Award Honoring Charlie Adams Will Involve Endowed Scholarship Fund


CHAPEL HILL – A new award recognizing long-time North Carolina High School Athletic Association executive director Charlie Adams was approved by the NCHSAA Board of Directors at its spring meeting.

The announcement of a new scholarship fund, the Charlie Adams Endowed Scholarship, was first made at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting last month, where the initial gifts to the fund were received.

The immediate goal of the endowed fund is to raise $25,000 by the end of this calendar year and to offer two scholarships. One would be to a male wrestler, in memory of Charlie’s son Scott, and one would be to a female cross-country runner, in honor of Charlie’s daughter Michelle Adams Szwajkun. The first two awards are planned for the 2010 NCHSAA Annual Meeting, with the scholarship amount to be determined annually based on interest earned by the fund. The hope is to grow the endowed scholarship fund to enable the NCHSAA to give two $1,500 scholarships annually.

Criteria and nomination materials are currently being developed but will include participation in the specific sport, scholarship, sportsmanship and leadership.

Gifts may be made to the NCHSAA Endowment Fund/Charlie Adams Endowed Scholarship, and questions may be directed to NCHSAA assistant executive director Karen DeHart.

Adams has been on the NCHSAA staff since 1967 and is one of the longest-tenured executive directors in association work in the country, taking over that role in 1984.

A native of Cary, where he was a great high school athlete, Adams is only the fifth executive director in the 95-year history of the NCHSAA.

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 High School and then was assistant principal, dean of men and athletic director at Garner High before joining the NCHSAA.

He 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, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Adams was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in April. He is also the only North Carolinian ever to serve as president of the National Federation of State High School Associations.