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 Don Patrick of Newton.
A native of Shelby, Don Patrick has built a tremendous record as a coach and athletic administrator, primarily at Newton-Conover High School.
A 1968 graduate of Appalachian State University,where he played baseball and served as president of the student body, Patrick was an assistant football and head baseball coach at Wilkes Central and also coached at Burns before heading to Newton-Conover. From 1974 through the ’98 season, his Red Devil teams compiled a brilliant 197-88-1 mark, winning 13 conference championships and making the playoffs 15 times, including three trips to the state semifinals.
Patrick has been involved in just about every major organization serving high school athletics in the state. He served on the NCHSAA Board of Directors from 1983-87 and was president of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association in 1985-86. In addition, he was the North Carolina Coaches Association president in 1989-90 and served on the NCCA Board. He has also served two terms on the Realignment Committee.
He is a member of the Cleveland County Sports Hall of Fame and former Teacher of the Year in the Newton-Conover City Schools. The field house at Gurley Stadium on the Newton-Conover campus is named in his honor. Don was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2000.