North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NCHSAA Heritage: Bob Sawyer

Throughout the course of the 2008-2009 academic year, we will seek to recognize some of the great names of the past to highlight the heritage of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in honor of the Association’s 95th anniversary. In this edition we are pleased to recognize Bob Sawyer of Greensboro.

Bob Sawyer put together an amazing career as an athlete, teacher, coach and athletic director, all affiliated with one school.

Bob was an individual state swimming champion on teams under the legendary Bob Jamieson that won the overall state title at Greensboro Senior High in 1954 and ‘55. He continued his brilliant swimming career at East Carolina, earning all-America honors and winning two national championships in the backstroke.

He returned to his high school alma mater in 1961 for a 30-year run at the school , which was later renamed Grimsley High, and achieved incredible success as a coach. His teams won 16 consecutive conference championships and an unprecedented 15 straight NCHSAA state titles in swimming. He also coached track, cross country and junior varsity football during his career.

Sawyer has helped to host and direct countless NCHSAA state tournaments and events in several sports. A charter member of the East Carolina University Sports Hall of Fame, he guided Grimsley athletics as athletic director to numerous Wachovia Cup state titles, symbolic of the best overall interscholastic program in the state. He has also been an active member at Morehead United Methodist Church in Greensboro for well over half a century.

Bob was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 1996.