As reported in my last “Sport Shorts” article, Kingsway Football Coach Tony Barchuk retired after a legendary career that spanned back to 1979.
Coach Barchuk’s career highlights include a South Jersey Group II championship in 2001, multiple Tri-County Conference divisional titles, and designation as one of the top 10 winningest coaches in South Jersey history with 206 career wins.
Needless to say, he has left some large shoes to fill. However, Kingsway recently has found a man willing to carry on its fine football tradition in Mark Hendricks.
Hendricks, who resides in East Greenwich with his wife and children, has been a fixture in South Jersey football for two decades. He was an all-star caliber athlete during his playing days at Deptford High School.
Hendricks then moved on to Rowan, where he was an all-conference player and two-year captain. He even made four appearances in the NCAA Division III national championship game.
After being named Rowan’s Player of the Year, he graduated in 1999 with an undergraduate degree in law and justice studies and later earned his masters degree in higher education administration.
Hendricks started his coaching career at his collegiate alma mater, Rowan, where was the linebackers coach and later the defensive coordinator at Rowan University. He helped the Profs win three New Jersey Athletic Conference titles and multiple trips to the national semifinals.
Hendricks later moved on to James Madison University where he was the cornerback’s coach for four years. He also was reponsible for recruiting primarily in the Delaware Valley region. While there, he helped JMU win a conference title in 2008 and was the coach for numerous players who moved on to the NFL and CFL.
Prior to coming to Kingsway, Hendricks served as the defensive coordinator at Lenape High School while teaching business classes. His defenses were known as being one of the stingiest defenses in South Jersey.
At Kingsway, in addition to coaching football, Hendricks also will teach in the high school business department. Athletic Director June Cioffi was very excited about the attributes that Hendricks brings to Kingsway.
“Coach Hendricks has what it takes to follow a legend like Coach Barchuk and will lead this program into a new era of Kingsway football,” said Cioffi. “His passion, enthusiasm, and toughness will rub off on his players.”
“He understands this community and the resources he has at his disposal,” continued Cioffi. “He already has made inroads within our student population and the local youth programs. Most importantly, he is a true teacher who empowers his kids to reach their potential.”
Coach Hendricks himself understands the opportunity that he has been afforded.
“It is important that we work to do things the right way, both on and off of the field,” said Hendricks. “We will embrace the staples of winning programs- a tough defense, sound fundamentals, strength training, a strong running game, and all-around hard work. These attributes lead to success in football at any level.”
As evidenced by his varied coaching experiences, Coach Hendricks certainly is a great judge of success at any level, and Kingsway is fortunate to have nabbed him.