Feb 13, 2023
The NCHSAA is saddened to share the news of the passing of NCHSAA Hall of Fame member, Jimmy Tillman. He was inducted in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2015. He died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon in Wilson.
Jimmy Tillman touched a number of bases during his career as a teacher, coach, athletic director and principal at a variety of high schools. Born in Mount Olive, Tillman was a graduate of Southern Wayne High School and UNC-Wilmington. During his career, he served as a teacher and coach at Rosewood, Lucama, Beddingfield and SouthWest Edgecombe, adding the duties of athletic director during his time at SouthWest. He earned Coach of the Year honors in three different sports (football, baseball and softball) and coached in both the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and East-West all-star football game. He also served at Wilson Fike, including four years as an assistant principal and eight as principal.
After leaving the principal role, he became the Athletic Director for Wilson County Schools, a position he held until his passing. Tillman also enjoyed an excellent career as a game official, calling high school basketball and softball for almost 20 years and working the 1984 NCHSAA state 4-A softball championship. His contributions to the NCHSAA were huge, including serving several terms on the challenging Realignment Committee as well as the Nominating Committee.
Tillman’s funeral is Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 11 a.m. in the auditorium at Fike High School. Visitation follows in the gym. Burial will be private. Joyner’s Funeral Home is handling arrangements.