Edkins Reflects on 30 Years


Chuck Edkins

Lena Williams, Reporter

   Chuck Edkins is stepping down as head men’s soccer coach to fully carry out the duties of Athletic Director, an appointment he received last fall.

   During his last season as head coach, the soccer team faced the injuries of four goalkeepers and some midfielders. The beginning was challenging, but the team met expectations and made the conference tournament.

   Edkins has been coaching for 30 years. In addition to soccer, he coached baseball and women’s basketball. He ended his soccer coaching career with 283 wins, 159 losses and 35 ties. He has won nine conference titles, two ECAC South titles and made six appearances in the NCAA tournament.

   But those aren’t his greatest rewards, he said.

   “When a young man commits to Misericordia, it is a humbling experience, because it shows that his family trusts me with their son,” Edkins said.

   Edkins said he inherited his coaching style from his own coach when he played at SUNY Cortland. Edkins lives by that coach’s words: “Utilize people for their talents. Do not use them for their talents.”

   Those words guided Edkins through serious challenges, including the near loss of the life of one of his players. In 1995, during an intense and competitive game, junior goalkeeper Jim Klien landed on his head and fractured his skull after he dangerously collided with another player on the field. “After the hit, he was unconscious with blood coming out of his ears and nose, which are common signs of a skull fracture. Edkins said he was overwhelmed with emotion and the team had to continue playing the game. Fortunately, the student – and the Cougars – recovered. The team won the game.

   Edkins said he learned from many lessons over the years – to be patient, to be a better communicator, and to realize that he is not always right. Most important, he said, he learned to be aware of how he represents himself and his program regardless of wins and losses.

   “Anyone can win a game, but how the team handles themselves on and off the field when the season is going bad or good truly displays their character,” said Edkins.

   He said his players have always excelled in the classroom and various clubs and organizations.

   Edkins roots for every team to bring home the championship, and he expects all student athletes to perform in the classroom. Misericordia placed 149 student-athletes on the Mid-Atlantic Conference fall Academic Honor Roll in January.  Student athletes must receive a minimum of a 3.20 grade point average to be eligible for the honor.