Kenneth Edwards says that when a job like athletic director at Jamestown High opens, “it catches your eye.” That figures, because the Eagles have won multiple state titles in golf and swimming to go with state championships in girls tennis and boys soccer in the past several years.
Edwards now will guide Jamestown’s athletic fortunes, after being approved this week as the school’s athletic director. He replaces Don Samuels, who is retiring after five years on the job.
“I’m very humbled and grateful,” Edwards said. “I want to thank (principal) Dr. (Catherine) Worley and Williamsburg/James City County Schools for the opportunity.
“My family and I look forward to being a part of the Jamestown community and Eagles athletics for a long time.”
Worley said, “He is very innovative and is a leader who is very passionate about athletics and opportunities for student-athletes.
“He has over 25 years’ experience coaching on the high school and college levels and brings experience managing athletic budgets. We look forward to having him at Jamestown.”
That experience includes a stint as girls varsity basketball coach at Grassfield High in Chesapeake the past two years. Prior to that, he was an assistant women’s basketball coach for four years at Norfolk State University and one year at Virginia Wesleyan.
Edwards says he took classes to prepare himself for an AD job while coaching on the collegiate level. He said NSU women’s basketball coach Deb Clark and athletic director Marty Miller provided the inspiration.
“I saw their leadership skills and organization and how they overcome obstacles on a daily basis,” Edwards said. “I also learned from their consistent approach and how they treated people.”
With those examples, and others like David Rhodes at Cox High and Bruce Phelps at Deep Creek, Edwards formulated an approach he wants to bring to Jamestown. He breaks it down into four parts.
Servant-leadership: “I’ll be there to support the coaches and student-athletes to help them achieve their goals.”
Creative vision: “I want to be creative in the way we build and be a mentor and adviser to the coaches and student-athletes.”
Creating support: “I want to create an atmosphere in which coaches can take classes to educate themselves more about their sport if they want to, and student-athletes are mentored on NCAA guidelines.”
Building a family atmosphere: “A lot of coaches, administrators, parents and student-athletes have built Jamestown into one of the premier programs in the area and the state. We want to build on that and take it to new levels.”
Edwards said it’s that history of success that makes the Jamestown athletic director job so attractive.
“It’s really an honor,” said Edwards, who will officially become the Eagles’ AD in July. “I do want to get over there soon and meet as many people as I can as soon as possible.”