Three consecutive years of mishandling baseball concession stand funds are cited as the primary reason for the removal of Chris Wilkins as Greenbrier High School’s head baseball coach on Monday, as spelled out in a letter obtained by The News-Times.
In that memo, dated Thursday, June 6, Greenbrier High School Principal Chris Segraves documented a meeting with Wilkins Monday, June 3, in which Segraves reiterated that Wilkins had been warned a year earlier about concession stand funds being out of balance.
“During our meeting I reminded you that we met last year on June 26, 2012, to discuss the fact that your baseball concession monies were in the red by $1,763.76,” Segraves wrote. “At the time, I was adamant that this should not happen again.
“I was also very clear that, should we have to revisit this again, your position as head coach of the varsity baseball program would be in jeopardy,” Segraves continued.
When the 2013 season ended with a negative balance “in excess of $1,600,” Segraves met with Wilkins and removed him as head baseball coach.
Responding to questions regarding Wilkins’ firing, Segraves rejected suggestions that parental pressure, or rumors about players being hazed during initiation rituals, were a factor in his decision.
Segraves said the removal was not done in haste, and that there never were plans to dismiss Wilkins during the baseball season.
“I am not going to sacrifice what the kids were working for and all of that,” Segraves said. “They were deep in the hunt in the playoff, and to have acted any sooner than I did would have jeopardized their success. I was not going to jeopardize any of the success for our players.”
The final letter detailing Wilkins’ removal was provided Friday after a request to Columbia County Board of Education Human Resources Director Tony Wright.
Wilkins took over as head coach in 2009 and posted a 120-40 record in his five seasons at the helm of the Wolfpack’s program, including back-to-back appearances in the state championship series in 2012 and 2013.
Attempts to reach Wilkins, who still has a position as a health and physical education and social studies teacher at the high school, were unsuccessful.
In the interim, assistant coaches David Barnes and Mark Turner will take charge of the school’s summer league and baseball camp.
Segraves said hiring a coach is a top priority.
“We want to get a name as quick as possible, but it will not be a snap or rash decision,” he said.