Teaching fundamentals is key to coaching for Chip Dinkins

 

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

Feb. 4, 2010

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Chip Dinkins

Some coaches knew from an early age they’d be teaching the sport they love to play at some point in their lives.

Chip Dinkins certainly did. As a 7-year-old playing church league at St. Helena’s Episcopal, Dinkins envisioned himself coaching the exhausting and competitive game of basketball.

In addition to playing for the church, Chip also played at Beaufort Academy and Lady’s Island Junior High. As a forward at Forsyth Country Day in Lewisville, NC, Dinkins remembers, “I understood plays well, and knew I’d be coaching one day,” Dinkins says.

After returning from Tulane University, Chip wanted to get involved with Beaufort Academy again. He approached Tom Horton about coaching, and Tom invited him to be the Junior Varsity coach in 1999.

Today, Chip Dinkins is the Head Coach for the Varsity Boys at his alma mater, Beaufort Academy.  His coaching philosophy? “It is important to keep the team fundamentally sound. They should be good defensive players who play strong and with intensity,” Dinkins exclaims.

“I encourage each member of my team to play hard, with all their heart,” stresses Dinkins.  This, combined with good offensive talent makes for a winning team.

The Varsity Boys are working very hard this season. The team, packed with only sophomores and juniors, began practicing this summer. Their off-season commitment indicates a team willing to work hard.

Dinkins brought summer practices back after a 2-year hiatus. Why? “I like building teams, building towards next year and years to come,” reasons Dinkins.

Andy Burris and Joe Matheny, coach for the Junior Varsity boys at BA are Chip’s assistant coaches. Chris Butler is the coach for the Middle School Boys and also helps Chip out with the older boys.

Matheny, also the Golf Pro at the Sanctuary Golf Club, expresses his respect for Coach Dinkins, “I’ve learned a lot from Chip-how to handle a team.”

Burris, another Beaufort Academy alumni, agrees, “Coach Dinkins is very knowledgeable about teaching fundamentals and works well with the kids. He’s a good role model.”

All of these coaches have full-time jobs, but still take the time to come teach these kids in their free time.  It’s a commitment like few others. They love the sport and have a desire to pass the baton to another generation.

Chip Dinkins is the Director of Operations for Plums, Inc., which manages Plums, Saltus and Patois. Amidst a large renovation project for Plums, Chip still finds the time to lend his coaching talents to these young men. “I definitely couldn’t do this without Lantz’s (Price) blessing.” Lantz is the owner of Plums, Inc.

Family is also missing Chip, from the early days of November through the end of February. His wife, Bradi Dinkins (A BA alumni as well) and his daughters, Emma Grace (Class of ’22) and Olivia (Class of ’24) cheer for papa during most of the games.

Chip has a number of accomplishments under his belt, including the State Championship Title he and his team earned in 2006. Also a rewarding feat is the number of young men playing at the next level who were coached by Dinkins. Thor Rhodin, Matt Butler, Brady Trogden, Chris Ernistine and Chris Conavan are all playing college ball.

When asked who Chip’s inspiration was, it took a half second to respond, “Jim Tobias, my coach here at BA when I was here in 1986.”

Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, one of Coach Dinkins’ players now will follow in his footsteps, and become an Eagles Head Coach. As they run suicides, practice free throws, repeat drills and play their hearts out, one may be thinking that he’d like to blow the whistle one day. And Coach Dinkins could be their inspiration.

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Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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