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Auburn Announces Girls Basketball Coach


​An Auburn High School alumnus and college-level coach will lead the Auburn girls basketball team in the 2017 season. Darryl Watkins, a 2007 Auburn graduate​, spent the past five seasons working as Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Rock Valley College Golden Eagles. He’ll take over as Auburn’s head varsity coach for the girls team this fall, pending Rockford School Board approval. Watkins helped lead the Rock Valley College women to three NCJAA National Champions and has helped develop seven All Americans. The Golden Eagles’ record with Watkins as Assistant Coach is an impressive 138-24. His skills in working with Rock Valley College student athletes will transfer well to Auburn. Watkins worked in strength and conditioning, game scheduling and working with students on academic progress and success. Watkins will also work at Auburn full time as a Building Support Specialist, pending board approval.

It’s also a chance for Watkins to come home. He played for longtime Auburn boys basketball Coach Bryan Ott and has seen that program flourish. He’s excited about Auburn’s momentum, with successful boys basketball and football programs. He’s looking forward to leading a similar turnaround for the girls basketball program and changing the culture. “That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to go back,” he said. “I want to give the Auburn community something else to rally behind, be proud of and cheer for.” Auburn finished the season 5-11 in conference play and 6-22 overall. 

Watkins graduated from Rock Valley College in 2009 and received his bachelor’s degree from Rockford University in physical education in 2012. He received his master’s degree in sports administration from Chadron State College in 2016 and played semi-professional basketball for the Rockford Riverdawgs of the Independent Basketball Association.

​“We strive to recruit the best coaches and find the right fit to lead our programs,” said Mat Parker, RPS 205 Director of Athletics, Activities and Program Development. “Our goal is to provide students with a phenomenal experience and prepare them for the future as both students and athletes. Coach Watkins is extremely qualified, has terrific rapport with young people and is committed to his alma matter. We are excited to add him to our staff.”