Bryant McCorkle is the last of the recreation center legends

Bryant McCorkle has been the senior supervisor at W.R. Anderson for 20 years. Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Bryant McCorkle is the last of the recreation center legends
May 17
17:50 2018

In 2017, the city of Winston-Salem lost three of the most well known figures in the Recreation and Parks department due to retirement. Bryant McCorkle, senior supervisor for the W.R. Anderson Community Center, is the last of the older generation of senior supervisors.

McCorkle has been full-time with the Recreation and Parks Department since 1995. He started in the Recreation and Parks Department by doing an internship while in college. Once hired he fell in love and has been there every since.

“My degree is in political science and I wanted to become a juvenile court counselor because I wanted to work with juveniles but when I graduated, Denise Scott Johnson hired me,” said McCorkle.

McCorkle, a Winston native, started out working at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in college. He as also worked at Brown and Douglas, North Hills and of course W.R. Anderson where he has been for the past 20 years.

“I had no idea that I was going to stay this long because I had other opportunities to go into other fields but my mind would never let me leave,” he said. “I got in at the right time and I had the chance to advance really fast.”

For McCorkle he says the best part of his job is seeing the kids grow up and become productive adults in society.

“Since I’ve been here we have had kids that have come out of here and become doctors, lawyers and even professional athletes,” McCorkle stated. “I have kids that will call me to this day from all across the nation.”

One of the best success stories that have come through the rec center while McCorkle has been there is former NBA All-Star Josh Howard. Howard returns every year to have a free summer camp for the local kids in the community. Howard’s charity foundation even runs an adult basketball league out of the center as well.

“Josh is a giver and a lot of people don’t even know that when he was in the league he told me that if I needed anything to just call him,” McCorkle continued. “I called him after they finished playing a game and he helped mentor to one of our teenagers who was out stealing cars. For him to take the time out to talk with the young man was just one example of how good a person Josh is.”

McCorkle says he knows that retirement from the Recreation and Parks department may be on the horizon but stated he will not retire from helping kids. He says he has a lot of outside interests that could possibly include running for political office one day.

Along the way, McCorkle says, he has been helped by many individuals in the Recreation and Parks Department, including Bill English, Ben Piggott, Brian Manns, Tim Grant and Art Blevins, to name a few.

“It was a good group of people and that’s why I said I came in at the right time to be around that group of people,” he said.

When he finally decides to hand it up, McCorkle says he will miss the kids and the relationships with the parents most of all.

“We even do things with the kids on the weekends and the parents help out a lot,” he went on to say. “What we say up here at Reynolds Park is ‘it’s good to play sports but we are trying to see who is going to be one to find the cure for cancer’ and that’s what we promote.”

“We try to introduce the kids to the arts because life doesn’t revolve around sports and the ball will go flat one day,” he said. “That’s why we try to teach them not to have that jock mentality because it’s cool to be smart.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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