North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NCHSAA Hall of Fame announces Class of 2024

CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame is proud to announce the Class of 2024 to be inducted in August of this year. The Class of 2024 includes eight new members from across the state of North Carolina. 
The NCHSAA Hall of Fame Committee convened earlier in 2024 and discussed dozens of nominations before voting in the eight individuals listed here.

Ada “Cheryl” Brewer, Robbins

Cheryl Brewer took on the titles of head coach for softball, women’s basketball, and women’s tennis for North Moore High School in 1978 and she didn’t stop there as she would go on to coach cross country in 1989 and men’s golf in 1997. During her 34-year coaching career,  Brewer won the 1982 State Championship in softball and three Coach of the Year awards. She was also a well-respected Athletic Director and was inducted into the NCADA Hall of Fame in 2006. Coach Brewer noted that her win-loss records were simply not something she kept up with but was more focused on the student-athletes. 

Herk DeGraw, Greensboro

“Herk” DeGraw coached the Grimsley High School men’s soccer team from 1979 to 2005 and took over the role as the women’s soccer head coach in 1984 and finished his legendary career in 2014 with a combined record of 873-211-62. During his time at Grimsley, he won Conference Coach of the Year more than 20 times, NCSCA Regional Coach of the Year 20 times, and NCSCA State Coach of the Year three times. Teams under DeGraw’s reign won more than 30 combined conference championships, six Women’s Soccer State Championships in 12 appearances, and made three appearances in the men’s championship game. He was also named North Carolina Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2018 by the NC Soccer Coaches Association. Coach DeGraw played a huge part of bringing soccer to the East-West All-Star games, where he was a coach in the inaugural games and continues to be an annual site coordinator. DeGraw was inducted into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Greensboro College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. He was in the inaugural class of the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Field of Honor in 2010 and was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Mark Dreibelbis, Cary

After working in the Athletic Department at Appalachian State University, Mark Dreibelbis became the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Associate Commissioner of Officials from 2005 until retiring in 2022. During his career as an official and an administrator, Mark received many honors, including the 2023 NFHS National Citation Award for Officiating, the 2018 NCHSAA Golden Whistle Award, and the 2016 NC Athletic Directors Association Distinguished Service Award. Dreibelbis also assigned the first all-female crew for the NCHSAA Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball State Championships. Outside of his phenomenal resume, Dreibelbis was well known for his commitment to serving his duties with great passion, integrity, and precision. Dreibelbis carried this mindset into everything he did, helping to ensure a professional and first-class experience for everyone involved. 

Robert “Linwood” Hedgepeth, Whiteville

Robert “Linwood” Hedgepeth graduated from Pembroke State University in 1964 as an NAIA all-region baseball player. After finishing up his playing days, Hedgepeth began his legendary baseball coaching career in 1967 at Massey Hill High School and moved to Hallsboro High School in 1969 where he won two NCHSAA State Championships and seven conference championships. He was head coach at Whiteville High School from 1980-1989 where he’d make his mark on the community forever. At Whiteville, he won nine conference championships and three NCHSAA State Championships which brought him into an elite category of five-time State Championship winners. Winning followed Coach Hedgepeth wherever he went, and his legacy remains intertwined with the Whiteville community. During his time in Whiteville, he compiled a record of 226-64, produced around 40 college players, and was the main feature in Sport Magazine’s article deeming Whiteville as Baseball Town USA. Hedgepeth was inducted into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 and the UNC Pembroke Athletics Hall of Fame in 2023.

Larry McAfee, Charlotte

Larry McAfee’s coaching achievements include an impressive record of 28 Cross Country conference championships, 20 Regional Cross Country championships, and five 4A State cross country championships in boys. Notably, he designed and developed McAlpine Creek Park Cross Country Course, a legacy project that has transformed the landscape of cross country in the state. In 2018, Mecklenburg County named the course in his honor. McAfee won a total of seven team state championships at East Mecklenburg High School, showcasing his coaching prowess across various disciplines, including boys cross country, boys track and field, and girls cross country. As a coach, McAfee mentored notable athletes such as Joan Nesbit, the 1980 North Carolina mile champion and 1996 U.S. Olympian, further elevating the profile of North Carolina’s high school track and field.

Julian “Mac” McKenzie, Danbury

Julian “Mac” McKenzie is a beloved coach from North Stokes High School who has been instrumental in the lives of many students and student-athletes. Coach McKenzie is widely known for being the first guidance counselor and assistant football coach at North Stokes High School when the school opened in 1964. In 1981, McKenzie started the North Stokes High School girl’s tennis program, which he coached for 32 out of the next 34 years, being named Conference Coach of the Year 17 times. He also won Conference Coach of the Year two more times during his time as the girls’ basketball coach. Across his 48 years of coaching, McKenzie’s teams became highly decorated with 20 conference championships, 12 regional championships, and seven state championships. Awards won by his players include 69 All-Conference performers, 12 Conference Player of the Year, eight state champions, and four All-Northwest performers. McKenzie helped to support and mold numerous lives of young students in his time as a counselor and coach and continues to mentor and coach even after retiring.

DePaul Mittman, Greensboro

DePaul Mittman started his Hall of Fame-worthy legacy as the Head Women’s Track Coach at Western Guilford from 1985 to 2008 and took on the role of coaching the men’s team as well in 1995 and 1996. During his time at Western Guilford, Mittman had an outstanding coaching record of 261-41-2 and won the 3A State Championship in 1999. His success didn’t stop there, as he accumulated thirteen conference championships, six regional championships, and 10 Top-10 team finishes. The fourteen-time Conference Track and Field Coach of the Year continued his career at T.W. Andrews, where he was the Men’s and Women’s Head Track Coach from 2009 to 2010. During his time at T.W. Andrews, he won two more conference Track and Field Coach of the Year Awards in 2010 for his Men’s and Women’s Teams and won both the Men’s and Women’s Conference Championships in 2010. He showed leadership on and off the track as he served as the first President of the North Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association and organized both indoor and outdoor Track and Field events. He also served as the first Executive Director of the NCTCCCA. He held this position from 2003-2021. Additionally, he was the NCHSAA Indoor (2002-2022) and Outdoor (1999-2021) State Meet Director. His dedication resulted in the NCHSAA awarding him with the Homer Thompson Award and Charlie Adams Distinguished Service awards to truly honor his amazing career. The track at Western Guilford has been named the DePaul Mittman Track (2019). He has also been inducted into the Western Guilford Athletics Hall of Fame (2022), the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame (2022), and the N.C. High School Track & Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame (2022).

Roy Turner, Wilmington

Roy Turner has held numerous positions with the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association, including secretary, vice president, and president, and served as a member of the Executive Board of Directors. Turner started his career as a baseball coach from 1980-1997 at Southeast Guilford and Dudley High School, becoming the athletic director for Dudley High School from 1991 until 1997. Turner held that position until moving to Southeast Guilford High School from 1997 to 2006. He then moved to Ashley High School in Wilmington in 2006 until his retirement in 2015.  Turner currently sits as the executive director for the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association, a position held since 2016. At the same time, Turner is the Supervisor of Officials for the Eastern Basketball Officials Association, a position he has held since 2015. Highly recognized for his impact and influence in interscholastic athletics across many levels, Turner has accrued many honors. Turner has won the NASPE National Athletic Director of the Year and was twice named NCHSAA Athletic Director of the Year, been honored in the NCHSAA “100 to Remember,” and inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.   

The NCHSAA Hall of Fame will honor these eight individuals with a private reception at the NCHSAA offices in April, and they will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 17 in a ceremony at the Embassy Suites in Cary.