Just after his senior year of college, current Detroit Southeastern head coach Courtney Dinkins found himself spending the summer as a volunteer assistant for the high school football team his father coached. Dinkins had just wrapped up a successful career as a defensive back at the University of Louisville, where he intercepted two passes, and was playing professional football. However, once he started coaching, he couldn’t give it up.
“That summer, the coaching bug hit me,” Dinkins said. “From that point on, I made it my mission to help young men not only get better at the game, but to also teach them life lessons on their way to manhood.”
That first summer of coaching was over 20 years ago, and even in a season like no other due to COVID-19, Dinkins still has that same fire for coaching football that he had coming out of college.
“This season was one of the most challenging I’ve ever had,” Dinkins said. “At the end of the day, I am just happy that we got to play some games and my players got to get some good tape to send to colleges. Right now, the most important thing to me is making sure all of my seniors get an opportunity to play at the next level.”
When Dinkins played in college it set him up for a successful post-playing career, something he wants for all of his players.
“The game of football was the only way to pay for my education,” said Dinkins, who earned a degree in sociology from Louisville. “It kept me off the streets. It kept me from committing crimes. This game just means so much to me.”
Even in a COVID-shortened season, Dinkins’ Detroit Southeastern Jungaleers had an impressive year. They won their first four games by a staggering combined score of 150 to 0, and beat Detroit Central in the city championship rivalry game for the first time since 2010. Dinkins’ success on the field came with recognition off of it, as he was voted ‘Favorite Football Coach’ in 4Frenzy’s Fan Choice Awards.
“I’m still working on getting better every day,” Dinkins said. “Everything that we do as a team is about laying the foundation for future players that come after us. We live in a world full of valuable resources, and I believe that if someone can put in enough time and effort to utilize all of these resources, they will go as far in life as they desire.”