John Timmins, the veteran boys’ soccer coach at North Forsyth, was born in Texas, but his family moved to Boston when he was 2.
“I grew up in an area where soccer was a popular game,” Timmins said. “I started as a young kid and loved the game. I played soccer with the Italian and Portuguese kids.”
Timmins played soccer when he was an exchange student in France, and that’s when his passion for the game soared to an even higher level. During that time, he furthered his education in the romance languages.
As a college player, Timmins originally went to Duke, but was injured during soccer try-outs and never played for the Blue Devils.
Timmins transferred to the University of Colorado and was a midfielder for two seasons. He double-majored and graduated in 1978 with degrees in Business Administration and French.
After college, Timmins had a variety of jobs in the Durham area, primarily in sales, marketing and advertising. He went back to college and earned a degree in Spanish from N.C. Central in 2002.
That same year, North Forsyth was looking for someone to teach Spanish and English as a Second Language, and Timmins was looking for a school with a large Hispanic population. He got the teaching job and also became the Vikings’ soccer coach.
In 2008 while working at North Forsyth, he earned a master’s degree in Spanish Education from Appalachian State.
“I love doing it,” Timmins said of coaching. “I enjoy teaching the game. It’s very rewarding to have a big impact on a young group.”
This season, the Vikings have established themselves as genuine contenders. North Forsyth stunned onlookers by winning the Forsyth Cup as the No. 4 seed. In the semifinals, the Vikings beat Reagan, last year’s NCHSAA 4-A state champ.
North Forsyth (6-2-2 at the start of this week) expects to make a run at the Class 3-A state title. This could be the best team Timmins has ever had.
“It’s one of my more competitive teams,” he said. “We have an all-region goal player, efficient midfielders and guys who can finish. We’ve been in the playoffs the last four or five years.”
Timmins is always working to learn and improve. Looking back over his career, he admits feeling immense satisfaction in watching some of his former players serve as mentors to his current players.
“It’s really gratifying to watch kids grow and develop into young men, to see them grow as people,” Timmins said. “That’s what it’s all about as a high-school coach.”