Eight Named To Join NCHSAA Hall of Fame
CHAPEL HILL—Eight more outstanding individuals in the annals of state prep athletics have been selected for induction into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
Donnie Baxter of Asheboro, Ronnie Chavis of Pembroke, Lawrence Dunn of Raleigh, Doug Henderson of Greensboro, Lindsey Page of Burlington, Larry Rhodes of Gastonia, Robert Steele of Salisbury and Jim Taylor of Shelby have been named as the 27th group of inductees to join the prestigious hall. That brings to 148 the number enshrined.
The new inductees will be honored during special halftime ceremonies at a football game at Kenan Stadium on Saturday, September 22, when North Carolina takes on East Carolina. The University of North Carolina has designated the day as the 28th annual NCHSAA Day. The new class will officially be inducted at the special Hall of Fame banquet next spring in Chapel Hill.
The NCHSAA Hall of Fame is supported in part by a special grant from GlaxoSmithKline.
“These individuals joining the Association Hall of Fame this year have had a tremendous impact on high school athletics across North Carolina,” said NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield. “Their accomplishments are impressive, but the character they exemplify and the lives they touched are truly representative of what the NCHSAA stands for. Their selection maintains the standards of excellence established by our previous inductees, and we are proud to honor these deserving individuals.”
Donnie Baxter has excelled as a teacher and coach as well as an administrator during his illustrious career of well over 40 years.
Born in Pinehurst, he attended Elise High School in Robbins and then graduated from Appalachian State University in 1968. From there he launched into a coaching career that included stops at Ellerbe, Asheboro, Lexington and Eastern Randolph High Schools. He was on the coaching staff at Asheboro that won a title in the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association (WNCHSAA), and he was the head coach at Eastern Randolph when he led his team to the 1983 NCHSAA state 3-A football championship. His baseball team in ’81 was the state runner-up.
From 1985 to 1995, Baxter was principal at Southwestern Randolph, and since 1999 he has been in the Randolph County central office as athletic director for the county schools.
Baxter has served as chairman of the NCHSAA Nominating Committee for Board of Directors selection and has also served on the Realignment Committee. He also helped with the establishment of the Randolph County Sports Council.
Ronnie Chavis compiled an impressive record as a coach, primarily in baseball, but is perhaps best known his role as an outstanding athletic administrator.
A graduate of Prospect High School in Robeson County, where he was all conference in two sports, Chavis went on to Pembroke State University, where his baseball team advanced to its division’s College World Series.
He started his coaching career at Magnolia during the 1972-73 year then served as varsity baseball coach for 10 years at Pembroke before going to West Robeson. At West, he coached baseball and also served as athletic director. For over 20 years, he was director of athletics, health, physical education and driver education for the Public Schools of Robeson County before his retirement.
A member of the UNC-Pembroke Hall of Fame, Chavis served a four-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors and is also a former president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. Ronnie has also been recognized nationally with a National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citation and was the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) National Athletic Director of the Year in 2009.
Lawrence Dunn enjoyed an excellent coaching career in basketball and baseball as well as track and cross country at a couple of schools in Wake County.
A graduate of Berry O’Kelly High and then North Carolina A&T State University, where he was an outstanding basketball player, Dunn is probably best remembered for his success coaching basketball.
He guided the Garner women’s basketball team to a state championship and a perfect record in the 1977-78 season. Then, from 1979 to 2001, he guided the Athens Drive men’s basketball program to 445 victories against just 193 defeats. His teams won numerous conference championships in men’s basketball and also captured titles in cross country.
Dunn coached the East squad in the North Carolina Coaches Association all-star basketball game in 1990.
He was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as advisor for the student council at Athens Drive.
Doug Henderson was an outstanding head coach in both football and track at several different stops.
A graduate of Ellerbe High School (1955) and the University of North Carolina (1959), he started his coaching career in 1959 at Shalotte High School and coached in five different decades. He had additional coaching stints at Elizabethtown, East Bladen and Western Guilford.
As a head football coach, Henderson saw his teams compile an overall mark of 216-102-5, including a mark of 107-47-3 at Western Guilford from 1972 through ’89. His 1977 Western Guilford team won the NCHSAA state 3-A championship. In addition, he had two different streaks of 40-plus consecutive dual meet victories as a track and field coach.
Henderson is a former president of the North Carolina Coaches Association and helped to start the North Carolina Football Coaches Association, serving as its executive secretary from 1988 through 2003. He also served as a head coach in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, the NCCA East-West all-star game and the old North-South all-star game.
Lindsey Page had a stellar career as a basketball coach at Bartlett Yancey High School in Caswell County.
Born in Caswell County and a 1962 graduate of Elon College, Page began his teaching and coaching career right after that at Bartlett Yancey. For 34 years, he was the head men’s basketball coach, winning seven conference championships and a North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A championship in 1988. His teams posted an outstanding 519-325 record during that stretch and the gymnasium was named in his honor in 1988.
He also coached baseball at the school for 15 seasons and was athletic director for 20 years. He came out of his coaching retirement in 1999 to coach the women’s team at BY and posted 65 additional wins including a trip to the regional tournament, coaching through 2006.
He has been recognized by the NCHSAA before, with a Special Person Award in 1997 and a Distinguished Service Award a year later. He also coached in the North Carolina Coaches’ Association East-West basketball all-star game in 1988.
Larry Rhodes was an outstanding coach at a couple of Gaston County schools in a couple of different sports.
A graduate of High Point Central and then East Carolina University, Rhodes coached from 1956 through 1970 at Frank Ashley High in Gastonia and then the next 20 years at Gastonia Ashbrook. During his tenure as a men’s varsity head basketball coach, Rhodes rolled up 336 victories to 174 losses, winning 10 conference championships and capturing the 1967 NCHSAA state 4-A basketball title.
He also coached golf for 33 seasons combined at the two schools, and then helped run a number of NCHSAA golf tournaments, earning numerous coach of the year honors in both golf and basketball.
He was the head coach at Ashbrook when it played West Charlotte in a game at the Charlotte Coliseum on February 28, 1979, that drew 10,076 fans.
The Ashbrook High gymnasium has been named in his honor.
Robert Steele has been one of the state’s most outstanding coaches in track and field for a number of years, helping to build North Rowan into a state powerhouse in the sport.
A graduate of East Rowan High and then Livingstone College in Salisbury in 1975, Steele coached from 1977 through ’86 at Webb High School in Oxford, guiding his track team to six conference titles. Then he moved to North Rowan, where his teams have rolled up an incredible 15 NCHSAA state championships.
His men’s track and field squads at North have earned 11 state crowns, including five in a row from 1994 through ’98. He also served as an assistant football coach at both stops.
Steele has earned numerous Coach of the Year honors as well as a couple of national recognitions from the National Scholastic Sports Foundation, and has been honored for his community service in Rowan County.
Steele has previously been inducted into the Rowan-Salisbury Hall of Fame and the Livingstone College Hall of Fame.
Jim Taylor compiled a brilliant record as a head football coach, primarily at Shelby.
Taylor, a native of Franklin, attended Franklin High School, then Gardner-Webb Junior College and graduated from Western Carolina, playing football at both Gardner-Webb and WCU. He coached football at Polk Central for four years, from 1970 through ’74, while also coaching track and serving as athletic director. His football teams at Polk Central went 28-12 overall.
From 1974 through 2005, Taylor coached at Shelby, taking over the helm of the Golden Lions in 1977. He guided Shelby to 10 conference titles, two NCHSAA state championships and two state runner-up finishes. His teams were an outstanding 201-54-2 in his 21 seasons as a head coach there.
Since 2005, he has served as the county athletic director for the Cleveland County Schools. He is a former president of the North Carolina Coaches Association and current executive secretary of the North Carolina Football Coaches Association.
The Hall of Fame plaques are on permanent display in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame room, located in the Simon F. Terrell Building in Chapel Hill that houses the Association offices.