Former Pikeville C.B. Aycock coach Randy Pinkowski is returning to his coaching roots. Pinkowski was named the new Clayton High School head football coach on Monday, replacing the retiring Gary Fowler.
Pinkowski was a Fowler assistant and athletic trainer when he started his coaching career.
“I’m humbled and honored to accept the position,” Pinkowski said Monday. He opted not to comment further at this time, preferring to wait until after he talked to Clayton High officials and the Comets’ football squad.
On Friday, neighboring West Johnston High named former East Wake High head coach Jimmy Williams as its new head coach. He succeeds Randy Ragland, who is the new coach at Fairmont.
Fowler, the Comets coach for the past 28 years, said he was glad the program is being handed to someone with Clayton ties.
“Randy has worn the blue and white,” Fowler said, referring to Pinkowski’s time on the staff. “He knows the Clayton tradition and how we have tried to do things in the past.
“One of the things I was hoping for was for the new coach to be someone who had been here.”
Pinkowski, 52, was head coach at C.B. Aycock from 1999 until this past season when he resigned to pursue other coaching opportunities. He was 75-83 leading the Golden Falcons in those 14 seasons.
Aycock had won just 18 football games in the previous decade before Pinkowski’s arrival. He was 65-63 in his last 11 years at Aycock and 4-3 in the postseason with a 10-3 overall mark in 2009.
Pinkowski is a Millbrook graduate and played football at Denison University in Ohio before earning his masters at Ohio University. He joined Fowler’s staff in 1985 and stayed there for 11 seasons before coaching a Eastern Wayne for a season prior to his tenure at Aycock.
“Coach Pinkowski started his educational and coaching career at Clayton High,” said Clayton principal Clint Eaves in a statement. “He understands the importance of community and family as it relates to our school. His work ethic, emphasis on family and community, and years of experience will help continue to grow our program.
“We look forward to working with coach Pinkowski as we continue the traditions of Clayton High School and build new ones.”
He was named the Wayne County area coach of the year in 2007 and was the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference co-coach of the year in 2009. He also sits on the board of directors for the N.C. Coaches’ Association.
Pinkowski is a longtime resident of the Clayton area and a member of Branch Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. He is married to Corinth Holders High English teacher Shelly Parrish Pinkowski and the couple have five children: Madison, a first-year teacher, Haley, Sara, Tyler and Anna.
Pinkowski becomes just the fifth Clayton High School head coach in the 61-year history of the program. Fowler retired after a 28-year run as the Comets’ head coach where he won 214 games and the state 2A championship in 1989. Fowler had followed Glenn Nixon’s run of more than two decades. Nixon won nearly 200 games during his Clayton coaching tenure.