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Paul Dinkenor

Was born in Manchester, England, and played soccer for the famed Manchester Grammar School in the 1970’s.

Paul Dinkenor

Early Years

Born in Manchester, England, Paul played soccer for the famed Manchester Grammar School in the 1970’s. As a junior and senior in high school, he was selected to the England Public Schools’ team, which competed in the National County Soccer Festival in England and toured outside the country. Admitted to the University of Cambridge in 1976 on an academic scholarship in History, Paul won a Varsity Soccer Letter during all three undergraduate years. He captained the Light Blues in a 2-1 victory over Oxford at Wembley Stadium in 1978.


Paul began coaching at the 400-year-old Charterhouse School, credited with inventing the word “soccer”, in Surrey, England, in 1980. Its alumni team won an F.A. Cup in 1881. Paul coached one of the school’s ten competitive soccer teams along with cricket, women’s lacrosse and tennis. For almost a decade, Paul worked as Youth Soccer Director at the Rainbow Summer Soccer Camp, one of the Southeast’s oldest residential and day camps, alongside notables Anson Dorrance, Ron Benson and Bill Palladino. After moving to the USA, Paul took a job in 1987 at North Forsyth High in Winston-Salem. While teaching and coaching in the Triad, Paul worked at Wake Forest University Soccer Camp, earning his USSF “B” license under the tutelage of Walt Chyzowych, Jay Vidovich and Ralph Lundy. As a staff coach or the Winston-Salem Twins, his U-14 Boys’ team won the 1991 State Cup. In 1993, Principal and former Campbell Soccer All-American Richard Murphy appointed Paul to start the soccer program for men and women at the brand-new Leesville Road High School in soccer-rich Raleigh. As a staff coach for the CASL organization, Paul’s U-14 Girls’ team won the 1995 State Cup.

Coaching Record While at North Forsyth and Leesville Road, Paul has a record of 924-358-107. His teams have been to the 4A State Championship game six times, beginning in 1991 with a Runner-up finish for the North Forsyth Vikings to five victories for the Leesville Pride, two for the Men’s Teams in 1997 and 1999 and three for the Women’s in 2008, 2009, and 2011. The 1999 Men’s team won the state title with an undefeated record and a final national ranking of #6 as did the 2009 Women’s team, earning a #2 final national ranking. Paul’s teams have won 25 conference championships/conference tournament titles and has coached numerous All-American selections and All-Region selections.


Paul’s coaching has not gone unnoticed by his peers. He coached in the NCCA East/West All-star game, the NC-SC Clash of the Carolinas All-Star game as well as the NC State Game Junior/Senior Showcase. In 2014, the NCHSAA recognized Paul as one of the top 100 coaches in the organization’s Centennial celebration. In 2015, the NCSCA inducted Paul into their Field of Honor. He has been named State Coach of the Year 2 times, Regional Coach of the Year 14 times and Conference Coach of the Year 21 times. He was also named the 2020 Raleigh Sports Club Coach of the Year.

Pioneer, Officer

Paul has been a member of the NCSCA, an officer while in the Triad, the NCCA and the United Soccer Coaches since his first days at North Forsyth in 1987. Competing as a coach on the high school level with the likes of Zack Osborne, Herk DeGraw, Bob Catapano, Danny Wilkins and Izzy Hernandez, Paul learned how to win with class and lose with dignity. Over three decades, Paul has been a pioneer for the sport of soccer. He was behind a year-long fundraising effort, which took his 1984 Charterhouse team to play in Bermuda. Founding his own youth camps in Winston-Salem and Raleigh, these camps have drawn thousands of elementary and middle schoolers over the years through the summer

months. The camp at Leesville, staffed primarily by current and former players, has been a perennial success in the community. He furthered this concept by coaching for five seasons at the local YMCA. Paul hopes that his legacy one day will record his commitment to the sport and most importantly to his players as first and foremost students and young adults.

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