What We've Always Known: He's A Keeper!
May 14, 2014
Throughout history, mankind has recognized the value of teamwork and working together. From my very first day here at Newcastle School and my very first faculty/staff meeting it was very obvious that the concept of “team” and “family” were alive, well, and in active practice within these walls! When viewing the big picture, Newcastle School was and is working together as a team and as a family!
Teamwork could be observed throughout the entire school, but the most prominent example of working together for the common good was found within the coaching staff! Most schools the size of Newcastle School had a full time athletic director/coach and three or four additional coaches. Newcastle had three coaches who did everything and – oh, by the way - were outstanding teachers as well. How did that happen?
The only way that happened was their ability and willingness to work together; share responsibilities; and work as a team, doing whatever it takes to get the job done! This brings me to the purpose of this article – Coach Brad Wilkinson.
Coach Wilkinson has walked many a step, which evolved into many, many, many miles, following in the footsteps of his head coach, athletic director and friend, Coach Ty Spitzer. They both have taken many friendly, loving jabs comparing their friendship to “Andy and Barney”, “Batman and Robin”, and the “Lone Ranger and Tonto”. Both of them will smile and just keep on taking care of each other as great friends should!
This friendship and what Coach Wilkinson has meant to the Newcastle Bobcats and Newcastle School is a perfect example of the true meaning of servant leadership. Coach Wilkinson is always ready and willing to sacrifice his personal desires and preferences for what is best for our school, our team, and our family! Everyone knows that his favorite sport to coach is track – in my opinion, one of the least respected UIL sports. After a long school year of athletic practice and participation with volleyball, football and basketball, it’s often rather difficult to evoke a tremendous amount of excitement or enthusiasm for track and field events! I have observed Coach Wilkinson grieve for some student athletes he knew had outstanding potential for success in track and field yet, they refused to participate because they were tired and/or just didn’t feel the excitement or have the commitment it takes for excelling in track and field. He didn’t beg them; he simply took the athletes he had and tried to instill in them a desire to become the very best track athlete they could possibly become and place them in an event that would provide them the best opportunity for success! He didn’t tell me this but I believe it is true – one of his primary goals has always been continual improvement in everything he does and everything his students and athletes do!
Yes, as Mr. Spitzer transitions more and more from the field of athletics to the office of district administration, there are some things that will change. But, one thing we can hang our hat on, Coach Brad Wilkinson will be doing whatever it takes to help make our students, our teams and our school successful! Because in my book, he is the epitome of a team player, a master teacher/coach, AND a great friend! We are so fortunate to have him on our team and in our Newcastle School family! He's a keeper!