NCHSAA Recognizes Regional Award Winners for 2021

CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association presented special awards at the virtual regional meetings that were completed today. 

Commissioner Que Tucker and Assistant Commissioner Tra Waters presented both the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards and the Special Person awards to recipients in each region.

The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards, named for the Association’s late, long-time Executive Director, are given per region and go to a person with at least 10 years of 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.

Region 1

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Phil Woolard – Athletic Director – Riverside-Martin HS

Phil Woolard grew up in Plymouth, North Carolina and graduated from Lawrence Academy.  He graduated from ECU class of 1992 with a degree in history. Woolard began coaching part time at North Pitt High School in 1995, assisting in football and baseball.  One of his early coaching mentors, Preston Bowers and his wife, Rebecca, began to push Woolard to finish my history education degree and begin his teaching career in 1998. 

Woolard continued teaching and coaching at North Pitt until 2015, adding tennis to his résumé the last five years.  In February of 2015, he moved to Riverside High School and began coaching tennis and assisting baseball until he became athletic director in 2017.  Woolard loves the challenge of coordinating sporting events and seeing his students excel on the field of play. He has found pride even in the COVID-19 craziness in his student-athletes’ ability to improvise, adapt and overcome. 

Special Person Award

Robin Forehand – Regional Supervisor – Northeastern Officials Association

Robin Forehand is the Regional Supervisor of Officials for the Northeastern Officials Association (NEOA). The NEOA supplies officials for volleyball, baseball, and softball in the Northeastern part of North Carolina. The Association covers 12 counties. Forehand started his officiating career in 1991 umpiring recreation league baseball. From there he progressed to working fastpitch softball and ultimately became the Umpire in Chief for Eastern North Carolina Babe Ruth. Robin has worked nine Babe Ruth Softball World Series and was the crew chief for four of those tournaments.

He started his high school officiating career in the fall of 1999 with volleyball. The following school year he registered and started umpiring interscholastic softball. Robin has worked one volleyball state championship and two softball state championships. He was the lead clinician for volleyball and softball for the Outer Banks Officials Association. When the North Carolina High School Athletic Association mandated the use of the Arbiter Assigning Software he assisted the Regional Supervisor at that time with all the entry of schedules and assignments. When the position of Regional Supervisor became open, he applied and was selected to fill that position. One he still holds today.

Region 2

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Jimmy Fletcher – Athletic Director – West Brunswick HS

Jimmy Fletcher attended Lenoir-Rhyne College and obtained his master’s degree in Counselor Education.  While there, he played football on scholarship and then became a graduate assistant football coach.  After college, he became a counselor and assistant football coach at Wilkes Central High School in Wilkesboro, NC.  In 1992, he moved to Rockingham, NC and became the offensive coordinator at Richmond Senior High School.  He was also the drop-out prevention counselor there.  After a move to East Tennessee State University where he was an assistant football coach, special teams coordinator, and recruiting coordinator, Fletcher took the head football coaching position at West Brunswick High School in 2003.

In 2013, he was named the Athletic Director at West Brunswick. He has numerous awards including being named Coach of the Year in track at West Brunswick and golf at Wilkes Central. Since becoming Athletic Director with the help of the athletic booster club, Jimmy has facilitated the purchase and installation of a turf field, establishing a West Brunswick Hall of Fame, and has overseen the building of new baseball/softball building complex, a covered outdoor sports building, and a new fieldhouse for all sports. Fletcher has received the Athletic Directors of Excellence award by the NCADA. He is a member of the NIAAA and has earned his CAA credentials and is working towards CMAA credentials. He serves on the board of the NCCA.

Special Person Award

Tim Foster – Principal – Southwest Onslow HS

A lifelong resident of Onslow County, Tim Foster has served more than 30 years in the Onslow County Schools system. During his career, Foster led the basketball, soccer, and cross-country teams at Southwest Onslow earning conference and county coach of the year awards in each. While a coach, Foster also served as the assistant athletic director for the Stallions.

Foster continued his work with education-based athletics when he moved into his role as principal, always recognizing the value of athletics and its role in developing young people. Foster served on Education and Athletic Committees for the NCHSAA and most recently completed his term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors. His efforts in education were recognized when he received the 2018 Onslow County Schools' Principal of the Year. He continues serve as principal of Southwest Onslow, his alma mater, and is the Vice Chairperson of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners.

Region 3

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Mike Joyner – Athletic Director – Wake Forest HS

Mike Joyner is a 27-year veteran North Carolina educator. He has served the Johnston, Sampson, and Wake County school systems as a teacher, coach, and athletic director. Born in Wayne County and raised in Duplin County, he is a 1989 graduate of North Duplin High School and a 1993 graduate of East Carolina University. Joyner started his career as a social studies teacher at Selma Middle School in 1994.

In 1996, Joyner moved to Smithfield-Selma High School where he worked until 2012. He served there as a social studies teacher and head baseball coach for 16 years and as athletic director for the last 8 years. He also was an assistant football coach and defensive coordinator for the football team for 7 years at Smithfield-Selma. During the 2012-2013 school year, Joyner was a social studies teacher, assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Hobbton High School in Newton Grove. Since June of 2013, he has been the athletic director and social studies teacher at Wake Forest High School also serving as head baseball coach there since 2016.

Joyner’s baseball teams have won 7 conference titles in his career and have made the state playoffs 12 times. His overall record is 311-200-1 as a head coach. Under Joyner, Wake Forest’s athletic department has won 4 state championships, 9 regional championships and numerous conference championships.

Special Person Award

Edna Parker – Secretary – Tar Roanoke Conference

Edna Parker has been in the educational arena for over thirty-eight years in various capacities from teaching to administration. Currently, she serves as a part-time Testing Coordinator for North Edgecombe High School. As a mother of energetic boys who began athletics before five years old, Edna had to wear many hats to keep up.

Over the years as an Educator, Edna developed a passion for athletics and has been fortunate to serve as a Coach for Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Softball. One of the highlights of her career was being a part of the Tar Roanoke Athletic Conference. Edna has been a part of the Tar Roanoke Athletic Conference for numerous years serving in the capacity of Secretary/Treasurer. Edna is honored to be a part of the Tar Roanoke Athletic conference which she considers to be a “family” working together to make a difference in the lives of our future leaders.

Region 4

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Will Gage – Athletic Director – Harnett Central HS

Will Gage is a graduate of Campbell University and majored in History Education. He is currently in his 32nd year of teaching and coaching at Harnett Central High School. Gage has been the Athletic Director for 16 years and Varsity Boys Basketball coach for 29 years. Gage’s Varsity Team has recorded 349 wins during his coaching tenure. He has also coached Cross Country and Varsity Football for the Trojans.

Gage is a history teacher at the school, focusing mainly on AP and Honors courses for the past 31 years. He also has served as Conference President for several conferences including the Triangle 3A Conference, Greater Neuse 4A Conference, Tri-County 3A Conference, and currently serves as President of the All American Conference.

Special Person Award

Sam Guy – Baseball Coach – Terry Sanford HS

Sam Guy began coaching in 2001 at Seventy-First High School, launching his career as a head baseball coach at age 22 after graduating from UNCP. Guy was at Seventy-First for two years when his old junior high coach, Conrad Lopes, then the principal of Jack Britt High School, offered him a job teaching and coaching baseball. Guy jumped at the opportunity and spent 8 years at Jack Britt before accepting the job at his alma mater, Terry Sanford. He has just completed his 12th year at Terry Sanford High School, piloting a successful program over the last decade. The Bulldogs have won 8 out of the last 9 Conference Championships. He has won multiple coach of the year honors for conferences over the 20 years and in 2018 was voted Region 4 coach of the year by the NCBCA and 910 Preps coach of the year in 2018.

Guy has been blessed with some outstanding individual players over the course of his coaching career and amassed over 300 wins. Over 200 of those wins have come from the program at Terry Sanford. In 21 years, Guy has seen 72 players get the opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level and had five players get drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft. One of those players, Austin Warren, made his Major League Debut this season with the Los Angeles Angels. Guy also has another former student currently playing in the Cubs organization, DJ Herz. He was instrumental in assisting the NCHSAA Staff in completing the 2021 NCHSAA Baseball State Championships in June, returning from a family vacation to prep the field at Terry Sanford for Sunday’s make-up games in the 3A State Championship Series.

Special Person Award

Scott Ellis – Baseball Coach – South View HS

Scott Ellis is the Head Baseball Coach at South View High School in Hope Mills, NC, where he has taught Health & Physical Education since 2003.  He has 24 years experience coaching Baseball.  During that time he has also coached Football, Basketball & Bowling.  He has also coached for several years in the N.C. State Games, serving as the Head Coach of the Region 4 Team in 2015.  Coach Ellis has been named the Conference Coach of the Year 6 times and the Regional Coach of the Year 3 times.

During the summer in 2021, Ellis opened the South View facility on short notice to help finish the 1A Baseball State Championships following torrential rain that deemed the State Championship facility in Fayetteville unplayable for the weekend.



Region 5 

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Courtney Paschal – Athletic Director – Rockingham County HS

Courtney Paschal started her career in high school athletics as a certified athletic trainer in 1992 and working as the head athletic trainer for Broughton High School for nine years. She transitioned to David W. Butler High School for eight years following her stint at Broughton. In 2010 Paschal made a move into athletic administration and became an Athletic Director currently serving at Rockingham County High School.

She holds numerous certifications as an ATC (Athletic Trainer Certified), CAA (Certified Athletic Administrator), and CIC (Certified Interscholastic Coach). Paschal has been a part of the NCADA's executive board for the past four years and is currently serving as their Past-President. Paschal also has been working on her master's degree in Supervision and Administration with plans to graduate from Liberty University in December. 


Special Person Award

Mike Cook – Athletic Director – High Point Central HS

Mike Cook graduated from High Point Central in 1993 and was a NC Teaching Fellow at East Carolina University.  He graduated from ECU in 1997 and began his teaching and coaching career at Randleman High School. He taught Social Studies and was the Cross-Country coach, JV Men’s Basketball coach and Assistant Varsity Baseball coach at Randleman in 1997-1998.  In 1998-19999 he was the school’s Head Cross Country and Head Men’s Basketball coach.

In June of 1999, Cook was lucky enough to come back home to High Point Central High School and has been there ever since. He taught Social Studies from 1999-2007 and served as an Assistant Football Coach, Head JV Men’s Basketball Coach, Assistant Varsity Men’s Basketball coach and was the Head Varsity Baseball Coach from 2001-2007 at HPC.  In 2007, he was named the Athletic Director at HPC and has been in that role for the past 15 years.  During that time, the High Point Central athletic department has done many special things, but the thing that Cook is probably most proud of is the High Point Central Sports Hall of Fame which he started in 2013. 

Region 6

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Todd Bell – Athletic Director – West Rowan HS

Todd Bell began his teaching and coaching career at China Grove Middle School. He started his career coaching football, basketball, and baseball. In 2000, Bell moved over to the high school level, accepting a position as a football and baseball coach at West Rowan High School. Bell has been at West Rowan ever since and is a true staple in the community.

In 2004, Bell took over as the school’s athletic director. He became a Certified Athletic Administrator through the NIAAA in 2009. Bell is active in the North Carolina Athletic Directors’ Association as well. In addition to leadership roles within the NCADA, Bell is a member of the organization’s Mentor Committee, helping coordinate mentoring opportunities for new and young athletic administrators across the state.

Special Person Award

Mark Lackey – President – NC Golf Coaches Association

Mark Lackey earned a Bachelor of Business Technology Degree from Appalachian State University in 1988, then going to Lenoir-Rhyne University where he earned his teaching certification. Lackey began teaching at Lincolnton High School in the August of 1990, serving an assistant Football Coach, Head JV Boys Basketball Coach, and Head JV Baseball Coach. After that year he moved to East Lincoln High School and taught and coached there for the next 12 years. He was again an assistant football coach, head women’s varsity basketball coach for 5 Years, and became the schools head men’s golf coach for the next 12 years. 

In August of 2003, Lackey moved to North Lincoln High School wanting to experience the excitement of opening a school, both academically and athletically.  He started the women’s basketball program and the men’s and women’s golf programs. In the second year at the school, he became the school’s Athletic Director and remained in that position until 2009.  In the spring of 2009 and 2010, the North Lincoln men’s golf team won back-to-back State Titles and finished runner up the next 3 years. He remained North Lincoln’s men’s golf coach until his retirement in the spring of 2020.  He also stepped back into the role of Athletic Director again from 2017 to 2019 and resumed the role of women’s varsity basketball during those same two years. He is still active with the NCHSAA State Golf Championships for both men’s and women’s teams and has been serving in that role since 2015.

Region 7

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Jeff Church – Athletic Director – Caldwell County Schools

Jeff Church is an education professional of over 31 years responsible for the overseeing of the Auxiliary Services department in a school district serving approximately 11,000 students and 1,600 staff in Caldwell County. He is an individual that leads by example, who has developed the reputation of being highly competent in his respective field by being very trustworthy and honest.

Church earned his Bachelor of Science, Special Education at Appalachian State University in 1989. He continued his education at Gardner-Webb University where he received his Master’s in School Administration in 1999 and his Doctorate for Educational Leadership in 2008. From 2014 to present, Church has served as the Associate Superintendent for Auxiliary Services for Caldwell County Schools. Church Oversees daily operations, as well as, child nutrition, maintenance, technology, transportation, and wrap-around. He is currently the President of Caldwell Counties Rotary Club.


Special Person Award

Jason Bryant – Cross Country Coach – Surry Central HS

Jason Bryant began volunteer coaching at Surry Central in 1995. He became the head cross country coach in 2011 and coaches track and field. Bryant has been a Track State Meet official numerous times since the late 1990s, mainly with the pole vault.  In 2016, Bryant took on the meet director role for Cross Country Regionals and have continued in that role since.  In 2018, he became meet director for Track Regionals in the Spring, then Cross Country State Meet Director in the fall, continuing in those roles to present. 

The most important aspect of Bryant’s involvement with high school cross country and track is the connection he can build with the many young people he coaches. He is proud of the many young people who continue into college, often making Dean's and Chancellor's list at their respective schools. Bryant has conducted an after-practice study hall once a week for several years now and considers this time with these students one of the most important roles he has taken on.

Region 8

Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award

Frank Maennle – Athletic Director – Andrews HS

Frank Maennle is a 1974 graduate of Andrews High School, graduating from Montreat Anderson Junior College in 1976 and Mars Hill College in 1979. After graduating Mars Hill, Maennle returned to Andrews to coach football and women’s track, serving as an assistant coach in basketball until 1983. Maennle moved to Swain County High School in 1983, serving as a teacher and coach at the school until 2013. He was head basketball coach at Swain from 1989-2013, winning four conference championships and four tournament championships. He was head women’s track coach from 1985-1991. He was also an assistant football coach with the Maroon Devils football program, coaching on seven state championship teams and three runner-up teams.

Maennle served as Swain County’s athletic director from 1997-2012. He spent a year in 2010 as the President of the North Carolina Athletic Directors’ Association (NCADA). In 2017, Maennle returned to Andrews as head varsity men’s basketball coach and was named the athletic director for the school in 2021. He was inducted into the NCADA Hall of Fame in 20216 and the Andrews High School Hall of Fame in 2018.


Special Person Award

Blair King – Assistant Principal – Franklin HS

Blair King has served as a coach, teacher, School Health Director, Vice Principal and Athletic Director in Tennessee and North Carolina since 2006. He was accepted to Maryville College and graduated with honors, becoming the first person from his father’s side of the family to graduate from college. He then went on to receive my masters from Tennessee Tech University and my Education Specialist Degree from Lincoln Memorial University. King started several programs as a School Health Director that garnered national and state attention.  SafeKids Hero Award, Safe Kids Partner of the Year Award, Governor’s Council Shining Star Award, General Mills Champion for Health Kids, Ambassador of Goodwill being awarded the Healthy Living Innovation Award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a special exemplary project award from the Rural Health Association.

In 2018, King was asked to take over as Athletic Director for Jay Brooks who was resigning from the role. As an Athletic Director, King was awarded the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Administrator/Athletic Director of the Year award for 2019. He served in AD/Vice Principal position until the summer of 2021 when he decided to take the AD hat off and focus on his duties as an assistant principal and to focus on rehabbing injuries associated with the break in my neck from high school and desired to spend more time with his two sons.