Wally Shelton was one of the state’s most successful coaches during a career in education that ran from 1931 to 1974. A graduate of Mount Airy High and a lifelong resident of Mount Airy, Shelton returned to his high school alma mater after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill and compiled a brilliant coaching record. His teams won five state football championships and finished second on three other occasions, and he also coached a women’s basketball team to an unofficial crown in 1949, before the onset of the official women’s tournament. In fact, for 27 years he coached football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. His record as a football head coach was an outstanding 163-63-11, and he coached in both the East-West all-star games and the Shrine Bowl. In 1984 he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Mount Airy football stadium is named in his honor.
July 8, 2019