Community mourns passing of Brian Edkins

By Earl Vaughan Jr.

Cape Fear High School and the entire Cumberland County Schools community were in shock today at the news that Colt principal Brian Edkins had died suddenly this morning at age 51.

Edkins rose to the administrative level from a background in athletics.

A standout soccer player at his college alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Edkins briefly coached tennis at South Robeson High School then came to South View where he became head soccer coach.

While at South View, he created the Kicking for Cancer charity which has raised more than $50,000 for cancer research.

Edkins coached in the East-West All-Star soccer game in Greensboro and has won multiple awards from the N.C. High School Athletic Association, among them the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award and the Eight Who Make a Difference Award.

He was a member of the current NCHSAA Board of Directors where he was scheduled to serve another year.

He became athletic director and later principal at South View, then moved on to serve as principal at Scotland High School and at Cape Fear.

RIck Strunk, former associate commissioner of the NCHSAA, said he always enjoyed working with Edkins. “It was great to have a principal with the athletic background he had,’’ Strunk said. 

Joe Franks, a longtime coach from Grimsley High School in Greensboro and a leader of the N.C. Coaches Association, also served with Edkins on the NCHSAA board.

Franks said Edkins was able to find humor when it was needed and pragmatic when he needed to be.

“I enjoyed being around him,’’ Franks said.