Brian Fullenkamp, the Enloe High track and cross country coach, was named as one of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s eight coaches who makes a difference. He has been teaching technology at the school for the past nine years.
He spoke with The News & Observer’s Tim Stevens.
Q. What do you do to make a difference?
Fullenkamp: It is like I told the kids, I don’t do anything that I don’t think every high school coach in the country is doing, or should be doing. It is an honor, but I really didn’t do anything different. I didn’t do anything special.
To me, we teach that we’re in this together, but you’ve got to do the work. You have know you are not in this alone, but that your responsible for doing your work.
Q: How do you teach sportsmanship?
Fullenkamp: To me, it goes hand in hand with coaching. It is doing unto others the way you want done to you. If you want to be treated badly, then treat people badly. You have to know that you rely on one another. Everybody is important. You never know when you are going to need help.
Q: Is there a coach that made a difference in your life?
Fullenkamp: My high school coach (Brandy Jutte in Marion, Ohio) was great at keeping everybody motivated and having fun. I started with football and was put in the line and I just wasn’t any good, but I found cross country and track. He made it fun to work hard.
My college coach (Jason Moss at Ohio Northern) really pushed us. If you wanted to run, you needed to run. It was on you. You had to do the work.
Of course, my mother and father were my best coaches.
Q: What do you want your athletes to learn?
Fullenkamp: In all sports, coaches are teaching life lessons. Dedication matters in everything you. I was raised on a farm and it was hard work. My mother and father taught me about working hard. You work hard. You work at it. You get it done.
Q. What academic courses do you teach at Enloe and are there parallels between learning in class and learning at the track?
Fullenkamp: I teach Technology, Engineering and Design; Scientific Visualization Techniques; and Gaming Art and Design.
You need to work to be successful. I guarantee my students that they will pass my course if they come with a good attitude, they come every day, and they do all the work. You’ve got to do the work. Coaching helps me in the classroom and some kids relate better when I put examples in sports teams. To me, it is all tied up together.