The legacy of Coach Rodney Sink
Coach Sink makes the decision of stepping down as head coach for Wakefield football.
December 16, 2016
Five incredible seasons later, Rodney Sink is stepping down as head football coach. After coaching at North Davidson High School and Wake Forest High School, Sink decided to further his coaching career here at Wakefield, where he stayed for thirteen years. This news came as a shock to the Wakefield community, for Sink’s direct personality and being able to push his players and students to the best of their ability was admired by most.
“One thing that got me into coaching was that I enjoyed watching people succeed,” Sink said. “Watching people grow and see that light bulb go off whether it be in the classroom, practice field, and on the field, [it reminds me] ‘ok this is why I do this.’”
Players were also able to see Sink’s firm belief in hard work and determination on the field. Matt McKay, senior quarterback of the football team who recently committed to play at North Carolina State University, took notice of this.
“During the second half of the Millbrook game this year, I made three touchdown passes. He was just jumping up and down on the sidelines,” McKay said. “I think seeing his players succeed makes him happy.”
However, Sink didn’t start off as head coach when he first came to Wakefield. For eight years, he was an assistant coach and originally was in charge of the offensive and defensive end. It wasn’t until 2005 when those roles were split between him and Jason Dinwiddie, former assistant and head coach for the Wolverines. Experiencing firsthand the unique and efficient coaching styles of past football coaches such as Chip Williams, Steve Rivers, and Jason Dinwiddie, Sink has become the coach he is today. Sink learned right away that taking the role of head coach isn’t always the easiest.
“As an assistant coach you just go out there and coach your position,” Sink said. “As a head coach, you have to make sure all the paperwork is done, practice schedules are set up, and enough equipment is handed out and is in shape for everyone to use. When you’re head coach, you realize ‘oh I have to do all that.’”
Although being a head football coach has many challenges, it also comes with many special moments.
“The 2013 conference championship season was a very proud moment to be here at Wakefield,” Sink said. “I remember beating Leesville that night and being so happy, yet so exhausted after the game. The battle we went through and to get to that point was a big deal.”
Sink is a man who isn’t afraid of change. He knows that change will serve his players well by gaining the experience and skills that is essential to performing well out on the field. It will also give them the ability to adapt in situations that may not be ideal. Someone who took notice of Sink’s passion of change is Coach Trent Wilson, former football assistant coach and current assistant basketball coach.
“He was open to a new style, he embraced it and he learned it,” Wilson said. “When he commits to it, he commits to it. He brought a new offensive style, which was spread offensive. It was incredible for Connor Mitch, who was the first one who came in with it, and now he is a number two all time leading passer in the history of North Carolina.”
Also a civics teacher, Sink is a leader both in the classroom and on the field. To many, the classroom and the football field may seem like two distinct situations. However, Sink is able to apply the same principles on the field in the classroom.
“Basically, a game is like a test. If you do your assignment right and play your role right on the field then you’re going to pass,” senior Jeremy Massenburg, student of Sink’s civics class and slot receiver on the football team, said.
Sink is the type of person that by the time one is done having a conversation with him, they have learned something that can be carried with them for the rest of their life. Wilson believed that witnessing him coach makes someone reflect on how it can benefit them in the long run.
“One thing I learned from Sink is patience. He had a little more patience than most,” Wilson said. “There were situations where I was about to blow a gasket. He was very calm in a certain situation which is always good to be around.”
A principle that is close to Sink’s heart is the value of forming relationships with teammates. He believes that forming a strong bond with other players makes the team strong as a whole which results in a better performance on the field.
“One of the biggest points we made to the players is that you can’t think about yourself. You have to think about the guy next to you, and that’s who you are playing for,” Sink said.
Sink will leave a legacy behind at Wakefield that will continue to be followed by future coaches and players. He will be teaching at Heritage High School early next year and can’t help to reflect on the good times he had here at Wakefield.
“Friday nights are what I will miss the most,” Sink said. “You can take Monday through Thursday and the paperwork with you, but I was always happy on Fridays. My heart is with this program. Next season, I expect them to compete. I’ll be sad that I won’t be a part of it.”