Beloved coach remembered

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 19, 2021

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Beloved former Randolph-Henry High School teacher and coach Dick Bankston died on Monday, March 8, at his home in Keysville.

Known fondly by most as “Coach Bankston,” he began his career as a teacher with Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS), where he worked for 35 years until his retirement in 2003.

Richard Bankston

During that time, he served as an administrator, baseball and football coach, and physical education teacher at Randolph-Henry High School. During his coaching career he led the Statesmen to numerous district and regional baseball titles over 18 years at the helm. In addition to coaching, he served as the school’s director of athletics until his retirement.

In 2006, Bankston was honored when the school system named its main high school athletic field complex after him. He was later inducted into the inaugural class of Randolph-Henry’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

“Coach Bankston served as a mentor for many students, athletes, and teachers throughout Charlotte County for the past several decades,” CCPS Superintendent Robbie Mason said. “During my time as a teacher and a coach, he was always someone who I could count on to give me honest advice that was grounded in wisdom, experience, but most of all integrity.”

Current Randolph-Henry High School Director of Athletics Christopher Holt recalled Coach Bankston’s love and passion for sports.

“I have known him my entire life,” Holt said. “We worked together on a variety of baseball-related projects. He was an enthusiastic, passionate teacher of the game. He also had an insight for baseball that was incredibly unique and truly enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others.”

Holt said that although he never played for Coach Bankston at R-H, he grew up watching his teams play and attended his local Camp Hustle summer camps.

“He was a special coach, and his teams were special due to the high expectation level he demanded in all areas,” Holt said. “He was to me the model Statesmen. When I accepted my first head coach position of my career, I had the choice of any number for my baseball jersey. I choose #20 due to the impact that Coach Bankston had on my life and to honor a coach I hoped to emulate. Coach Bankston was a man of true integrity. He was a man of faith, family, and baseball. He will certainly be missed; however, his legacy will certainly live on.”