CoW: Jimmy Fletcher

This week, the Carolina Panthers have selected Jimmy Fletcher, Head Coach at West Brunswick High School, as 2010's ninth Coach of the Week.

The Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Week program recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, school, and community. This program also provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

Having coached for over 21 years at the high school and collegiate levels, Coach Jimmy Fletcher has a lot to offer and a lot to teach the young men at West Brunswick High School. In his 8 years with the Trojans Football program, Fletcher has lead the team to 7 playoff appearances and was named Waccamaw Conference Coach of the Year in 2009. More importantly, Fletcher has propelled over 25 of his student-athletes to play at the collegiate level and one to play at the professional level. Giving his players opportunities from playing at the next level, to gaining an education, to making an impact represent several of the gifts Fletcher feels a sincere obligation to impart on his players.

As an active member of both the New Beginning Community Church and the South Brunswick Rotary Club, Fletcher leads his student-athletes to participate in several community initiatives to help them better appreciate both their community and the opportunity that football has afforded them. The Trojan Football team can be seen delivering Thanksgiving dinners to underprivileged families in community every holiday season as well as assisting local church work crews as they fix-up, repair, and rebuild homes of the less fortunate. Fletcher also elects several players to speak to local elementary school kids about character and perseverance. As Coach Fletcher notes, "[All of] this is especially important because many of our players do not have much, but are still willing to help those that are unable to help themselves. Our football team at West Brunswick is an integral part of our community…it is sometimes a connecting factor for people of all ages. I believe that the lessons learned in football are simply life lessons: when things are tough, work harder; when someone knocks you down, get back up; always play with integrity; give the other guy a hand up. Out of all these lessons though, I hope that the thing they always remember is to be a man of integrity and never quit."

As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This sentiment takes on a new meaning for the West Brunswick Trojans Football team and their coach. In the words of West Brunswick's Athletic Director John Floyd, "A great testament to his influence is the great number of players that have gone on to become coaches themselves." Coach Fletcher, himself expresses, "I have to say that the most joy I receive from coaching does not come on the field. It comes when a player tells me that they want to be a football coach or when they call me fifteen years later to tell me what a difference I made in their lives. That is the reason I coach football."

In recognition of Coach Fletcher, Carolina Panthers charities will donate $1,000 to West Brunswick High School's athletic department. In addition, Coach Fletcher and the rest of this year's selected coaches will be honored with an on-field presentation during the Panthers last regular season home game versus the Arizona Cardinals on December 19, 2010. At that time, the 2010 coach of the Year will be announced and the winning coach will receive an additional $2,000 grant for his school's athletic department.


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