NCHSAA Heritage: Marion Kirby

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 Marion Kirby of Greensboro.

A 1964 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College, where he played on an NAIA national championship football team, Marion Kirby has established himself as one of North Carolina’s top coaches.

An all-state player in his hometown of Hickory, Kirby went on to graduate from L-R in 1964 after lettering four years in football. After a year as a graduate assistant at East Carolina, he went to John Holmes High School in Edenton and assumed the head coaching duties there through 1972, posting a mark of 59-14-3 and winning three conference titles.

Then Kirby went to Greensboro Page, where he established the Pirates as one of the state’s top teams for over 20 years. His teams captured NCHSAA state 4-A championships in 1980, ’83, ’84 and ’85 and were runners-up in ’82. HisPage teams went to the playoffs 16 times and won 13 league crowns. In all, 25 of his teams won at least seven games, and his career coaching mark at the prep level was 278-65-8.

A member of the Lenoir-Rhyne College Sports Hall of Fame, Kirby left Page to build Greensboro College’s new football program from scratch. The Pride fielded its first team in 1997.

He also has been a tireless worker for the North Carolina Coaches Association as secretary-treasurer for many years after participating in the East-West football game as a player in 1960. Marion joined the North Carolina High School Athletic Associatio Hall of Fame in 2000.