Months before venturing to Rocky Mount for his job interview, former Marietta College football coach Jeff Filkovski received an email.
It was from former Battling Bishops coach Mark Henninger, who was interested in scheduling a game between Marietta and N.C. Wesleyan.
The correspondence between the two coaches didn’t last long.
Filkovski simply hit delete because he was at a school that could not compete with the short, yet strong credentials of N.C. Wesleyan.
It was part of the reason that Filkovski jumped at the chance to interview with N.C. Wesleyan for its vacant coaching position, which he filled officially Tuesday afternoon after driving into town from Ohio.
“Certainly when the job got posted, it was attractive because of the national success N.C. Wesleyan has had in the recent past,” Filkovski said. “I was coming from a program that didn’t have as much success in 100 years.”
Filkovski is the third head coach of the Bishops, who will open their 10th season in the fall.
Filkovski spent the past five seasons as head coach at Marietta (OH), where the program finished 10-40 as part of the ultra-competitive Ohio Athletic Conference, a league that is paced by 11-time national champion Mount Union.
He also has experience as an offensive coordinator at Division III Heidelberg University and NFL Europe to go along with stints at the College of Holy Cross, Thomas More College and the University of Cincinnati.
Filkovski takes over N.C. Wesleyan for Henninger, who led the program to a 26-25 record in five seasons. Henninger accepted the head coaching position at NAIA national champion Marian University (Ind.) in January.
“We are very excited about coach Filkovski and the new direction of the football program,” N.C. Wesleyan athletics director John Thompson said in the school’s press release. “He comes to us with a wide range of experience, a tremendous reputation in the coaching ranks and he emerged in our search as the right man at the right time for North Carolina Wesleyan.”
Filkovski arrives in Rocky Mount during crucial weeks of the Division III recruiting process.
He admitted the timing is a bit off with regard to recruiting, but he expects to dig in quickly with the aid of a coaching staff that already has zeroed in on prospective players.
Filkovski is eager to add to the program’s three USA South titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
“After getting down here and visiting, the draw was the personalities,” Filkovski said. “They talked success. They talked wanting to win. That’s something that’s big to me. I want to win football games.
“They talked about winning and competing, and those things are refreshing.”
Jessie H. Nunery can be reached at 407-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org