Online rosters show Chachere was also head football coach at Ceres High School for two seasons.

Garcia said Chachere played football himself at Cal Poly.

His job with E. & J. Gallo Winery is what took him back to San Luis Obispo recently, so he didn’t coach this year. However, during their time in Modesto together, Garcia said the two developed a true friendship off the field.

“Matt is a tremendous human being with high character and integrity. He was an outstanding role model for our young men that we have here playing football on and off the field,” said Garcia.

Police said Chachere and his girlfriend were found dead under brush in a heavily wooded creek bed one day after the crash. A missing persons report was filed because the two didn’t arrive at their expected location in Modesto, and their dog’s body was discovered hours earlier.

“You don’t want this to happen to anybody, but for this to happen to such a wonderful man, it’s upsetting,” Garcia said.

Garcia said Chachere is originally from Cincinnati but has family in Modesto.

“He’s going to be tremendously missed, and we just hope that the families of Matt and Jennifer can find strength and courage to get through this difficult time,” said Garcia.

San Luis Obispo police said the driver of the car involved in the crash is being cooperative. They believe the 24 year-old man was speeding. Once the investigation is complete, criminal charges will be determined based on the evidence and findings.


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