Coaches from state remember Bob Jenkins who died Monday, community service announced

Statement from family: A Community Worship Service celebrating Coach Jenkins’ life will be held at West End Baptist Church, Rock Hill at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 2, 2013.

The family will receive friends after the Coach Jenkins’ life celebration. 

Greene Funeral Home Northwest is in charge of the services. 

Memorials may be made to Step Up for Yellow Mountain c/o Yellow Mountain Enterprises PO Box 548, 255 Estatoa Street, Newland, N.C. 28657.

Do you have photos of you with Coach Jenkins you would like to share? Email them to (must have rights to the photos and give permission for us to republish on the website). Join the discussion by leaving comments, what you remember most about Jenkins to the right in the discussion column.

Bob Jenkins, longtime coach and a founding member of the South Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association, died overnight, the SCACA told its members in an email.

Photo, right - 2007 file photo from Trojan Relays 

"Our condolences are expressed to the family of Coach Robert Jenkins from Rock Hill.   Coach Jenkins was a member of the SCACA Hall of Fame and a past-president of our organization. Arrangements are incomplete at this time," the email reads.

Jenkins, 79, retired from coaching in 2009 from South Pointe. He began his coaching career in 1957 in Virginia, moving to South Carolina to coach at Carlisle Military School in Bamberg from 1961 to 1965. He served as athletic director and coach at York High in 1965, then coach at Rock Hill High in 1968 before going to Northwestern High in 1971.  He served as president of the SCTCCCA from 1974 to 1978 and again from 1992 to 1995.

Ed Boehmke, Eastside High cross country and track coach who first met Jenkins in the mid-1970s, said the sport would miss him.

“He was a pioneer for the sport,” Boehmke said Monday, just hours after learning that Jenkins had died.

Even though Jenkins had undergone a heart procedure about a year ago, the news of his death still shook Boehmke.

“I was shocked when I was told about it,” he said, adding that the two had just talked on the phone last Friday about the upcoming state meet.

“Bob was planning to be there,” said Boehmke, who first met Jenkins when Ed was running cross country at Berea High. “He was active right to the end.”

Calvin Hudgins, who is in his 17th year as track coach at Northwestern and knew Bob throughout his coaching career, said Jenkins never hesitated to assist him with a coaching issue when asked.

Hudgins recalled a situation several years ago involving the tragic drowning of one of his student/runners and how a then-retired Jenkins stepped in to help get the team through the emotional trauma.

“He was always available to help me,” Hudgins said. “Whatever the need might have been, Bob has been there and done it.”

Hudgins said Jenkins carried himself with pride, not so much for himself but for the strides his sport had made over the past 40-some years in South Carolina.

“He was proud for what he had helped accomplish in promoting track and field and cross country in this state,” Hudgins said.

David Pratt, coach at Hanahan High, said his longtime friendship with Jenkins was sealed in the early 1990s.  Pratt was coaching at Dorman High at the time and Jenkins was at rival Northwestern.  Leading up to the 1991 track season, Northwestern dominated Dorman in the sport. But that year, the Cavaliers and Trojans met in a dual meet with Dorman coming out on top.

“Bob got on our bus after the meet and congratulated me and the team,” Pratt said.  “We remained friends through the years.”

“He was a great man and a great father,” Pratt said. “We will all miss him.”

Other comments from coaches

When we moved from Illinois in 1978, Joe Newton said to find Coach Jenkins and get to know him. The Spartanburg-Northwestern rivalry over the years was really a good one, and the respect the runners and coaches had for each other was something to behold. Coach Jenkins was the voice of track and cross country in South Carolina and will truly be missed.
Jim and Eileen Kilbreth