CHAPEL HILL– The North Carolina High School Athletic Association presented special awards at its just completed eight regional meetings across the state.
Commissioner Davis Whitfield of the NCHSAA and deputy commissioner Que Tucker, on behalf of the Association, presented both the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards and the Special Person awards to recipients in each region.
The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards are given per region and go to a person with at least 10 years experience in education and athletics who is still active in the field and has regularly gone "above and beyond" the call of duty at both the local and the state level. The Special Person award is similar but may go to a contributor to the NCHSAA who is not directly in coaching or education.
The award winners include:
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service (2) : Charles Simmons, athletic director, Hertford County— Simmons is a veteran coach who has earned numerous coach of the year honors in basketball. He has coached men’s basketball for 32 years, with 558 victories and 15 conference championships, and has been athletic director at Hertford for 22 years.
Charles has coached in the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West all-star game, and he is a previous winner of an NCHSAA Distinguished Service Award and Award of Merit. Several years ago he earned the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association BraveHeart Award. He is a graduate of East Rutherford High School and Pembroke State University.
Allison Sholar Osmon, superintendent of the Currituck County schools, was also recognized with a Distinguished Service Award. Born in Asheboro and a 1983 graduate of Elon College, Allison taught high school English for five years before moving into administration. At the high school level she has been a principal at Manteo, Currituck and First Flight High Schools and was named Principal of the Year in both Currituck County and Dare County. She served as the superintendent of Pender County before her stint as Currituck superintendent and was president of the NCHSAA Board of Directors from 2009-11. She currently serves as the NCHSAA Board’s past president.
Special Person: Irene Cannon, Student-Athlete Summer Institute (SASI) coach— Cannon has been very involved with the Student Athlete Summer Institute, part of the NCHSAA’s student services offerings, but that is not the only way that she has been active in high school athletics. She has served as a SASI coach, facilitator and co-director for 22 years.
Cannon spent 27 years with the Pitt County school at Ayden-Grifton High School, where she was the DREAM team coordinator and also served as the trainer for the football team. She also coached softball and was an assistant basketball coach there, and in addition is in her 35th year as a registered volleyball official, so she has enjoyed a great career in a variety of aspects connected with high school athletics.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Roy Turner, athletic director, Ashley– Turner has been the athletic director at Ashley High School since 2006. He is heavily involved in the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Leadership Training National Faculty. He has also been very involved in various roles with the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association.
Prior to working at Ashley, Turner was the athletic director at Southeast Guilford High School and at Greensboro Dudley before that. He has also coached high school baseball and officiated high school volleyball and basketball, including NCHSAA state basketball championships.
Special Person: Greg Grantham, retired athletic director, White Oak— Greg Grantham of White Oak High School announced his retirement effective July 31. He served at White Oak for the last 21 years and became athletic director in 1999. He coached men’s basketball there from 1993 through 2011 and also coached golf during his tenure at White Oak.
Grantham has been very involved in NCHSAA activities, even serving a term on the realignment committee, and has served as the president of the North Carolina High School Basketball Coaches Association. He graduated from Coker College in South Carolina in 1984 and earned his master’s from East Carolina in 1991.
He has also received a number of honors during his career, including the NCHSAA Homer Thompson “Eight Who Make a Difference” award in 1997. He was named to the NCHSAA’s list of 100 administrators to remember last year during the centennial celebration for the organization.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Mike Miragliuolo, cross country and baseball coach, Green Hope— Miragliuolo has coached for the last 13 years at Green Hope High School in Wake County after a stint coaching in Maine. He coaches both cross country and baseball and has been tremendously successful, including six NCHSAA state championships in cross country and six conference crowns in baseball. Remarkably, his cross country team has well over 200 runners, as chronicled in the NCHSAA 100th anniversary book written by the Raleigh News and Observer’s Tim Stevens. Mike has also recently published a second book of his own, called The Real Story of a High School Coach.
Special Person: Carolina Mudcats— The Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball franchise has been a great friend of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for many years. Five County Stadium has been the site of numerous state baseball championships and the Mudcats staff always goes out of its way to try to create a great championship experience for the players, coaches and supporters of the schools which play there. Many people work together to pull off that event, which includes multiple teams, multiple games and sometimes working around bad weather.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Leon Mack, athletic director, Cumberland County – Mack serves as the director of student activities and athletics for the Cumberland County schools and has helped to host the Region 4 meeting in Fayetteville for a number of years. He served with distinction on the NCHSAA Board of Directors, completing a four-year term, and he has also worked as the tournament director for the Eastern Regional basketball tournament held in Fayetteville.
Special Person: Neil Buie, regional supervisor— Neil Buie is the regional supervisor of officials for the Southeastern North Carolina Sports Officials Association. He works with game officials in baseball, softball, and football and has provided outstanding service to the NCHSAA member schools.
A graduate of East Carolina University, Neil has been an NCHSAA official since 1986 and actually worked baseball from 1967 through the ’98 season. His stellar career has included five NCHSAA state baseball championship series, seven American Legion state championships, six regional championships as s football official, two NCHSAA state football championships as well as the East-West all-star games and the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
Neil was the winner of the 2011 NCHSAA Golden Whistle Award.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: John Hughes, athletic director, Northwest Guilford—Hughes is the athletic director at Northwest Guilford and has been involved in many different aspects of high school athletics. A graduate of Duke University, where he played baseball, he has helped to direct several NCHSAA state championships as well as working closely with the Western Regional basketball tournament when it has been held in Greensboro. He coached soccer, basketball and baseball before being named athletic director in 2003 and is a previous winner of the Educator of the Year award at Northwest Guilford.
Special Person: Carrie Little, state wrestling championship staff— Little has been one of the key people working every year at the NCHSAA state wrestling championships, which is a huge undertaking. She is responsible for coordinating literally thousands of match results for on site purposes in the classification she works with, as well as sending them so we can get them posted on the web site and sent to media across the state.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Carla Black, principal, Concord – Black is the principal at Concord High School. She is currently serving a four-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the NCHSAA. She received her undergraduate degree in middle school education from Winston-Salem State University and her masters in administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Recently she was named the Cabarrus County Educator of the Decade by the local chapter of the NAACP.
Special Person: Jim Taylor, retired— a native of Franklin, Taylor coached at Polk Central and then had a tremendous career as a head football coach at Shelby High School. His teams won 201 games against just 54 losses and earned a couple of NCHSAA state titles. He was also an outstanding athletic administrator for many years and served as the executive director of the North Carolina Football Coaches Association. That meant that he was always at the NCHSAA offices on Seeding Saturday and conducted all the draws—and there were always a lot of them– when there were ties. He was inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Rob Bliss, principal, Maiden— Rob Bliss is currently the principal at Maiden High School after an outstanding career as a head basketball coach, most recently at Fred T. Foard High School in Catawba County, and also served as athletic director. He led the Foard basketball program for three years and also coached at East Burke and West Henderson, winning a total of 288 games during his career. He was also chosen to coach in the North Carolina Coaches’ Association East-West games.
Special Person: Ed Martin, North Wilkes— Ed Martin has been teaching at North Wilkes High School for five years. He primarily teaches history but is also certified to teach physical education, health and business. He is both the men's and women's soccer coach. Prior to coming to North, he was the Dean of Students at Central Wilkes Middle School and was the Teacher of the Year at Central Middle in 2006. Coach Martin has 16 years of coaching experience and has been teaching for 15 years.
Ed is dedicated to the well being of his student athletes. He has been active in the NCHSAA Student Services Program, annually taking students to the Coach-Captain's retreat. Additionally, he has been active in the Student-Athlete Summer Institute. His SASI teams have built a fitness trail and helped create a 5K on-campus cross country course.
Charlie Adams Distinguished Service: Cindi Simmons, athletic director, Jackson County—Simmons now serves as the athletic director for the Jackson County schools and has been involved with the NCHSAA in a number of capacities. She was an outstanding high school athlete at Hayesville, played basketball at Western Carolina and then became one of the state’s top coaches. She led teams at Smoky Mountain to NCHSAA state titles in both volleyball and basketball, and her teams won 512 games in basketball. She was inducted this spring into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. She is also a former winner of the Toby Webb Award and was the president of the North Carolina Coaches Association in 2005-06.
Special Person: Philip Allen, regional supervisor— Philip Allen is the owner of an independent travel consultant business, but he spends a great deal of time as a regional supervisor in several sports in western North Carolina, providing services to our member schools in soccer, football and baseball.
Philip was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, lettered in four sports in high school and attended Henderson State University. He is also a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has coached at the high school level in Texas and at Henderson State. He was an outstanding official himself, working high school basketball for 40 years and football and baseball for 35 and also was a collegiate official for 13 years. He retired from active officiating in 2008.