North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Obituary: Former NCHSAA Executive Director Simon Terrell

CHAPEL HILL—Former North Carolina High School Athletic Association executive director Simon Terrell died this morning after battling the results of a stroke for the past several months. He was 81.

The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, August 20, at 2 p.m. at University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, with visitation an hour before at the church.

Terrell served as the fourth executive director of the NCHSAA. His tenure spanned 1967 to ’84 after several years as assistant executive director and supervisor of officials.

During his stint at the Association helm, he oversaw the NCHSAA’s joining with the organization for black schools, the North Carolina High School Athletic Conference, and the old Western North Carolina High School Activities Association. Women’s state championships in several sports became part of the NCHSAA program during his tenure. He was also active with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), serving on a variety of national committees.

A highly successful coach before entering administration, the native of Warrenton coached at John Graham, Cary and Durham, guiding teams in several sports.

At John Graham he coached the only undefeated football team in school history and won league titles in both basketball and baseball. At Cary, from 1952 to ’54, he had an unbeaten football team and took his men’s basketball team to a 1954 state basketball championship. And at Durham from 1954-59, his basketball teams made the final eight in the state four out of five years and his golf teams were also regular state contenders.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1951.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association offices in Chapel Hill bear Terrell’s name. He was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 1990.

“This is a huge loss to me personally, for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and high school athletics, and our state,” said Charlie Adams, executive director of the NCHSAA.

“Simon’s legacy is one of consistency and stability. There is no question he was in an era where stability was needed, and he was able to stay the course. And for me personally, the reason I am now the executive director is Simon Terrell. He saw fit to have me apply for the assistant’s job when Hap Perry retired and he moved up, and I was fortunate enough to get the position. Then I was able to work with him for 17 years and he recommended me to succeed him when he retired. What started as a relationship between a student-athlete and his coach at Cary certainly turned into a lifelong friendship.

“I will always remember how much he loved people. That is probably more characteristic of him than anything else I could say. We’re fortunate that he laid a solid foundation for our organization that has helped us to move forward.”