One of the newest sports that Bob Jones University has added to its intercollegiate program is shooting.
Dr. Mike Wilkie of BJU’s criminal justice faculty is the shooting team’s head coach.
Prior to coming to BJU as a professor, Wilkie spent 25 years working in law enforcement.
Wilkie started his career as a jailer and dispatcher.
“I was hired because the local police department had a small city lockup and didn’t staff it full time with jail officers,” Wilkie said.
After a prisoner hanged himself, the jail hired another staff member, he said.
“I was already a reserve officer with that department and made the transition to full time,” Wilkie said.
Throughout his 25-year career, Wilkie was able to be a part of many significant events ranging from presidential protection details with the Secret Service to being a law enforcement observer at the terrorist internment facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Wilkie has been involved in an exchange program with Israel that allowed him to spend two weeks training with the Israeli State Police. Also, Wilkie was selected to the FBI National Academy.
“However, the real highlights to me have been the times I have been able to have a testimony with someone as a police officer,” Wilkie said.
“God gave me the opportunity to have a hand in leading someone to Christ on both ends of my career and many times as a testimony along the way.”
During his law enforcement career, Wilkie served as chief of police for the cities of Springdale and Jonesville, South Carolina.
In 2002, Wilkie was made the chief of police for the city of Acworth, Georgia, and served in that position until he retired from law enforcement in 2012.
Wilkie said that during his law enforcement career God has shown Himself strong to him and has protected him many times from unseen dangers.
Wilkie graduated from Bob Jones University in 1981 with a B.A. in Bible and went on to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
In 2011, Wilkie received his doctoral degree in public administration from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, and his dissertation topic was police misconduct.
In the fall of 2012, Wilkie joined the Bob Jones University criminal justice faculty and has now been chosen to be the first coach of the Bruins’ shooting team.
“It is neat to be a part of a start-up program in college athletics,” Wilkie said.
“I used to wish that I had the opportunities to shoot competitively. Now I have those opportunities and get to do so with students in a Christian atmosphere.”
Wilkie said he looks forward to letting shooting become a platform for ministry and to share the Gospel.