COW: James Jenkins

James Jenkins began his coaching career four years ago when he started the football program at Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC). They began as a JV-only program in 2005 and his team went 7-1. The following year, he began coaching the varsity program.

In their first season as a varsity program, competing in the NCISAA Colonial Carolina Football Conference, Jenkins brought his team all the way to the state championship game. The Raleigh News and Observer marked this as "the first time a team has made it to a varsity football state championship game in its first year of existence." From there, Word of God has had tremendous success on the football field, making the playoffs in 2007 and currently being ranked #2 in their conference.

Jenkins is not only a football coach at Word of God, he is also the assistant principal, guidance counselor and lead college advisor. Away from school, Jenkins is very active in his community. He finds any way he can to help out, including some unusual ones.

Jenkins volunteers his Monday afternoons and the second Saturday of every month at a local prison. The program is called Yoke Fellow. With Yoke Fellow, Jenkins sits down with inmates who are soon to be released and helps them deal with the changes that are going to take place once they go back to civilian life.

Jenkins is very active at his church as well. He serves as the Word of God Fellowship youth minister and also works with the Pastoral staff.

Under the guidance of Coach Jenkins, his football team also gets the opportunity to make a difference in their church, school and community. Jenkins schedules practice one hour after school is over so that his players have time to be mentors to the younger students. The football players help the youngsters with their homework and reading.

"Coach Jenkins is much more than a football coach," said Kevin Washington, athletic director at Word of God Christian Academy. "He has helped build this program and has molded these youngsters into mature young men who succeed on the football field and in life. He is a great man with a lot of integrity. When he tells his players that he is going to do something, he does it and that is what he expects from his players."

Jenkins was born in Savannah, Georgia where his passion for football began. From there, he went on to attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. At Holy Cross, Jenkins was a four year starter on the football team and captain his senior year. He received the schools Davitt Award in 2001 as the team's top defensive lineman.

In recognition of Jenkins' achievement, the Word of God Christian Academy Athletic Department will receive a $1,000 donation from the Carolina Panthers and the National Football League.

During the 2008 season, the Panthers will select ten High School Coach of the Week winners, who will all be honored during an on-field presentation at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14. At that time, the 2008 Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Year will be announced, and the winning coach will receive an additional $1,000 donation to his school's athletic department.

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, and provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

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