By Katherine Green
Chris Wilkins rolls his eyes as his older brother playfully offers coaching advice on how to win a national championship.
The brothers trade barbs and banter, but in the end Chris reminds Wayne that he has more trophies in his case.
This competitive, but always friendly, sibling rivalry has produced an impressive dozen championship trophies between the Hawks men’s and women’s volleyball teams.
The Wilkins brothers are an institution in Humber Athletics.
The two head coaches were stalwart players when they attended Humber as students. They have since dedicated the last two decades to developing two of the strongest collegiate volleyball programs in the province— if not the country.
“When we played we were hard-core competitors, so nothing would make you think we wouldn’t be as coaches,” Wayne said. “Both programs are very successful and there will always be a one-upmanship. It’s healthy competition, and we get a kick out of it. “
Alexandra Hawrylak, rookie right-side hitter on the women’s team, was privileged to have played for both brothers.
“(The teasing) happens all the time. It is always playful. It can be about golf or anything else,” she said. “Harmless teasing and it is fun to see them so close.”
Chris constantly reminds Wayne how hard it was to lead the women’s volleyball team to seven consecutive provincial titles. Especially on the nights Wayne brings his men’s CCAA men’s volleyball trophy over to Chris’ house.
“That (national title) is something that has eluded us (women’s volleyball) for a while now and it’s something we have our eye on,” he said. “This year we have that team that could compete for a championship.”
As the former coach of the Hawks’ nationally ranked men’s golf team, Ray Chateau, director of Humber Athletics, recognizes the alignment of talent and leadership in this year’s volleyball teams.
The Wilkins brothers “have been coaching for 19 and 20 years so certainly where we are positioned in the volleyball community is directly attributable to those two,” he said, enthused at the prospect of two more OCAA gold medals and the possible CCAA championships as well.
The battle for the bragging rights currently belongs to the national victor – Wayne, — but if these two coaching phenoms both bring home the coveted CCAA hardware this season they promise to celebrate together by throwing a huge party.
“It would be crazy, that’s for sure,” Chris said. “I would buy the first 10 rounds.”