February 18th, 2014

Hyland's Heroes: George Jenkins

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: George Jenkins
George Jenkins is the coach in the middle / photo submitted by the Jenkins family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

George Jenkins is a well-known grade school basketball coach at St. Bernard. While Jenkins is from the Cincinnati, OH area, he quickly learned the CSAA basketball tradition at St. Bernard when he started to coach his son’s team years ago. Jenkins, the St. Bernard Head Basketball Coach of the A Team (Division II), is the President of Primax True Home Value. He has five children (ages 34, 29, 23, 13 and 8).

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why So?

I grew up in the Cincinnati area. I got involved in the Catholic Church through the marriage of my wife. We enrolled my daughter first at St. Bernard and then my son. 

I have coached my son from second grade through eighth grade. I got involved in the CSAA when the St. Bernard Athletic Director Dave Secor asked me if I would coach the basketball team.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I started coaching my son in second grade (grade school basketball) seven years ago.

What’s the connection with your faith (stewardship) and giving your time to young student athletes?

I think it important that whomever you have coaching (myself or someone else) that they have some faith. When it comes down to coaching kids, you want to instill principles of life, like how to be graceful when you win and graceful when you lose.

I want the kids to have good sportsmanship, and I want to teach them to treat teammates the way they would want to be treated. We need to conduct our team in a certain way, and I want to lead my example.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

I had a high school coach (basketball) freshmen, sophomore and junior year of high school. He cared about what happened to us on the court, but really cared about what was going on in our lives off the court.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?

1)         Good sportsmanship

2)         Play as a team.

3)         Each person is important to the team.

What does coaching bring to you? Your family?

There is a certain bond that you get with your family when you have these games. We have made all kinds of acquaintances and good friends. One of my best friends now is someone I met while I coached his son. My family has seen that once you make a commitment you stick with it.

I told my son at a young age if he played and they needed help that I would coach and I would stay committed to him as long as he stayed committed to the sport. I want to teach my family once you set a precedent, you can’t change it. Once you start something, you have to finish it.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching?

I think my fondest memory was when the team won City (6th grade) in the year 2012. We beat St. Gabriel in overtime with one second to go with a last second shot.

The guys that are getting ready to graduate this year that I coached in basketball went 13-0 as fourth graders. As sixth graders, they went 17-0 and won that city championship. 

As eighth graders, they went 12-0 until they lost the last three games of the year and lost in the first round of the tournament.

St. Patrick’s beat us on a last second shot this year. The team was 42-3 at St. Bernard. They are family. The greatest thing about the team was the parents, faith and how they brought the kids up (upbringing). They were well behaved. 

I hope that I have instilled good morals and good social skills in the young men to communicate and work with team members. I worked with great coaches John Sweeney and Todd Roadhouse. Sandy Sweeney was the “Team Mom”. I worked with great parents, and I coached some great kids through the years.


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