08/25/11 — Affirmation - Pinkowski rekindles his faith

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Affirmation - Pinkowski rekindles his faith

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 25, 2011 1:48 PM

Christian-based ethics and faith began to wear on Randy Pinkowski.

The Charles B. Aycock head varsity football coach found himself laboring through work every day and was on the verge of leaving Pikeville after his 2010 team notched just three victories.

"There were a lot of things going on behind the scenes that people weren't aware of," said Pinkowski. "It was a very draining year and it leaked into practice ... leaked into everything we did. As soon as the season was over, I saw the coaches and said 'Y'all see me again January 1 because we're going to get back to work and we're going to get our attitudes right again about what we're here to do.'"

Was he making the right decision?

His affirmation came in mid-July.

Selected as an assistant coach for the East All-Star football team, Pinkowski roused himself out of bed on game day and headed down for breakfast. Soon the clinking of utensils and hearty conversations filled the air as the coaches dined at the same table.

Pinkowski discovered he was the longest-tenured head coach among his brethren.

"None of them could believe that I was going into my 13th year, and that the folks here weren't ready to ride me outta town on a rail," laughed Pinkowski, his eyes twinkling behind sun-filled glasses. "They might be, but I'm not aware of it."

Later that evening, Pinkowski's beliefs grew.

The public address announcer introduced the players and coaches of each team before kickoff at historic Jamieson Stadium in Greensboro. A large contingent of Golden Falcon fans had made the trek to show their support for a coach who had rejuvenated a near-dormant program.

Pinkowski's eyes nearly welled with tears when he heard the cheers after his name was called. Richmond Senior coach Paul Hoggard put his arm around the CBA coach.

"He said 'You know what coach, I'd love to coach somewhere where people loved me like that,'" said Pinkowski. "That just blew me away. You're talking about a guy who went 12-1 last season and he's talking about how much he liked to work at a place like Aycock. I came home from that whole experience and I told my wife, Shelley, the Lord knew exactly what I needed in that situation."

The faith had returned.

The confidence had returned.

Pinkowski was his happy-go-lucky self again.

"It was great to work with what is supposed to be some of the best coaches around, and they are good coaches who do the same things we're doing ... make some of the same mistakes we make," said Pinkowski. "It was just very refreshing after you have a season like that. I just decided we're going to go out, work hard and let the chips fall where they may.

"There is a lot of Christianity and faith in what I do ... all things happen for a reason. It was one of the Lord's blessings for me."

His belief has rubbed off on his players.

When the second semester began, the players worked diligently in the weight room and tried to become better students of the game. Their excitement has created a buzz within the coaching staff and Pinkowski hopes it carries over into each Friday night.

"I told Coach (Charles) Davis to 'buckle in baby' because we're going for the long haul now," said Pinkowski. "I'm going to try to do 20 here if you can stand it. Coach said that 'would make me happy because you'd be here two years after I retire.'"

Pinkowski wouldn't have it any other way.