Losing close friends and colleagues is tough. David Adkins was both. He served as Athletics Director at Atlantic Christian College/ now Barton College.
David was admired in many ways. In our world of college athletics judgement centers first on wins and losses. And for Athletics Directors the league all-sports trophy is the measurement. As it was in our conference , the Carolinas Conference. Joby Hawn was the man the trophy was named for.
The conference ranged from eight to eleven institutions over the twenty five years I was either a student or coach at the school. From 1959 until David was hired ACC was dead last every year in the HAWN CUP STANDINGS. There were bright spots before but David’s leadership and hard work were pivotal. The first men’s soccer coach, David’s first two teams won a total of 1 game. The third year his team was 7-5 and solid. For the next years of his tenure it was “… picnic days for teddy bears!” With the new kids on the block kicking their way to conference and district and regional titles. David ushered in this new found game of soccer and soon the whole area was sold on the game. And David. Me too. Soon Carole Mckeel coached the women’s basketball team to their first conference title. Next baseball and Doc Sanford tossed in a great team that went all the way in the league. Mens tennis won two National NAIA team titles.
David left his post to go into private business, but he left all cylinders churning, and one year later Atlantic Christian was second in the HAWN CUP STANDINGS. The next year, not only the #1, but the trophy itself.
More importantly, a culture was changed for good. One subsequent period featured three top HAWN finishes in a row. Gary Hall, an Adkins disciple, many coaches and men and women players , continued to carry the flag. David Adkins was the cornerstone.