Alumnus Jamie Dodd ’91 and his wife Christina continue to honor the legacies of Coach Norm Witek and Coach David Rinker and the long-lasting relationships that started on Brevard College’s campus. Jamie and Christina purchased a house in downtown Brevard with the help of Real Estate Agent Nancy Witek, wife of Coach Norm Witek. The house is 113 years old and has been completely restored inside and out. The inside screams “Brevard College Cross Country and Track and Field,” with memorabilia scattered throughout. The Witek and Rinker families greatly impacted many Brevard College athletes over the years. This house is a way for one such athlete to thank them, tell their stories, and create an excellent place for those in the Brevard College family to gather.
“Coach Witek and Coach Rinker were instrumental in the lives of countless cross country and track athletes at BC for over 30 years, including me,” reflected Dodd. “I learned first-hand that iron sharpens iron. Many rooms in the house are named after athletes who ran for Coach Witek and Coach Rinker. Coach Witek and Coach Rinker were incredible leaders and huge assets to Brevard College.”
Coach Witek led the Track and Cross-Country Program from the late 1960s until the mid-1980’s. After coaching at BC, Witek moved into other key roles on campus and retired from the College in 2015. Coach Rinker developed the women’s program in the mid-1980s and later took over the men’s program. He coached at Brevard until the late 90’s. In 10 years, from 1982 to 1992, Brevard College Cross Country teams won 6 national championships for NJCAA.
“Coach Rinker was instrumental in my development, and I like to say that Coach Witek indirectly played an important part,” reflected Dodd. “Coach Witek’s grand vision was still quite present after he retired from coaching. These two men put some incredible people around me that profoundly impacted me. I witnessed greatness in academics and athletics from numerous players like Dunn, Massie, Griggs, Hausenfluck, Goodroe, Campbell, Kinne, and Weldon. I applied these nuggets in academics for undergraduate and graduate school, in athletics for several years, and then into my business career. Coach Dave Rinker and Coach Norm Witek played a major part in my story, so I came up with the idea to honor them with the Witek Rinker House.”
“Jamie and Christina dedicating their gorgeous home to the program’s history is one of the most generous acts I’ve ever seen,” said Witek.
“I felt honored that Jamie would think so highly of both Norm and me that he would not only name the house in our honor but then fill it with pictures and artifacts from both of our pasts and the history of the great Brevard College Cross Country and Track and Field Program,” said Rinker.
The Witek Rinker House is decorated with classic pictures, media stories, jerseys, team photos, an Adidas running shoe named the “Brevard,” the media story about the Adidas running shoe called the “Witek,” and much more to tell the incredible story that Coach Norm Witek and Coach Dave Rinker helped write.
“The house has been used by several of us for vacations, for homecoming gatherings, a retirement party for Coach Dave Rinker in 2022, and a 2023 Hall of Fame induction weekend for Scott Dvorak ’89,” said Dodd. “Several Brevard College runners went on to qualify for the Olympic Trials, some competed around the globe, including in World Championships, and even a couple qualified for the Olympics. I’ve tried to acknowledge some of these athletes in the home. This house means we have a great place to continue our relationships with friends and start new ones. The tribute room in the back of the house is a walk down memory lane. It quickly creates great discussions by everyone.”
“Just walking through the house fills me with pride and great memories,” Rinker expressed. “For 15 years, I had the pleasure of working with some great young men and women. The team concepts and unity passed down from Norm to me and then to the athletes I coached will live on in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of young people we worked with. I greatly appreciate what Jamie has done for Norm and me.”