Longtime ARPC employee serves as athletic director at area school

  • Published
  • By Mike Molina
  • Editor

"For when the One Great Scorer comes 
To write against your name, 
He marks - not that you won or lost - 
But how you played the Game."
(Grantland Rice, 1920s sportswriter) 

Jim Jenkins of the Directorate of Manpower has been coaching youth sports for nearly 20 years. During that time he has developed a philosophy about the games - every child should get to play. 

"I've seen maybe a handful of kids that went on to play in high school or at the college level," Mr. Jenkins said. "For many of these kids this could be the only time they play on a team like this." 

A fixture of the Air Reserve Personnel Center for nearly 36 years, Mr. Jenkins has been giving back to the Lowry community as the athletic director for a local Catholic school and a volunteer coordinator of a popular basketball league for third and fourth graders. 

"The reason I started doing this is because I saw youth sports becoming too competitive," he said. "This is about building camaraderie. This is for the kids." 

Since 1989, Mr. Jenkins has coached basketball, softball and baseball at St. James Catholic School, which serves prekindergarten through eighth grades in Denver's Montclair neighborhood. 

In 2005, when the school was in need of an athletic director, Mr. Jenkins was an obvious choice for the school staff. 

"The principal said, 'I'd like to have you do it,' and asked if I was interested. I said, 'my wife said I was, so yes,'" Mr. Jenkins said. 

As athletic director he oversees St. James' participation in the Catholic Schools Athletic League Archdiocese of Denver, a league of nearly 30 Catholic elementary schools from Littleton to Longmont and Lakewood to Aurora. 

He coordinates the school's sports program by fielding coaches, scheduling games and practices, providing equipment needs, setting up the gym, training parent volunteers and addressing issues between parents and coaches. 

He also volunteers his time during CSAL tournaments at St. James. In all, he spends some 10 to 12 hours a week as the school's athletic director. 

In November, Mr. Jenkins volunteers as the coordinator of the Archdiocese of Denver's regional basketball league for third and fourth graders, the Widgets. 

Eight Catholic schools from across the Denver metro area participate in the league, which runs through March. 

As league coordinator, he is also responsible for organizing the end-of-season tournament hosted at St. James. 

Weekends in February and March each year, he can be found at the gym making the tournament schedule, meeting with coaches, training volunteers, working concessions and overseeing playing time for each child. 

"I probably spend about 15 to 20 hours a week running the tournament," Mr. Jenkins said. 

There are separate girls and boys teams and the top four teams of the tournament are recognized, but every child gets a trophy. 

"Everybody likes that we do this for the kids," he said. "It's really not about who wins, it's about teaching kids to be good citizens through sports."