Under former athletic director Missy Shores Buckingham County enjoyed great success the last few years in marquee sports like football and basketball as well as softball. The school has a new AD and anyone in athletics in Central Virginia has probably either been coached by, taught by or met him in the stands. Ed Dike, a Fork Union graduate, spent 24 years as an educator. Now he’s making the transition to being an administrator as he’s taken the athletic director position at Buckingham.
“I’ve been in the classroom the last 24 years and been involved in athletics all my life whether as a player, coach or teacher and I thought that going into athletic administration now was really the direction go,” Dike said. “I looked at a couple of different jobs and came down to Buckingham and just really liked it here.”
Dike’s first week on the job took place under the VHSL mandated dead period, but in just a few days he’ll be reunited with a familiar figure in Knights football coach Craig Gill. The coach on the gridiron has lead Buckingham to three straight postseason appearances. He and Dike are cut from the same cloth in one significant way.
“I really got to know coach Gill as a referee during a Fluvanna/Buckingham game,” Dike said. “But on top of that, he was a coach at Fork Union and I was a student.”
The new AD has his mind set on helping Buckingham grow. This school has rallied in the last few years behind the football and basketball squads and Dike is looking to help that community, already tightly-knit, take the next step and turn the Knights athletic program become an even more notable force.
“I started out at Louisa County in my first teaching job and there are a lot of similarities there and here where it’s one county and one school,” Dike said. “There’s a ton of support here just like (with Louisa) and so I’m really looking forward to getting started. Of course, it’s been a quiet week to start. But I’ve already got a lot of calls and emails from everyone about helping to make the programs and the facilities better. I’m all about that.”
For athletes and parents, Dike not only takes the job with great experience in both academics and athletics, he’s also been through the process himself as he worked his way to play football at James Madison University. Dike’s daughter, Danielle who just finished up at Georgia Tech, has also enjoyed a strong athletic career, earning a spot to play for Yellow Jackets’ softball team after graduating at Fluvanna County in 2008.
“It’s about being a true student athlete,” Dike said of his own success and the process of playing in college. “Athletics is just an avenue to get into college (at the high school level) and continue your education.”
Coming from previous experiences most recently at Monticello and before at Louisa County, Dike is looking forward to his chance to make his mark in Dillwynn.
“The first thing for me is making sure our athletes have the best facilities we can give them,” Dike said. “I’ve only been down here a few days but the first thing I saw I thought I could improve is the weight room.”
It didn’t take long for the new AD at Buckingham to get right to work, even during the quietest time of the year in athletics. For that community and school, his mentality will fit right in.