The NCHSAA is proud of the many women pioneers that helped shaped high school athletics through the years. There are currently 21 members of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame who are female and made significant contributions to high school athletics. These women are considered among those "who have done the most for high school athletics in North Carolina" and have been trailblazers for women in sports here in the state.
Commissioner Que Tucker said, "It is amazing to think back on the history of the NCHSAA and see the tremendous impact of females in the coaching and athletic administration realm, especially since Title IX was instituted. The growth and success of women's athletics today has a lot to do with the passion, dedication and committment of the trailblazing women in the coaching and administrative fields of our Association. We applaud their efforts and service on this special day."
As we celebrate Girls & Women in Sports Day, take a look back at these 21 women. We hope you enjoy reading about their accomplishments and careers, knowing that helped lay the foundation for the athletic success and participation of so many young women and young men in North Carolina.
NCHSAA WOMEN IN THE HALL OF FAME
Rosalie Bardin was an outstanding coach and administrator during her career in education. After graduating from Lucama High School and then magna cum laude from Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College, Bardin began a stellar run at Southern Nash Senior High School, where she coached women's basketball for 12 years, volleyball for 18, track and field for seven, and softball for 24, including the transition from slow pitch to fast pitch. She also served as cheerleading coach and athletic trainer during her tenure at Southern Nash.
She compiled a brilliant record in slow pitch of 373-130 and her fast pitch mark was an outstanding 71-11. Her teams earned 15 conference championships in softball, one state championship in slow pitch in 1995 and a runner-up finish in fast pitch. Bardin moved into administration in 1998 and wound up serving as principal at Southern Nash for several years, where she was twice named Nash-Rocky Mount Principal of the Year.
Sheila Boles compiled an impressive record as a coach in several sports, but is perhaps best known as the first woman to coach a men's varsity basketball high school team in North Carolina. A graduate of Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, where she was a three-sport star, Boles was the first female scholarship athlete at UNC Wilmington, where she was a standout in volleyball and basketball. She began her teaching and coaching career at the junior high level and then in 1989 went to Hoggard in Wilmington. She coached men's basketball for 11 years of her almost 20 there, men's golf for eight and women's golf for two and was also athletic director.
Her career coaching record in basketball included more than 300 victories, with a 167-120 men's hoops mark at Hoggard and a school record 24 wins in one season. Her men's golf teams won five conference titles and finished in the top five in the state four times. She won a number of awards, including the NCHSAA Courage Award, NCHSAA Athletic Director of the Year and served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association.
High Point, NC
A graduate of High Point Central, Andrea Cozart returned to her high school alma mater where she had a brilliant career of coaching a variety of sports spanning over 30 years. Cozart, a 1965 graduate of East Carolina, began her career at Central before there were varsity sports for women, organizing the Girls’ Athletic Association playdays at that time. But this pioneer for women’s athletics wound up coaching varsity tennis, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and advising the cheerleaders, all with great success.
Her Central tennis team was a perennial power and finished first or second in the conference 21 times in 23 years. She took the women’s basketball job as an “interim” position and coached from 1983 to ’86 with a brilliant 67-3 mark and a state runner-up finish in 1985. And in swimming, both her men’s and women’s teams rolled up 40-plus consecutive dual-meet winning streaks, always contending for state crowns. For many years she served as a director for NCHSAA regional events in both swimming and tennis.
Marsha Crump held the Head Women’s Basketball Coach position at Freedom High School in Morganton from 1970 until 2002 when she retired from coaching. During that time, Crump’s Freedom teams were a perennial force in 4A Women’s Basketball. Her teams posted a combined record of 522-122 during her tenure winning three 4A State Championships. In 1989, Freedom took down Richmond County 66-59 in overtime to earn her first state title. Then in 1994 and 1995, Crump’s Patriots went for back-to-back titles knocking off Terry Sanford and Person respectively.
Her teams finished state runner-up twice, once in 1988 and the other in 1993. Crump also coached tennis for a time at Freedom. Her tennis teams claimed Conference Championships each year from 1999 through 2001. She was named Associated Press State Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 1995 and has been inducted into the Burke County Sports Hall of Fame.
Mary Garber was a true pioneer in the media field. Garber moved from the society pages to the sports section back in 1944 during World War II with the Twin City Sentinel in Winston-Salem, and began over half a century of involvement as a sports journalist. She was one of the first female sports writers in the country, actively covering a number of different sports. She was a fixture at high school and college events for many, many years, including covering tennis well into the 1990’s for the Winston-Salem Journal.
A graduate of R.J. Reynolds High and a 1938 graduate of Hollins College, she was a former president of the Atlantic Coast Sportswriters Association and is a member of several other Halls of Fame, including the North Carolina Journalism Hall, the N.C. Tennis Hall and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. A high school basketball tournament named in her honor is an annual highlight in Forsyth County.
Kings Mountain, NC
Suzanne Grayson was an outstanding coach and athletic administrator during her career, primarily in the Cleveland County school system. Grayson attended Shelby High School and then graduated from Western Carolina University before beginning her teaching and coaching career. After several years at the middle school level, she had an 18-year stint at Crest and then spent 10 years at Kings Mountain, the final four of which she served as athletic director.
She coached volleyball for a total of 24 years and rolled up a record of 417-210, with a state championship at Kings Mountain in 2001. Her overall career record in fast-pitch softball was 215-77, including two state titles in that sport at Kings Mountain in ’05 and again in ’06. Grayson has also been inducted into the Cleveland County Sports Hall of Fame and the Kings Mountain Hall of Fame. She has also served on the American Legion World Series Executive Committee, which helps bring that event to Cleveland County, since 2000.
Harbin was the first woman to be inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame and was involved in high school athletics as a teacher, coach, athletic director and assistant principal. Norma Harbin coached at the junior high level for several years before going to West Forsyth High in 1968. During her 10 years as a coach there her teams won 14 conference championships and she was a conference Coach of the Year in four different sports.
She became the first woman athletic director at a 4-A school in the state in 1978 and served in that capacity for seven years before moving to an assistant principal's role. Harbin served as president of the North Carolina Athletic Officials Association, and served terms on both the Boards of Directors of the NCHSAA and the state's athletic directors' association.
One of the winningest female coaches in the history of North Carolina, Doris Howard had a 41-year career as a teacher and coach in Cumberland County. She retired after the 1987-1988 season with a career coaching mark in women’s basketball of 533-231. Howard coached at Hope Mills, Central and Cape Fear High Schools, including 14 years at Central and then from 1969 to 1988 at Cape Fear.
She was a head coach in tennis, basketball and softball during her career. Her basketball teams at Central won nine regular season and seven tournament championships, going 278-55. She directed Cape Fear to a state softball championship in 1978, had her team in the state finals three straight years, and compiled an impressive 123-13 mark in that sport over a six-year period. Howard was born in Timmonsville, S.C., and a 1947 graduate of Coker College. She received a Distinguished Service Award from the NCHSAA in 1989. Howard also coached twice in the East-West All-Star basketball game in Greensboro.
Chapel Hill, NC
Lindsey Linker has become known as one of the top tennis coaches in the history of North Carolina. A graduate of Myers Park in Charlotte and then the University of North Carolina, Linker began her high school coaching at Chapel Hill in 1981 and was there for 10 seasons. Coaching both men’s and women’s teams there, her teams posted a 294-39 mark, won two NCHSAA state dual team titles and had four individual state champs.
From 1998 through 2013, she guided the East Chapel Hill tennis programs and continued her amazing success, with 11 individual state champions and a whopping 14 state dual team titles to go with almost 600 victories. She was named conference coach of the year during her career an incredible 39 times. Linker has been very active in community activities and fundraisers and was the NCHSAA Doris Howard Coach of the Year in 2010. She is a founding board member of the North Carolina High School Tennis Coaches Association.
High Point, NC
Donna Norman compiled an incredible record as a three-sport coach during her career at South Stokes High School. A graduate of Starmount High School and 1976 graduate of UNC-Greensboro, Norman's teams have been outstanding in volleyball, basketball and softball, although she is probably best known for her softball achievements. Her teams compiled a brilliant 369-109 mark in that sport, from 1977 through 1998. The Sauras won a state crown in 1986, finished third in 1997 and were runners-up in 1998. Her head coaching mark in basketball was 135-61 and her volleyball teams posted a 66-28 slate during the time she coached that sport.
A former member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors, Norman was also a volleyball official and worked the 1989 state championships. She also served on one of the NCHSAA regional scholarship committees.
Chapel Hill, NC
Sherry Norris was one of North Carolina’s top coaches in volleyball and women’s basketball for many years. Born in Lumberton and a graduate of Bladenboro High and the University of North Carolina, Norris has enjoyed a great career at Chapel Hill High School, serving as women’s head basketball coach since 1977 and coaching volleyball there from 1977 to 2013. She was also head softball coach for six seasons.
She is the NCHSAA’s all-time leader in career volleyball victories with a brilliant 739-257 record, with state championships in 1994 and 2003 and a runner-up finish in 2000. In women’s basketball, her teams rolled up a record of 568-379 and won state titles in 1981 and 2014. Norris was one of the “100 Coaches To Remember” during the NCHSAA’s Centennial Celebration and also has earned the Toby Webb Award and the Doris Howard Coach of the Year honors from the NCHSAA.
Vickie Peoples was an outstanding high school athlete in Iowa who really made her mark as a coach in North Carolina. Peoples was an Iowa high school state finalist in swimming and diving and then a Big Eight gymnastics champion at Iowa State. But it is her stellar career as both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Raleigh Enloe from 1982 to 2007 that propelled her to the Hall.
Her swimming teams won a total of 10 NCHSAA state championships, with nine of those earned by her men’s teams. The Eagles also captured 18 regional crowns and 27 conference titles under her tutelage. She served as the director of the Eastern Regional in swimming and diving for 20 years. She was Teacher of the Year at Enloe in the 2004-05 academic year. The City of Raleigh proclaimed May 1, 2007, as Enloe Swimming and Diving Day in her honor.
Joan Riggs enjoyed a career as one of the most successful volleyball coaches ever in North Carolina. A graduate of Swansboro High and UNC-Wilmington, she returned to her high school alma mater and helped it become a state powerhouse in volleyball. Her Swansboro teams posted a collective record of 363-65 from 1974 through 1995, winning five state championships within a 10-year span and finishing as runners-up on three occasions.
Riggs guided her teams to 14 conference championships and was her league’s coach of the year 10 different times. She also coached women’s basketball, softball and track during her career. Active in her church, Riggs helped lead the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at her school, where she was also voted Teacher of the Year in 1990. The town of Swansboro honored her with a Joan Riggs Day in 1995.
Carolyn Rogers spent the majority of her outstanding teaching and coaching career at Perquimans High School. After graduating from Western Carolina University, she eventually wound up at Perquimans and coached there from 1972 to 2009, including 21 years as volleyball coach but also coaching cheerleading, track and field, and basketball. Her volleyball teams won 10 league titles, finished second in the state twice and posted a 303-135 record.
She has been a strong supporter of the NCHSAA Student Services program, participating in Student Athlete Summer Institutes (SASI) and Coach-Captain retreats, as well as being involved with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). She is a charter member of the Perquimans County High School Hall of Fame and was the NCHSAA Toby Webb Coach of the Year Award winner in 2006.
Carolyn Shannonhouse compiled an outstanding record as a coach but has been instrumental in the growth of women’s sports as assistant executive director of the NCHSAA from July of 1986 until her retirement in the early part of the decade. Shannonhouse grew up in southeastern Virginia and attended Madison College (now James Madison University). She taught and coached in Virginia for six years before moving to Wake County, where she coached at Broughton for a year and then at Cary, serving as head coach in both women’s tennis and women’s basketball, for eight years.
In her role with the NCHSAA, she supervised the women’s sports and combination (those sports played by both men and women, such as soccer or tennis) interpreting playing rules and eligibility. She continues to help the NCHSAA even in retirement, coordinating the annual NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational. She has also held important roles at the national level, serving on several National Federation sports rules committees.
Cindi Simmons compiled a brilliant record as a coach in two different sports at Sylva-Webster and then Smoky Mountain High School when Sylva-Webster and Cullowhee merged. A graduate of Hayesville High and then Western Carolina University, Simmons was a star high school and college athlete. She captained the WCU women’s basketball team in 1981-82 and was seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list. She went on to coach volleyball 26 seasons and basketball for 30, winning three state titles in volleyball and the 2007 NCHSAA 2-A title in basketball.
Her career mark in basketball was a stellar 512-279, and she won 11 conference championships and almost 400 matches in volleyball. She has earned a number of previous honors, including the NCHSAA’s prestigious Toby Webb Coach of the Year award in 2008. She was the first female president of the North Carolina Coaches Association, during the 2005-06 academic year, and joined the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jan Stanley has produced unbelievable records as a volleyball coach but was also highly successful in women’s basketball. A graduate of Hendersonville High and Baptist (SC) College (now Charleston Southern), where she was a three-year basketball starter, Jan established West Henderson as a volleyball power.
She is second all-time in state prep history in volleyball victories with an amazing 645-114 record in 33 years of coaching, all at West, and her teams won both the 2003 and ’04 state 2-A championships to go with a 1989 and ’90 3-A crowns. Her basketball team also won a state title in 1991 and she won over 250 games in that sport, guiding the West all-star team in 1995. She also served four years as a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors.
Kathy Stefanou is the most successful volleyball coach in North Carolina history. A native of Jacksonville and a 1969 graduate of Campbell University, Stefanou came to Millbrook High School in Raleigh in 1970 and spent her entire career there.
She built Millbrook into a state volleyball power and posted a career coaching mark of 657-153, tops in state history. She guided her teams to state 4-A crowns in 1991, ’93 and ’95. Stefanou also coached basketball, track, swimming, softball and worked with cheerleading during her career as well as serving as chairman of the health and physical education department at Millbrook. She served a full four-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors.
Que Tucker has enjoyed an outstanding career at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association after successful stints coaching at the high school and college levels. A graduate of Stoneville High, she attended Mars Hill College, where she was an outstanding athlete and graduated in 1974. Tucker came to the NCHSAA in 1991 after several years as an assistant women's basketball coach at N.C. State under Kay Yow. She is currently the Commissioner of the NCHSAA, where she oversees the entire NCHSAA program. She is the second African-American Female to lead a state high school athletic or activities association in the country.
Commissioner Tucker came to the NCHSAA in 1991 to start the Association's acclaimed Student Services program. Prior to her time at NC State University, Tucker coached women's basketball teams at Reidsville High School posting a 145-104 mark during a period from 1978 through 1988 and her volleyball squads went 58-16. She also served as a game official in several different sports and is a charter member of the Mars Hill College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Marcia “Marty” Woods
Marty Woods began her coaching career in 1977 after graduating from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro when she took a job as a teacher and coach in Rockingham County. Her career brought her to the volleyball court and the softball field where she built successful program during her time at Madison-Mayodan High School and then at Dalton McMichael High School beginning in 1989. She has coached volleyball for 36 years, compiling a 599-254 record, her teams have posted a winning record in each of the last 35 seasons. Remarkably in all those years of volleyball, she’s never had a yellow or red card for unsportsmanlike conduct for herself or one of her players. Woods coached softball for 24 years including a State Championship victory in 1982.
Off the field, she has played an influential role in the NCHSAA by serving on the NFHS Softball Rules committee for four years, helping to edit the softball rules book for the nation. She won many Conference Coach of the Year Awards and has been named the Regional Coach of the year as well as State Coach of the Year in 2005. She was named to the prestigious Homer Thompson Annual “Eight Who Make A Difference” list by the NCHSAA and was awarded Rockingham County School’s Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2012. Active in her community, she is a Sunday School Teacher, Bible School Worker, Special Olympic Volleyball Coach and cancer survivor. When she retired from teaching in 2008, McMichael High named the gymnasium in her honor.
Born in Calhoun, Georgia, Hilda Worthington was an outstanding coach and administrator at Farmville Central High School from the early 1970’s to the late ‘90’s. A graduate of Broughton High School in Raleigh and a 1960 graduate of East Carolina University, Worthington served as athletic director at Farmville Central in Pitt County for close to 20 years. As a basketball coach, she guided her women’s teams to over 300 victories and two state runner-up finishes, in 1985 and 1992, winning six conference titles. She also guided her women’s track teams to seven league crowns during her 11 years as head coach in that sport.
She has served on various NCHSAA committees, including realignment and the original Scholar-Athlete committee, and also has directed numerous conference and sectional tournaments. She has previously received a Distinguished Service Award and a Citation award from the Association.