Four named to WNC Sports Hall of Fame
The 2019 class of the WNC Sports Hall of Fame includes a trio of high-school coaching legends in three different sports and a football standout who made his mark in high school and college in this area.
Former East Henderson High and Western Carolina football player Tiger Greene, long-time Enka coach Susan DeWeese, basketball coach Tom Pryor and football coach Carroll Wright will be inducted into the Hall at the 58th WNC Sports Awards Banquet presented by Ingles on May 19 at Omni Grove Park Inn.
The Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the 12 board members of the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club, which has been conducting the banquet since 1959.
In addition to the Hall of Fame ceremony presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman, the banquet will honor more than 100 local high-school athletes and teams and present scholarships from the John and Darlene McNabb Charitable Foundation.
A prominent volunteer will receive the MOOG/Gene Ochsenreiter Award for Lifetime Achievement and an athlete will be presented the Pamfilis/Roden Special Olympics Award, along with a $1,500 grant for their chapter.
Tickets for the banquet are $30 and can be purchased here. The banquet begins at 4 p.m.
Finalists for the more than 40 high-school awards and scholarships for excellence in athletics and academics will be announced in April.
"This is a wonderful honor that means so much to me, and I'm proud to be going in with such an esteemed class," said DeWeese. "I'm excited to be included with all the members of this great Hall."
Created in 1978, the WNC Sports Hall of Fame will grow to 90 members with the inclusion of the Class of 2019.
DeWeese coached basketball and volleyball for 30 years at Enka High. She posted a 491-196 (.716) record in three decades as volleyball coach for the Sugar Jets and compiled a 217-210 (.508) mark in 17 seasons with the basketball program. Including an 18-4 mark as a softball coach and nearly 200 wins as an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach, her teams at Enka won more than 900 games.
She has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and is a member of the halls of fame at Reynolds High and Enka.
Greene was a standout multi-sport athlete at East Henderson and was a two-time All-American defensive back at Western Carolina, where he was a four-year starter from 1981-84. A two-time all-Southern Conference selection, Greene had 16 interceptions with the Catamounts and set a school record with 42 pass break-ups.
After helping lead WCU to the 1983 NCAA Division IAA national title game, he played seven seasons in the NFL with Green Bay and Atlanta.
Pryor, who died in 2010, was the state's all-time leader in coaching wins as a high-school girls basketball coach when he retired in 2001. He posted a 702-244 record in 43 seasons, including 594 victories at Edneyville (now North Henderson), where he started his coaching career in 1957.
Pryor, who also coached at Polk County and Asheville School, reached the 1A state title game twice and his program at Edneyville once won 56 straight games.
Wright posted a 232-108-8 (.696) in 31 years as a high-school football coach at Brevard, Pisgah, Swain, West Henderson and Hartsville, S.C. His teams won 13 conference titles and never had a losing season, and he directed four squads to unbeaten regular seasons. Wright, who played quarterback at Swain and Tennessee Tech, ranks fourth on WNC's career list of coaching wins. In a 20-year stretch from 1974-93, Wright compiled a 160-54 (.747) mark at Brevard (1974-79), West Henderson (1981-'87) and Pisgah (1988-93).
"Coach Wright is part of the fabric in the history of high-school football around here," said Pisgah coach Brett Chappell. "He had some great programs at several different schools and won a lot of games. "Seems like everywhere he went - and he coached at some of the top football schools around - he always added to their great traditions."