4 QUESTIONS: A CONVERSATION WITH…BOBBY WILKINS
Bobby Wilkins has had a notable career in both coaching and administration. He has spent over a decade as the principal at Hendersonville High School after guiding Hendersonville to both the 1987 and 1992 NCHSAA men’s state basketball titles as head coach and the men’s golf team to a state title in 1990.
A graduate of Hendersonville High, Bobby was principal at Hendersonville Middle School for eight years before going to the high school, and he is currently serving on the NCHSAA Nominating Committee. He is a former recipient of the NCHSAA’s Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award.
What is the most difficult thing about being a high school principal?
The most difficult thing is simply the amount of time required to do the job in the way it needs to be done. My children grew up at the school, because they went to all of the activities with me. They spent so much time at the school, being exposed to all different sports, drama, band, etc., making them part of another community within their community. One of them felt like he "knew" everyone, even though he was only in the second or third grade!
What role do you believe athletics can play in the overall atmosphere of a high school and in the community? Your school certainly has an outstanding tradition in athletics.
I believe athletics sets the tone for the entire school….at least it does for Hendersonville High School. A strong athletic program opens up so many doors for the students. The community recognizes students from the school and their accomplishments. I have always said that those kids who are not involved in athletics live a different life from those who are involved. The ones involved in sports are more focused and more organized in school, because they have something extra to make them organize their time. Athletics does that for everyone involved.
Before moving into administration, you were a very successful coach. How did that prepare you for the role that you are in now?
Coaching simply set me up to be an administrator by showing me how to manage people in a respectful way to make the product be very positive. Coaching requires so much time, so I knew what it was like having to put time into something to make it a success. I loved coaching, but I also love being an administrator. That just shows in the number of years I have put into each of these areas.
In your limited spare time, what are some of the activities you are involved in away from athletics?
I enjoy traveling with my wife when I can get away. I love being outside, so yard work is actually something I enjoy. I enjoy playing any sport. Now that my children are no longer at home, though, I don’t shoot the basketball as much or throw the football or baseball in the yard. That is tough, but I still get out as much as I can and exercise as much as I can.