EAST BEND - New head football coach JK Adkins has officially taken the reigns of the East Wilkes football program.
While being named former coach Monty Chipman’s replacement in January, Adkins took the field with the Cardinals this week during summer minicamp to kick off his tenure in Ronda.
“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “I’m looking foward to the challenges.”
Adkins, a Salisbury native, brings an impressive coaching résumé to the Cardinals with 12 years of coaching experience under his belt. While playing for Appalachian State in the late 90s, Adkins was offered an assistant coaching position at nearby Watauga High School that jump-started a new career.
“I walked-on at Appalachian State for a little while, then I got into coaching while I was still in college,” he explained. “One of my old high school coaches got the head job at Watauga and he asked me to come and help him. I decided to take that route and I got into coaching there.”
From Boone, Adkins coached at Mooresville, Patton and, most recently, powerhouse Salisbury. As an assistant there, he helped guide the Hornets to the 2AA state championship in 2010 and into the third round last season, which included a win over Starmount.
At East Wilkes, Adkins will be the new strength and conditioning coach, where he will have three periods with the athletes to “bust them up in weight room.”
Adkins and his wife Shanda still live in the Salisbury area with their two kids and six adopted kids.
“My wife and I just brought in six kids from a bad situation,” he said. “So our house is full and our time is busy, but it’s a good time in our household.
“I live in Salisbury still; I make the drive for now,” Adkins continued. “We’re hoping some things will change in the future and we’ll get up this way. That drive is not very fun.”
Adkins is replacing Chipman who served as the head man since 2003, leading East to several 1A state playoff berths.
The Cardinals are coming off a 3-8 season, which included a 3-5 mark in the rugged Mountain Valley Conference and a berth in the 1A state playoffs.
Adkins says he is looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding East into a contender.
“It’s going to be a challenge this year, but I like it,”he said. “I’m excited about it; I’m fired up.”
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.