• Former boy's basketball coach of Ribault High School, Bernard attended Eugene J. Butler High School. He played varsity basketball, and eventually earned an athletic scholarship to Shaw University, where he graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.

    Bernard first coached basketball at Ribault Middle School. The basketball coach at Ribault High school was hot and most coaches wanted that title. Fortunately, Bernard was good friends with the Ribault High School boy’s basketball coach, and eventually became the head coach in 1976. 

    An educator at heart, Bernard stressed academics to all of his athletes and encouraged all of them to go to college. He also went out of his way to ensure his athletes were well taken care of. Some examples would be making sure that every student had access to tutoring, and he set up camps to sharpen his player’s skills. Bernard helped more than 100 student-athletes to play basketball at the college level.

    Bernard was also known to visit athletes at their homes and escort them to church. His players were known to accompany him to Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church, where they would often pray as a group.

  • Coach Bernard Wilkes Stats

    • 12 Gateway Conference championships
    • 21 district titles
    • 16 FHSAA Finals state tournament appearances
    • 4-time state champion and 4-time runner up
    • Final record was 758-158, which was just two wins short of the record of most wins in Florida high school boys basketball
    • Inducted into the FSHAA Hall of Fame in 2007
    • Some of Wilkes’ numerous honors:
    • Most Outstanding Coach of the Year by the Florida Times-Union
    • Most Outstanding Coach of the Year by WTLV-12 in Jacksonville
    • State Coach of the Year
    • Ribault’s 1997 nominee for the Boselli Foundation’s Most Valuable Teacher/Coach
    • 2006 Works & Deeds Honoree from Living Through Giving