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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

NC Lacrosse Owes a Debt to Jim Kirkley


I have a fond friendship with Jim Kirkley. We were occasional conversants when he was finishing his dissertation at Duke and I was just taking courses in the late 1980s. Then when I was entering the job market, thanks to Jim a job at Shaw University found me. Going on sixteen years later, as they say, the rest is history. During the time that we both taught undergraduates, I spoke with him most every day. Over the past few years, as our teaching paths do not cross so often, we try to catch up every now and then. And through the years I have learned to admire him as a teacher, a leader, a scholar, a minister, a father, and a coach.

When Jim started coaching lacrosse in North Carolina, there was not much of an organization. A few private schools were playing, and a few public schools in the Research Triangle were getting things going. I don't know the history that well, but I do know that he became the driving force in making lacrosse become a team sport in many cities and schools across the state.

An article in the Durham Herald-Sun recognized his achievements this week (the photo here was published with the article--Jim is the tall one on the right). He is retiring from coaching after seventeen years at Riverside High School in Durham. He has won state championships, helped students get athletic scholarships, and mentored other coaches, along with serving as commissioner of the NC High School Lacrosse Association. People like Jim help you know what it means to live a good life. I wish him the best in the new pursuits he will undertake.

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