From the “Big Apple” to the “Biggest Little Football Town in the World” — Jeffrey Enck is bringing a New York state of mind to the Maiden football team.
The Long Island, N.Y. native will coach the Blue Devils’ wide receiving corps for the first time this fall season.
Enck compares his hometown of Massapequa, N.Y. to Maiden.
“Massapequa a pretty big town,” Enck said. “It has a great football team and is very much like Maiden. Both are M-H-S. This was really the only job I was very interested in.”
Enck moved to North Carolina this past year to be closer to his son, who has lived in Sherrills Ford for the past 7-8 years.
“Every time I come down here, I realize how fortunate we are to live in this bubble down here,” Enck said. “It’s like how I grew up. The true American fabric is still here. It’s so much fun to be in this environment. People are friendly.”
Enck is a former college football assistant coach.
He spent five seasons at Hofstra University, including four as defensive backs coach and one as defensive coordinator.
Enck also coached offensive line at Stony Brook University and served as linebackers coach and defensive coordinator at New York Tech.
“Having been a defensive college coach and a defensive coordinator at a university like Hofstra, he’s brought a wealth of knowledge,” said second-year Maiden head coach Frank Snider of Enck. “They don’t have football any longer, but going back to the 1930s, they were a power in the city of New York. He has brought a wealth of enthusiasm. He hasn’t coached for a couple of years, but he is excited to get involved. We are happy to have him on board and adding his expertise.”
Enck credits his former high school coach with getting him into both teaching and coaching.
“He taught me to really coach and think of the kids first,” Enck said. “They are the most important reason you are out here. Even though he was a big star, he would do things for the kids, even at the detriment of the team. What was best for that child was what he was going to do. He never sacrificed.”
Also on Enck’s coaching résumé is experience in the prep ranks in New York at Berner, Massapequa, St. Anthony’s high schools.
He believes high school football in North Carolina is developed better than in New York.
“The football here is more advanced than up north,” he said. “I think there is a wide difference in the player ability. The training here is better and more intense. It’s still part of the fabric of our society. Football is part of that fabric. It isn’t up north, especially in high school.”
Beyond the football field, Enck says the residents of Maiden are stand up, including its football players.
“Not only are they good football people here, but they are gentlemen,” he said. “They teach the kids to be gentlemen. The kids are just fabulous. They are always polite and always willing to learn. They work so hard. It’s been a pleasure to be here.”
Many of Maiden football players, including senior Kyle Kelly, are taking to their new assistant coach.
“He takes the game and brings it to another level,” Kelly said of Enck. “He brings the enthusiasm. He turns everything up a notch. It’s like two extremes combining together with a Southern town and a New Yorker coming in. It’s good, though.”
On the practice field Friday, Enck could be seen coaching and encouraging defensive players, even through water breaks.
It’s a drive and love Enck said will continue as long as he is a member of the Maiden coaching staff.
“I’ve always been a passionate person,” Enck said. “It just comes from wanting to teach. This is why God designed me for — to be out here coaching and teaching. Those are the two environments that I’m most comfortable in. It just comes naturally. It’s nothing I force on myself. I can be very, very tired and as soon as I walk on to a field or in a classroom, I feel ready to go. It’s just the way it is. It’s how I’ve been made.”