Charlie Adams has been selected for one of the most prestigious sports honors available in North Carolina.
The long-time executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has been chosen for induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
The official induction ceremonies and banquet will take place on Thursday, May 11, at the North Raleigh Hilton, with a public reception starting at 6:30 p.m. followed by the banquet at 7:15.
Adams will be one of 10 new inductees joining the hall, three of whom are deceased. One of the inductees being recognized posthumously will be the late Simon Terrell, himself a former NCHSAA executive director who coached Adams at Cary High School.
Adams has headed up the NCHSAA since 1984, only the fifth executive director in the over 90 years the Association has operated. During his tenure as executive director, North Carolina has taken its place among the top high school associations in the country.
Under his leadership, the NCHSAA has greatly expanded the services available to member schools. A corporate sponsorship program has enhanced Association programs and has served as a model for other states. In addition, such new and innovative programs as an NCHSAA Hall of Fame, Scholar-Athlete, a student services program which includes a strong alcohol and other drug education-prevention component, more classified state championships, championships at outstanding facilities, and a general "opening up" of the Association for more involvement by members has occurred during Adams's tenure.
One of the Adams legacies will be the NCHSAA Endowment, which was conceived, discussed and implemented under his leadership. It will help ensure that certain athletic opportunities for student-athletes will always be available.
He has been a regular speaker at national meetings because of his progressive ideas and success at implementing them in North Carolina. He also has served on both the Telecommunications Committee and the Competition Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations. In addition, Adams has served on the National Federation Board of Directors and was the president of that organization for 1997-98, the only North Carolinians to have held that post.
Prior to becoming executive director of the NCHSAA, Adams served as assistant executive director and supervisor of officials for the Association for some 17 years. He conducted rules clinics in various sports across the state during that time in addition to supervising a number of interscholastic programs.
Adams earned his undergraduate and his master's degree at East Carolina University, where he was an outstanding basketball player. Following his graduation from ECU, he coached and taught in Laurel, Delaware, before returning to Wake County.
He compiled a brilliant record as a coach at Cary and then was assistant principal, dean of men and athletic director at Garner High before joining the NCHSAA.
Adams is a 1991 inductee into the East Carolina University Sports Hall of Fame and a charter member of the Cary High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the prestigious National High School Sports Hall of Fame, one of only three North Carolinians so honored.
A number of prominent individuals have saluted the selection of Charlie to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. “Charlie is the consummate professional,” says Dr. Bill Harrison, superintendent of the Cumberland County schools and a former NCHSAA president. “He knows his business and he knows and appreciates people. All who have had the opportunity to work with him have benefited from the experience.”
“I am pleased on behalf of our member schools to congratulate Charlie on this great recognition,” says Dr. Gene Moore, superintendent of the Cleveland County schools and president of the NCHSAA for the 2005-06 academic year. “His track record in this state and nationally is second to none, and he has been a great leader for our Association for many years. I can think of no more deserving honoree for this kind of recognition than Charlie.”
No less a luminary than former University of North Carolina president Dr. William Friday says, “Charlie Adams richly deserves this recognition. His leadership has preserved the integrity of high school athletics. We are all in his debt.”
Howard Lee, chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education, notes, “Charlie Adams has more than earned the honor of being inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Charlie, more than any other single person, has demanded that our high school athletic programs meet a high standard and has been uncompromising from both an academic as well as an athletic point of view. As chairman of the NC Board of Education, I rest easy knowing that Charlie is in charge.”
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford says, “Charlie is richly deserving of this honor and I was thrilled to see his selection. Much of his life has been dedicated to the best sports has to offer in our state, and his leadership has had a tremendously positive impact on high school athletics and the numerous young students who compete.”
Bob Kanaby, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations based in Indianapolis, speaks of Charlie’s national contributions. “ I view Charlie Adams as a missionary of hope,” says Kanaby, “an inspirational leader who spreads the message of hope, positive human growth and leadership on behalf of the young men and women in North Carolina and the nation. He is respected and admired by his peers across the nation and I am proud to call him my friend.”
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, with 233 members, was established in 1963 and is housed in the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. The 4,000 square foot exhibit includes sports memorabilia ranging from a Richard Petty race car to the Homestead Grays’ uniform worn by the late Walter “Buck” Leonard, who played baseball in the Negro National League, to the NBA Championship Ring of Boston Celtics star Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell.
The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.