WHITMIRE — New Whitmire Community School head football coach Charlie Jenkins’ 22-year coaching career includes stints at Union County High School, Saluda High School and Mid-Carolina High School.
A big reason the Whitmire head coaching job appealed to him, he said, was the family atmosphere.
“This K12 school is all about family connections and community. It’s a clean, safe place for a child to get a good education and it’s hard to beat that,” he said. “You really get a chance to get to know a kid when they attend all 12 years here and that appealed to me because you can build lasting relationships.”
He said he looks forward to teaching blocking and tackling skills to young men but also imparting life lessons he learned along the way from coaches and teachers, including Union Hall of Fame basketball coach Joe Pitt.
Jenkins started as point guard for Pitt and helped establish Union County basketball as a program of significance before he went on to play junior varsity basketball at Limestone College. He said that process of building a program and lessons learned will help as he works on a rebuilding job at Whitmire.
While in college, Jenkins realized he was called to coach and teach so he chose that career path and never looked back.
Through the years he’s coached a lot of offense and will draw upon that experience to call the plays for Whitmire this fall.
At his alma mater, Union High, Jenkins was involved with one of the first prep teams to run the spread offense in South Carolina. At Saluda and MCHS they ran more double wing and power running formations, though the Rebels would spread the field on occasion.
Jenkins also said he learned a lot about “three yards and a cloud dust” offenses from Coach Shell Dula’s using triple option and “power I” formations.
Other high points of his career:
• As a varsity assistant at Union High School he coached receivers, fullbacks and tight ends and was head JV Coach from 2003-07. He also served as athletic recruiting coordinator at Union High from 1997-2006.
• In 2007 he became co-offensive coordinator at Saluda High School, coaching receivers.
• From 2007-10 he was offensive coordinator, coaching receivers, running backs and quarterbacks for the Tigers.
• In 2012 he joined former Whitmire High Coach Louie Alexander on his staff as receivers coach.
• He earned a master’s degree in history and secondary education in 2001 and currently teaches at the Newberry County Alternative Program.
Jenkins has been married for 13 years to educator Melanie Blackmon Jenkins. They have a 4-year-old son, Creighton.