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Originally published: 2013-05-02 11:56:28
Last modified: 2013-05-02 11:56:26

Robert Thomas “Bob” Jenkins

Coach Robert Thomas “Bob” Jenkins, 79, of Rock Hill, S. C., died peacefully in his sleep Monday, April 29, 2013, at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill.
Jenkins was born July 17, 1933 in New York, N.Y., to Robert Milo Jenkins and Mary Gattis Holland Nefzger.
He married Margaret Mallette Henderson Jenkins of Atlanta, Ga. on August 30, 1958. Jenkins graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in Virgina. He got his Bathelor's of Arts in education, in 1957 from the Univeristy of South Carolna, as well as a major in physical education. He received his Masters in Education and Guidance and Counceling in 1970 from Wintrop College.
Jenkins received a two-time national coach of the year award. He also started track and cross country programs at five different high schools. As of 2005, Jenkins had an overall record of 1021-185 (.847) as of 2005 and had coached seven state championship teams. His longest tenure was at Northwestern High School, where he coached from 1971-95. While there, Jenkins was a 14-time regional Track Coach of the Year, ten-time regional Cross Country Coach of the Year, six-time South Carolina Track Coach of the Year, four-time South Carolina Cross Country Coach of the year, National Track Coach of the Year, and National Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Jenkins spearheaded the development of cross country in the state of South Carolina, founding the South Carolina Track and Cross Country Association. In recognition of his achievements and contributions, he was selected as a National Team Coach in 1981 and 1982, and in 1997 and 1998, he coached on the U.S. Olympic Development Team.
He retired, in 1995, but never strayed far from the track, continuing to serve as a frequent contributor at Northwestern High. He was a member of the York County Hall of Fame and was a charter inductee into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Jenkins came out of retirement in 2005, for yet another coaching challenge, to start the cross country and track and field programs at South Pointe High School. While he retired again, in 2009, he continued to be a presence on and off the track.
Jenkins received Region Track Coach of the Year awards in 1973 – 75, 1977 – 1981, 1983, 1986 – 1989, 1991 – 1995; Region Cross Country Coach of the Year, 1973 – 1980, 1990 – 1994; South Carolina Track Coach of the Year, 1973 – 1976, 1983, 1986; South Carolina Cross Country Coach of the Year, 1973 – 1974, 1976 – 1977; National High School Athletic Coaches Association District 3 Coach of the Year, 1974 (Track), 1976 (Track), 1978 (Cross Country); National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Track Coach of the Year in 1976; National High School Athletic Coaches Association; National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1978; Team South Coaching Staff Men’s Track & Field Team; TAC/USA Olympic Sports Festival in 1981;USA National Team Coach, June 1982 – London, England – USA vs. England, Sweden and Australia; Shrine Bowl Run Assistant Coach,1988; Shrine Bowl Run Head Coach,1989; United States Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame, “First high school Track Coach to be inducted into USTCA” that is the governing body for track & field in the U.S.,1996; York County Hall of Fame; Northwestern Hall of Fame; Golden South Track Classic Hall of Fame; S.C. Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame; and was South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame Charter Member, 1993.
Jenkins was employed at Fishburne Military Academy, 1957– 1959, as Assistant Football Coach; Head Basketball and Track & CC Coach; History Instructor, 1959 – 1961, as Athletic Director; Head Football, Basketball, Track & CC Coach.
He also worked at Carlisle Military School, 1961– 1965, as Athletic Director; Head Football and Track & CC Coach; Instructor.of History, Science, English, and Algebra; York High School, 1965– 1968,as the Athletic Director andAssistant Principal; Head Football, Track & CC Coach; Rock Hill High School, 1968– 1971, Head Coach Track & CC; Assistant Football Coach; Instructor of Physical Education and Mathematics; Northwestern High School, 1971– 1974, Head Coach Track & CC as well as Assistant Football Coach, Counselor from 1974 to 1995, Head Coach Track & CC; Counselor; South Pointe High School, 2005-2009,Head Coach Track & CC.
Jenkins is survived by his wife of 54 years, Margaret Henderson Jenkins; daughter, Mary Mallette Jenkins Wood and husband, Kevin; grandsons, George Henderson and Robert Andrew Wood of Rock Hill, S.C.; daughter, Margaret Keller “Meg” Jenkins Lockeand husband, Ron; grandsons, William Jenkins and Robert Keller; granddaughter, Margaret Mallette Locke of Hickory; sister-in-law, Keller Henderson Barron and husband, Bill, of Columbia, S.C.; nephews, Lewis, George, Charles Bumgardner and families; niece, Margaret Anne Bumgardner DuBose and family. He also leaves to cherish his memory, lifelong family of administrators, coaches, athletes and all those he loves and love coach.
A private family liturgy was held Thursday, May 2, 2013, at Our Savoir Episcopal Church, Rock Hill, S.C. A community worship service celebrating Jenkins’ life was held 4 p.m. Thursday, May 2, 2013. at West End Baptist Church, Rock Hill. The family received friends after the Jenkins’ life celebration.
Greene Funeral Home Northwest, 2133 Ebenezer Rd., Rock Hill, S.C., was in charge of the services.
Memorials may be made to Step Up for Yellow Mountain, c/o Yellow Mountain Enterprises, P.O. Box 548, 255 Estatoa Street, Newland, NC 28657.
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