Former Johnston County athletics director Shelly Marsh and former Wake County athletic director Bobby Guthrie didn’t have long to wait to be elected into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Greenville Rose baseball coach Ron Vincent and East Chapel Hill tennis coach Lindsey Linker didn’t wait at all.
Unlike some halls of fame, the NCHSAA doesn’t require its inductees to retire and wait years before induction. Guthrie and Marsh retired recently and Vincent, the state’s all-time leader in baseball coaching victories, and Linker are still coaching.
Joining them in the class to be inducted next spring are former Goldsboro and Durham High basketball coach Dave Odom, official Jack Huss of Rutherfordton, girls’ basketball and volleyball coach Cindi Simmons of Sylva-Webster and football coach Sam Story of Burlington Williams.
Their inclusion will increase the hall to 156 honorees.
Guthrie has had a national impact on high school athletics. He was the first coach in the country to be nationally certified and has been on the national forefront in promoting coaching education. He was the National Federation Coach Educator of the Year in 2010.
Marsh began his basketball coaching career at W.H. Robinson High in Pitt County when schools in North Carolina were segregated. He had a 101-52 record at Robinson and later posted a 219-102 mark at Pitt County Conley. He was 158-81 at Havelock and 55-53 at West Johnston for a career mark of 533-288.
He went on to serve as an assistant principal, principal and deputy superintendent in the Johnston County school system. He is a member of the Johnston County Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame and received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.
The new inductees will be honored during special halftime ceremonies at Kenan Stadium on Oct. 26, when UNC takes on Boston College. The University of North Carolina has designated the day as the 29th annual NCHSAA Day. The new class will officially be inducted at the special Hall of Fame banquet next spring in Chapel Hill.
Odom began his coaching career at Goldsboro and Durham High, but later coached at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina.
Odom was an outstanding high school athlete at Goldsboro, where he was the quarterback, but no one has been inducted into the NCHSAA hall based on high school athletic achievements.
The NCHSAA, under then-executive director Charlie Adams, considered changing the policy and even began informally making lists of athletes who would be deserving, but decided the achievements of two, three or four seasons are not comparable to a lifetime of work in high school athletics.
The National Federation’s National High School Hall of Fame does include athletes, but most are inducted based on their post-high school achievements.