Celebrating the life and legacy of Regence Yasim Humphrey aka ‘Coach Hump’

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The family of Regence Yasim "Ray" Humphrey gather for a group photo after the memorial celebration on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Brentwood School's gym. Photos by Samantha Bravo/TMT

Family members, friends, and students gathered to honor former MHS grid coach’s legacy and memory

“Take a knee. 

“I heard my brother say this so many times, football coaches and basketball coaches have said this in the 1960s, it showed solidarity and respect for their coach,” Andre Smith said. 

On Saturday, Jan. 27, hundreds of family members, friends, and students gathered at Brentwood School for a Celebration of Life for Regence Yasim Humphrey, also known as “Coach Hump,” who passed away on Jan. 2 at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. He was 53.

Humphrey was the second head football coach in Malibu High’s history, from 2005 to 2014. 

Smith recalled one memory with his younger brother Ray when his mom would tell him to take him to the park.

“He would just be sitting there smiling, he loved being underneath me at all times,” Smith said. “I miss him, and I know we all miss him. To me he was larger than life; he was the big brother of the family. We all wanted to be under Ray; he was special and as you guys said, he was a Coach Hump.”

The brochure for the ceremony reads, “In this Life Celebration for Regence Yasmin Humphrey, affectionately known as ‘Coach Hump,’ we gather to honor not only his role as a loving coach but also has profound impact as a brother, cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, and best friend. Regence embodied the essence of love, support, and guidance in all aspects of his life, touching the hearts of those closest to him. 

“His friendship knew no bounds, and he brought light and laughter into the lives of those lucky enough to call him their best friend. Whether it was a shoulder to lean on, a partner in adventure, or confident during difficult times, Regence was always there, offering his unwavering support and understanding. He was not only a mentor on the field but also a guiding light in their lives teaching them the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and resilience.”

The celebration included a passage reading from Beth Smith and memories shared by friends and relatives Ian McGee, Nick DeLeo, Michael Thompson, Jake Ford, and Andre Smith.

“He was my little brother, he was my best friend, and I’m going to miss him dearly,” Smith said. 

Longtime friend McGee, shared memories he had with Humphrey.

“I’ll try to get through this speech, my wife timed me at 20 minutes, so I’ll try to keep it shorter than that, but how do you compress 40 years of love and brotherhood,” McGee said. “I met Ray in eighth grade, it was 1984, I was the new kid there, trying to find my own way. Ray did not make it easy.” 

Humphrey worked for SMMUSD for nearly 20 years from 1993 to 2022. His death shocked and saddened people in Malibu and the communities of schools he had coached at. 

“Our community is heartbroken at the news of Coach Humphrey’s passing,” MHS Principal Patrick Miller said in an email statement. “A great coach, an even better friend and person, who positively impacted thousands of MHS kids. He cared about them as his own. Not a pushover, but a friend, mentor, advocate dedicated to each of their success.” 

Ray worked at both Santa Monica and Malibu High School. In December 2006, he became a permanent employee of the Malibu High School PE Department. He also was the head basketball, football, and track coach.  He coached and mentored thousands of students and student-athletes over his career. Many stayed in touch with him after graduation, college, and careers.

His love, support, and guidance left an indelible mark on all those who had a privilege of knowing him. His friends will remember his warm smile and infectious spirit, brightening every family gathering, an atmosphere of love, unity, and happiness. 

“Though his physical presence may be gone, his spirit lives on in the hearts of his family, friends, and players,” the brochure continues. “Let us remember Coach Hump, not only for his coaching prowess but also as a cherished brother, cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, and best friend who will live forever hold a special place in our hearts.” The celebration featured a tribute video with photos of Humphrey and video messages made by the students who called him his friend.

Towards the end of the ceremony, Andre called the football team to come forward to ‘take a knee’ for their coach Humphrey.