North Carolina High School Athletic Association

NCHSAA HOF Member Ed Peeler passes at 86

NCHSAA Hall of Fame member and longtime basketball coach in Cleveland County, Ed Peeler, passed away at the age of 86 last week. Peeler was inducted in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame along with the Class of 2004. 

Ed Peeler enjoyed a lengthy career has a highly successful coach and athletic director, primarily at Crest High School in Cleveland County. A graduate of Shelby High and Appalachian State University, Peeler posted a brilliant 562-362 mark as a head men’s basketball coach, including two years at Mooresboro, six at Crest at Boiling Springs and then 30 at Crest. He also coached women’s basketball, baseball, cross-country, track and golf during his career. Peeler is best known for his basketball efforts, guiding his teams to the playoffs 24 times. His teams won the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association crown in both 1973 and ’74 and were runners-up in ’71, and he also won an NCHSAA state baseball title in 1965 at Mooresboro. A member of the Cleveland County Hall of Fame, he served as AD at Crest for 30 years and also coached in several basketball all-star games, including the North Carolina Coaches Association contests.

Richard Walker wrote a tremendous piece for his website, detailing the career of Coach Peeler, and you can read more about his successes here.

To honor the life of Peeler a memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at 3 p.m. The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. in the Ed Peeler Gymnasium at Crest High School prior to the service. Burial will follow at Sunset Cemetery, Rev. Sally Queen will offer words of encouragement to those in attendance.

Born on Dec. 5, 1936, he was the son of the late Edwin Hugh Peeler and Elsie Whitener Peeler and brother to the late Michael Peeler. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Dorotha Faye Peeler, and two infant sons, Robert and Vance Peeler. He is survived by son, Todd Peeler and wife Paula; their children, Jonathan and Abigail Peeler. Also surviving are his remaining siblings, Joe and Irene Peeler of Texas, Charlie and Starr Peeler of Shelby, Phil Peeler of Shelby, Linda Hendrick of Lattimore, Tim and Sheila Peeler of Shelby, along with their children, and sister-in-law, Debbie Peeler.

Memorials can be made to Hospice of Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Height Dr. Shelby, NC 28150 and/or Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland County, P.O. Box 2001 Shelby, NC 28151