Ronnie Chavis Honored


PEMBROKE — Ronnie Chavis of Robeson County was honored with a special retirement dinner on Friday night.

The night was dedicated to one of Robeson County’s most important athletic influences during the last 40 years. As the county’s athletic director, Chavis was recognized as the nation’s athletic director of the year two years ago and received another honor at Friday’s celebration.

Rep. Charles Graham of Robeson County presented Chavis with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine on behalf of Gov. Bev Perdue for his “proven record of extraordinary service and contributions to the community in North Carolina.” It is the state’s highest civilian award.

“Ronnie Chavis is a combination of many different people,” Chavis said according to The Robesonian. “Nobody can do anything alone. The good Lord knew I wouldn’t be a rocket scientist and he surrounded me with good people. I’ve been blessed with coaches and friends that had faith in me. When I started as an athletic director, I didn’t care who won or lost. I just wanted our teams to be competitive.”

Chavis was given the official coin used during the toss at the University of North Carolina’s first Thursday night home football game in school history against Florida State in 2009 by referee Brad Allen.

As a baseball player, Chavis starred at Prospect High School before pitching in college at then-Pembroke State University. Chavis coached multiple varsity sports after college and became the first athletic director of the merged Public Schools of Robeson County in 1989.

Former Cumberland County Schools Athletic Director Fred McDaniel and current AD Leon Mack presented Chavis with a plaque to commemorate his years of service to high school sports.