NCHSAA HALL OF FAMER
DR. WILLIAM FRIDAY PASSES AWAY
CHAPEL HILL— One of the great supporters of high school athletics in the state, Dr. William Friday, died Friday morning at the age of 92. He was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in the class of 2002.
Friday was president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, having served 30 years as president of the university from 1956 to 1986.
Friday’s leadership and stands for integrity and principle are known throughout the country. A former high school athlete himself at old Dallas High, Friday graduated from N.C. State in 1941 and then from law school at Carolina.
Throughout his career, he was a great proponent of the NCHSAA, from helping provide university property for the Association’s current headquarters to keeping the concerns of high school athletics at the forefront during his work as co-chairman of the Knight Foundation National Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
Friday stepped down from the Knight Commission in 2005, and he was presented with the Gerald R. Ford Award for his leadership and advocacy by the NCAA.
A middle school in his hometown of Dallas is named in his honor, as are the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State and the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was born in Virginia, grew up in Gaston County and earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State. He earned his law degree from UNC.
He had been awarded numerous honorary degrees during his career and has been previously recognized by the NCHSAA on several occasions. He was also well known as the long-time host of the popular television show North Carolina People on UNC public television, having started in that role in 1971.