North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Association Names Second Hall of Fame Class
Induction in Asheville at Annual State Conference in April
Six members have been named by the North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Association as the second class for its own Hall of Fame.
The new NCHSADA Hall of Famers include Willie Bradshaw of Durham, Mike Brown of WIlmington, Jack Groce of Boone, Red Hoffman of Wilkesboro, Leon Brogden of Wilmington and Homer Thompson of Winston-Salem.
The NCHSADA Hall of Fame has been established to recognize achievement and excellence for athletic administration. The inductees will be honored at the NCHSADA's annual state convention in Asheville in April, and a permanent display honoring the athletic directors' Hall of Fame is located in the offices of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in Chapel Hill.
A native of Durham, Willie Bradshaw was an outstanding athlete at Hillside High School in Durham and played on the 1943 football team that was unbeaten, untied and unscored upon. He went on to North Carolina College, now North Carolina Central University, and was a great athlete there, joining the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.
He coached at I.E. Johnson in Laurinburg, Lincoln High in Chapel Hill, and at Dudley in Greensboro before going to Hillside in 1963. He served as a coach and athletic director there for 15 years, and then was the athletic director for the Durham City School system, becoming the first black city/county athletic director,until 1991.
A former president of both the North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Association as well as the North Carolina Coaches Association, Bradshaw's career coaching mark as a head football coach was 96-43-6, while his basketball coaching slate was 215-119 in 14 seasons. He was honored with a North Carolina High School Athletic Association Distinguished Service Award in 1992 and has also been involved at the national level with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators' Association. He was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame this year.
Mike Brown has had an outstanding career as a coach and an administrator, and he has been very instrumental in the NCHSAA's Student Services program.
A 1959 graduate of Durham High, Brown graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1963 and then embarked on his coaching career that included stops in High Point, Charlotte, Durham and Sanford. He was a coach and then athletic director of the New Hanover County schools in the 1970's and 1980's.
Brown served a term on the Board of Directors of the NCHSAA as well as on the board of the athletic directors' association. He served as president of the NCHSADA in 1992 and has also received several of the NCHSAA's most significant awards. He helped put together the Association's first-ever Chemical Awareness Conference and has been instrumental in training in many of the components of the Association's Student Services programs.
He received the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Award of Merit in '91.
Homer Thompson spent almost 40 years as a successful head football coach, compiling an outstanding 251-130-5 career coaching mark.
A 1951 graduate of Catawba College, Thompson coached two years at Oxford Orphanage, seven at Gray High School in Winston-Salem and then was the first head coach Parkland ever had, holding that position for 27 years. He also served for 21 years as athletic director there. He also coached men's and women's basketball and track during his career. Winner of numerous Coach of the Year awards, Thompson was the North Carolina head coach in the 50th Shrine Bowl and also coached in the East-West game. He has served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Coaches Association and the North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Association, and is past president of the coaches' organization.
For 20 years the Parkland athletic director helped to organize and run the state wrestling championships, helping it to build to the point it is today. He has also been very active in civic and church activities, including over 35 years as a Sunday school teacher at Central Terrace United Methodist Church. He joined the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 1994.
Leon Brogden coached a number of sports and was highly successful during a 50-year athletic career, but he is best known for successful basketball in Wilmington.
A member of the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and a charter member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame, Brogden coached football, basketball and baseball at Edenton, Wilson and Wilmington New Hanover High Schools. He became athletic director of the New Hanover system in 1969 and stayed in that role until his retirement.
A 1932 graduate of Wake Forest, he guided teams to state titles in both football and baseball , but also chalked up eight state crowns in basketball. Two of his most famous players are former NFL quarterbacks Sonny Jurgenson and Roman Gabriel.
Jack Groce served as the popular athletic director at Watauga High School in Boone from 1974 to 1991 and served athletics in his area for some 42 years. He coached football, baseball and golf at Appalachian High for 11 years and came to Watauga High in '72 after seven years at Appalachian State University. Even after his retirement, he has stayed active as the Pioneer golf coach
Also an excellent football coach, he has been active in both the North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Association and with the NCHSAA. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Association from 1982-86 and received a Distinguished Service Award from the NCHSAA in 1987.
Groce served as president of the athletic directors' association during 1981-82 and was the recipient of the organization's Athletic Director of the Year honor in 1985-86. He also served a term on the NCHSADA Board of Directors.