Clayton High School has a new football coach. He is Hunter Jenks.
Jenks has served previously as the Head Football Coach at South Johnston High School, where in two years he has amassed a record of 13-12. The record however, does not tell the full story. Jenks inherited a team that had won two games the prior year and in his first year led the Trojans to 5 wins and more impressively, a share of the Two Rivers 3A conference championship and a state playoff berth. Jenks’ team followed up the impressive first year with 8 wins last season, advancing to the 2nd round of the 3A state playoffs where the team fell to the eventual 3A state champion.
Jenks has also pushed the athletes he has coached to excel off the field as well. The team grade-point-average of the South Johnston football program has improved from 2.78 to 3.3 in his tenure as head coach. In addition, three of the athletes in the football program have received the prestigious Benton Scholarship from SJHS during his tenure. Throughout his coaching career, Coach Jenks has coached 27 student-athletes who have gone on to play collegiate football. Finally, Jenks has served as host of the NC Shrine Bowl Mideast combine for three seasons, working closely with the NC Shrine Bowl Committee to support their charity and all-star game.
Prior to assuming the role of head coach, Jenks served as an assistant coach at South Johnston High, Corinth-Holders High, and Wakefield, making the playoffs in 7 of his 9 seasons as an assistant. In addition to serving as a football coach, Coach Jenks has demonstrated success as a head varsity basketball coach and as a head track and field coach during his career.
Jenks graduated from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School earning a varsity letter in four sports. Coach Jenks earned a football scholarship to Elon University where he played from 2002-2005. During his playing career at Elon, Jenks set a number of school weight room records including freshmen bench, incline bench, and won the strong man competition.
“I certainly appreciate the interest that was expressed by outstanding coaches from across the state in the head football coaching position,” said Bennett Jones, incoming principal of Clayton High School. “After a brief search, it was clearly apparent that Coach Hunter Jenks is the right person to lead the Clayton football program. Coach Jenks is an excellent young football coach who has a tremendous work ethic and passion for teaching and leading student-athletes. Coach Jenks has demonstrated the ability to establish positive relationships with students, faculty, fellow coaches, parents, and community members which will serve the Clayton football program well. We look forward to supporting Coach Jenks, the coaches, and the players next season as they continue to build upon the traditions and history of the Clayton High School football program.”
Jenks resides in Clayton with his wife Betsy and their two daughters, Ava, age 4, and Claire, age 1.