CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) annually presents the State Awards in several different categories, all based on those "who have done the most for high school athletics" rather than a single accomplishment or having an outstanding win-loss record." The awards are named in memory or in honor of outstanding individuals in each category, six of whom are current members of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. These seven recipients received their awards at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 2, 2019 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
DORIS HOWARD FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR
Patricia Alexander, Cardinal Gibbons High School Women’s Lacrosse
Cardinal Gibbons Women’s Lacrosse Coach Patricia Alexander is in her fifth season at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh school. Coach Alexander’s teams have earned five straight conference championships with unblemished league records among an overall 89 percent winning clip entering this spring’s state playoffs. The three-time defending state champion Crusaders won 29 consecutive games overlapping the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Cardinal Gibbons concluded its 2017 campaign as the first school to win back-to-back NCHSAA women’s lacrosse state championships. Service is a Crusader's hallmark. Each spring during Coach Alexander’s tenure, Cardinal Gibbons’ student-athletes and coaches have partnered with community leaders in presenting the “One Love” middle school lacrosse event. This day-long celebration reinforces sport as a means for identifying and cultivating positive personal attributes, characteristics, and qualities most conducive to building thriving relationships.
HARVEY REID MALE COACH OF THE YEAR
Jason Curtis, Chapel Hill High School Men’s and Women’s Soccer
Jason Curtis became the head soccer coach at Chapel Hill High School in 2014. Since then, he has led teams to three State Championships, including two state championships in the same school year, winning one with the Men in the fall season and one in the spring with the women last year. His overall record as a head coach prior to this soccer season was a remarkable 168 wins, 34 losses and 12 ties with his men’s teams with a string of conference, regional and state championships. He has been named conference and regional coach of the year three times already.
DAVE HARRIS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Matt McLean, Cape Fear High School
Matt McLean has been Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Cape Fear High School since July of 2014. Prior to coming to Cape Fear Matt was a teacher and coach at EE Smith, Seventy-First, and Jack Britt High Schools and assistant principal at two elementary schools. In 2018 Cape Fear was awarded the prestigious Exemplary School Award. McLean is proud that Cape Fear has a high number of AIC and CIC coaches, a 3-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and has teams competing at a high level on the local, regional, and state levels. Professionally, he has served as conference secretary for four years in the Mid-South and Patriot Athletic Conferences. Matt holds both his Certified Master Athletic credential and his Certified Interscholastic Coach credential. McLean notes he is thankful to work for a supportive Principal, Lee Spruill, to have a school system that supports athletics in Cumberland County Schools, and most importantly for the love of his wife Rosemary and daughter Annabelle.
BOB DEATON PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR
Karen Summers, Green Hope High School
Karen Summers has been a fantastic principal in Wake County for many years, most recently serving as the Green Hope High School Principal from 2014 until she took the Principal position at the new Green Level High School in Wake County a few months ago. Summers has kept the athletic program at Green Hope as one of the top programs in the state, with a record eight-straight Wells Fargo State Cup Competition victories. Under Summers’ leadership, Green Hope consistently performed as one of the top schools in the state academically as well. Summers moved to Raleigh from Athens, Georgia in 1997. She started her career in special education as a teacher for emotionally disabled students. She landed her first administrative position in Wake County as a Senior Administrator in Special Education Services. Summers dedication is evident in all her work. She is committed to building an inviting and inclusive environment for all learners and hopes to create a school culture that values relationships as much as the content that education hopes to impart upon students.
BOB McRAE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR
Dr. Darrin Hartness, Davie County Schools
Darrin Hartness started his career in education as the Director of Technology at Stanly County Schools in 1994. He eventually left Stanly County Schools for Cleveland County Schools where he became a Principal at West Elementary School in Kings Mountain in 2005. In 2006, Hartness was elevated to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction before he went to Mount Airy City Schools in January of 2008 as the system’s Superintendent. From Mount Airy, Hartness joined Davie County Schools in 2011, replacing retiring NCHSAA Hall of Famer, Dr. Bill Steed. Hartness served on the NCHSAA Board of Directors and was known for steady and diligent leadership. He stepped up to organize and chair the NCHSAA’s Home School Participation sub-committee last July and is credited with exceptional leadership and dedication to helping pull people together from across the state to bring a policy before the Board of Directors this May. Dr. Hartness took a new position as the President of Davidson Community College, stepping away from the NCHSAA and Davie County.
TIM STEVENS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR
Delano Little – WBTV in Charlotte and “Football Friday Night”
After nearly 30 years of “being on your side” with WBTV as Sports Director and anchor, Delano Little retired from the station in December of 2018. Little joined WBTV in 1989 after two years as a reporter in Savannah, Georgia, and quickly rose to prominence in the Charlotte market. Described by colleagues at WBTV as “The Mayor”, Little’s likable personality and warm smile made him best of friends with all those he met and covered. Little has covered the establishment of the Carolina Panthers, the Bobcats and now again the Hornets, two Super Bowls and multiple NCAA Championships. But maybe best known for the passion that he poured into covering high school athletics in Charlotte. He hosted the number one rated high school football show in Charlotte, "Football Friday Night", for 28 years, bringing coverage and highlights to student-athletes in the Queen City and surrounding area. He also founded the One Nation Foundation which provided $1,000 scholarships to 16 deserving high school students.
ELTON HAWLEY ATHLETIC TRAINER/MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Jim Bazluki, Atrium Health
Jim Bazluki brings with him over 28 years of sports medicine and athletic training experience. He is nationally certified and state licensed in North and South Carolina as an athletic trainer. His experience has crossed most every setting ranging from college to high schools, to physical therapy clinics, physician practices, professional sports and youth recreation groups. Jim has been recognized as the NC Athletic Trainer of the Year a record three times in three different settings and was the youngest member ever inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 2014. Bazluki has served the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association in various capacities ranging from committee member and chairperson to district director, secretary, treasurer, vice president and currently, is serving as the NCATA President. Bazluki currently works for Atrium Health as an outreach Athletic Trainer providing athletic training services to Northwest Cabarrus High School. His areas of interest include working with emergency services by providing athletic training services and to help bridge the gap between athletic trainers and public safety service members.