Jack Groce was a great athlete at Wilkesboro High who became an all-American football player at Appalachian State before his graduation from there in 1953. His career as a head football coach at Appalachian High and then at Watauga spanned over 20 years and he never had a losing season. His overall record was a remarkable 134-22-4, at Appalachian High from 1955-65 and then at Watauga from 1972-76, sandwiched around seven years as an assistant football coach at Appalachian State. Groce then served as athletic director and assistant principal at Watauga from 1977 to ‘90, followed by two years as county athletic director. Even since his retirement he has continued to coach the Watauga golf team. A former president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association, Groce served a four-year term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors. The Watauga Board of Education honored him in 1998 by naming the Watauga stadium in his honor. He was a charter member of Appalachian State University’s Hall of Fame, inducted in 1975, and was named to the N.C. Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 1996.
July 8, 2019