Hall of Fame Members

The inaugural class of the WNC Sports Hall of Fame, inducted May 7, 1978 at Great Smokies Hilton as part of the 20th annual WNC Sports Awards Banquet (from left) Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Mrs. Pat Werth, in honor of her late husband Freddy Crawford, HOF president George Chumbley, Jr., Tony Waldrop and Dan Hill. Class member Billy Joe Patton not in photo.

The inaugural class of the WNC Sports Hall of Fame, inducted May 7, 1978 at Great Smokies Hilton as part of the 20th annual WNC Sports Awards Banquet (from left) Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Mrs. Pat Werth, in honor of her late husband Freddy Crawford, HOF president George Chumbley, Jr., Tony Waldrop and Dan Hill. Class member Billy Joe Patton not in photo.

1978 Inductees

Fred Crawford

1933 Consensus All-America tackle/end at Duke
Waynesville native first from N.C. to earn such honor
College Football Hall of Fame member, 1973

Dan Hill Jr.

Asheville native center/linebacker at Duke, 1936-38
Earned All-America honors as co-captain of 1938 “Iron Dukes”
College Football Hall of Fame member, 1962

Four members of the 1978 original 11-person board of directors for the WNC Hall  (from left) president George Chumbley Jr., Gene Ochsenreiter Jr., treasurer Stan Cocke and vice-president Dr. Wayne Montgomery.     

Four members of the 1978 original 11-person board of directors for the WNC Hall  (from left) president George Chumbley Jr., Gene Ochsenreiter Jr., treasurer Stan Cocke and vice-president Dr. Wayne Montgomery.     

Charlie “Choo Choo “ Justice

Heisman Trophy runner-up at North Carolina, 1948-49
Ex-Asheville High tailback set UNC total offense record (1946-49) that stood 45 years
Former Washington Redskin first WNC Hall inductee

Billy Joe Patton

Tied for 1954 Masters back-nine lead, finished third
Morganton golfer enjoyed outstanding amateur career
Wake Forest Hall of Fame

Tony Waldrop

Set world indoor mile record in 1974
All-America runner at North Carolina
Columbus native won two NCAA titles, Pan Am gold

1979 Inductees

Forrest (Smoky) Burgess

Batted .295 for five major league teams, 1949-67
Retired as all-time leader in pinch-hits
Rutherford County native five-time All-Star catcher

John Brooks Dendy

3-time Negro National Open golf champion in 1930s
Captured 52 tournaments before retiring in 1940
Asheville native began career as caddy at Asheville CC

Bill Milner

Waynesville native starred at Duke in 1940s
First team All-America in 1943, second team in ‘46
Played for NFL’s Bears and Giants, 1947-50

Brad Shaver

Accomplished mountain climber
Lost in descent from Himalayan peak Mount Dunagiri, 1978
Founded groundbreaking outfitter Mountaineering South

1980 Inductees

Al Dowtin

Golf standout who shot record 63 at Biltmore Forest CC, 61 at Asheville CC
Buncombe County native basketball All-America at Wake Forest, 1926-27
Former minor-league shortstop in WFU Hall of Fame as administrator

Eliza Coxe Jackson

First female inductee in WNC Hall
Excelled in golf and tennis
Member of N.C. Tennis Hall of Fame

Fred Worthy

Buncombe County native starred in 1940s football, baseball
Member of Shaw University Hall of Fame for gridiron exploits
Shortstop for Asheville Blues in post-war Negro minor leagues

1981 Inductees

Claude “Hoot” Gibson

All-ACC cornerback, kick returner at N.C. State, 1957-60
Former Lee Edwards High star drafted by AFL’s Chargers
Led AFL in interceptions (’62), punt returns (’63-64 Raiders)

Henry Logan

Guard scored 3,290 points (30.7 pg) at Western Carolina (1964-68)
Broke ground in college after starring at segregated Stephens-Lee High
Played two seasons in ABA before suffering knee injury

Mary Montgomery

AAU All-America swimmer, 1975
Sixth in 400-meter individual medley in 1972 Munich Olympics
Asheville native had standout post-Olympic career at Florida State

1982 Inductees

Gil Coan

Center fielder played 11 seasons in major leagues, 1946-56
Brevard residents spent eight years with Washington Senators, batting .303 in ‘51
1945 Minor League Player of the Year with Chattanooga

O.K. Smathers

Captured World Archery Championship in 1957
Asheville native was 11-time Southeastern champion
Appeared on “I’ve Got a Secret,”  CBS-TV game show

Edward W. “Eddie” Sutton

All-ACC halfback/defensive back at North Carolina, 1954-56
Sylva native played three seasons for NFL’s Redskins, Giants
Morehead Scholar earned medical degree at University of Tennessee

1983 Inductees

C.L. Moore

Coached post-war Stephens-Lee High in football, basketball
Owner, manager of Asheville Blues of Negro League minors
Star athlete at Shaw University

Ralph James

Three-sport star at Wake Forest in 1920s
Attended Asheville High, returned to coach Charlie Justice
Also guided football programs at High Point, Western Carolina

German “Nazi” Miller

Member of N.C. Softball Hall of Fame
Compiled fast-pitch mound record of 441-82
All-regional selection three times

1984 Inductees

Dick Covington

Nine-Time City of Asheville Open singles champion
Member of U.S. Junior Davis Cup team at Wimbledon
N.C. Tennis Hall of Fame for career spanning 1920s-‘90s

Joe Justice

All-American baseball, football player at Rollins, 1936-40
Coached alma mater to second place in 1954 College World Series
Brother of hall’s first inductee, Charlie Justice

Norment Quarles

Registered 71 wins (27 knockouts) as boxer/attorney, 1934-41
Hendersonville welterweight also fought for UNC
Co-managed by legendary heavyweight Jack Dempsey

1985 Inductee

Tommy Burleson

Center, 7-4, for N.C. State’s 1974 national champions
Avery County native was ACC Tournament MVP, 1973-74
Member of 1972 U.S. Olympic Silver Medal basketball team
NBA '74-'81 Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta

1986 Inductees

Lee Farmer

NAIA All-America tailback/tight end at Lenoir-Rhyne, 1959/60
Bears (11-0-1) won NAIA football title his senior year (1960)
L-R compiled 37-4-2 record uring his four-year career

June Lingerfelt

Little All-America end in 1924, first in Rollins history
All-state in football, basketball, baseball at Asheville High
Charter member of Rolllins’ hall of fame

Cliff Melton

Left-hander was 20-9 in rookie year (1937) with NY Giants
Only WNC native chosen for All-Star Game (1942) until 2013
Finished 86-80 in eight seasons, all with Giants

C.C. Poindexter

“Father of Western Carolina University Athletics”
Coached football at WCC (1931-35); Bethel & Canton H.S.
Four-year letterman in three sports at UNC

1987 Inductees

Carlton E. Weatherby

All-State football player at Duke, 1929
Compiled 213-51 record at Waynesville High
Won 443 games as girls basketball coach

John Lanning

Won 58 games with 3.58 ERA in 11 NL seasons
Right-hander for Braves, Pirates (1936-47)
Asheville native 3-sport star at N.C. State

Dick Fayssoux

A legendary figure in Christ School athletics
Won 723 games in three major sports (1920-66)
Continued as athletic director after retiring as coach

1988 Inductees

James “Nemo” Coleman

Captain of 1919 UNC football team (4-3-1)
Coached football at defunct Bingham Academy
Also guided Asheville School program

Jim Gudger

Won 311 games in 19 seasons as WCU basketball coach
Guided Catamounts to 1963 NAIA national title game
Broke ground with recruitment of hall member Henry Logan

Cap Isbill

Three-sport letterman at East Tennessee State
Guided Lee Edwards High football from 1951-62
Won 574 games during three-sport coaching career

Gene Ochsenreiter

Founder of WNC Sports Hall of Fame
Captained Maryland Terrapins basketball, 1941
Excelled at half-mile run, later in golf

Sam Patton

Founder of Blue-White All-Star Basketball Games (Boys & Girls)
Founded Hominy Valley youth sports programs as American Enka AD
Asheville Tourists MVP as right fielder in 1946 after starring at WCU

1989 Inductees

Bob Colvin

Coached Robbinsville to 11 state 1-A football titles (1969-83)
Compiled 20-season record of 177-52-2 with Black Knights
Inducted into North Carolina State Hall in 2014

Ronald Rogers

Western Carolina’s first NAIA basketball All-America (1951-53)
Finished with 1,960 career points from 1949-53
First Catamount basketball player to have number retired

Bob Waters

Winningest football coach in WCU history (116 from 1969-88)
His 1983 team advanced to NCAA Division I-AA title game
Former Presbyterian College, S.F. 49ers quarterback

1990 Inductees

Boyd Allen

Coached Canton, Pisgah to three state football titles
Finished with 133-31-3 record at those high schools
Died following 1969 game versus rival Tuscola

Herb Coman

Historic figure as three-sport player/coach, administrator, official
First AD at Asheville-Biltmore College (now UNC Asheville)
Star athlete at Lee Edwards, then South Carolina

J.C. Hyatt

Buncombe County golfer won 80 tournaments
Held 11 course records at one point
Captured Beaver Lake Invitational 10 times

1991 Inductees

Gene Hamilton

Tennis standout at Asheville Country Day
Played No. 1 singles at UNC
Won 9 N.C. singles/doubles titles

Mickey Marvin

Talented offensive guard for Raiders, 1977-87
Started in Oakland/LA Super Bowl XV, XVIII wins
Standout career at Tennessee, West Henderson

Loyd King

Averaged 17.1 points in three seasons at Virginia Tech
Captain senior year, entered VT hall in 1998
Standout career at Erwin High

1992 Inductee

Nancy Merki Boland

Set 4 world marks, including 1500 freestyle by 0:17 (1941)
Finished eighth in 400 freestyle at 1948 London Olympics
Overcame polio to break three U.S. freestyle records (1939)

1993 Inductees

Mary Emma Manley

Excelled as senior women’s amateur
Captured N.C. Golf Association title, 1974-75

Don Dalton

Three-year starter as WCU quarterback, 1967-69
Guided Cats to first top 10 NAIA ranking (1969; 9-1)
Led nation in passing as senior (2,626 yards)

1994 Inductees

Chuck Hines

Coached three aquatic sports at highest levels
Guided athletes in water polo, kayaking, swimming
Member of U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame

Banjo Matthews

NASCAR pioneer as driver, owner, engine designer
Helped build 72% of top-division winners, 1974-85
Dominated McCormick Field track, 1956-58

1995 Inductees

Dave Anderson

Finished 1,125-175 for Canton fast-pitch team
Hurled 12 no-hitters as Champion Paper ace
Member of N.C. Softball Hall of Fame

Ralph “Jug” Wilson

Legendary football coach at Glen Alpine, Freedom
Career record of 262-102-10 included four state titles
Little All-America center at Catawba

1996 Inductee

Bill Rucker

WNC girls basketball coach, guided Owen to 90 straight wins in 1960s
Concluded career at Enka with 638-252 overall record, won state title in 1978

1997 Inductees

Brad Daugherty

All-America 7-0 center at North Carolina
No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland in 1986 NBA Draft
Ex-Owen Warhorse 5-time all-star in 9-year career

Joe Paul Eblen

Dean of Athletic Officials in WNC
Oversaw 5,500+ games in three major sports for 50 years
First referee chosen for NCHSAA Hall of Fame

1998 Inductees

Buster Brown

Nationally ranked tennis player at all levels
1994 U.S. 40s Indoor singles champion
Opened Asheville Racquet Club in 1974

Charles “Babe” Howell

Guided Sylva-Webster to two-sport glory (1965-87)
Won 301 games, five state titles in football
Collected 628 baseball wins, two state crowns

1999 Inductees

Jack Ingram

Short-track wizard finished with 340 wins
Elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013
Successful stock car owner, builder

Ann Brandis

Top player, promoter of amateur golf
19-time Country Club of Asheville champion
Won two State Senior Women’s Association titles

2000 Inductees

Earl and Mary-Low Acuff

World class senior racquetball players
Inducted together into National Masters HOF, 1996
Each captured U.S. Open titles in two age divisions

Dave Bristol

Managed Reds, Brewers, Braves, Giants
Andrews resident won 657 games from 1966-80
Helped build foundation for Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine

2001 Inductee

Bob Clark

Renowned amateur golfer with 100+ titles
First amateur to capture WNC Open (1996)
Career spanned four decades

2002 Inductee

Heath Shuler

Tennessee quarterback third pick in 1994 NFL Draft
1993 Heisman Trophy runner-up
Parade All-America at Swain County

2003 Inductees

Joe Hunt

Guided Hendersonville to state football titles, 1967-68
Coach of Sylva-Webster’s first state champions, 1963
Finished with 205-83-8 career record

David Carey

Tennis standout has defied age barriers
World 85s champion in singles, twice in doubles (1999-2000)
Born to English parents in Malaysia; Rhodes Scholar

2004 Inductees

Bruce Peterson

Successful football coach at Asheville High (1974-83)
Four-sport standout at Lee Edwards
Captained football, basketball, tennis at WCU

Billy Wells

Four-time all-conference basketball player at Lenoir-Rhyne
Coached Bears to 166 wins, two NAIA Tournaments (1957-65)
Compiled 225-26 record as coach at St. Stephens High

2005 Inductees

Boyce Deitz

Won five state championships at Swain County
Finished with career record of 218-73-1
Outstanding left guard for Sylva-Webster in mid-1960s

Sam Gash

Fullback for Super Bowl champion Ravens (2000)
Started two Pro Bowls; played for Patriots, Bills
Starred at Hendersonville High, Penn State

2006 Inductees

Lawson Duncan

Clay-court tennis specialist rose to No. 48 in world (1985)
Advanced to quarterfinals of 1989 French Open
Asheville native NCAA finalist for Clemson (1985)

Amy Pless Fleming

Four-year All-America swimmer at North Carolina
Won 1980 Willis Casey Award as state’s top female athlete
Inaugural member of Carolina Day School HOF

2007 Inductee

Gerald D. Austin

Referee for Super Bowls XXXI (1997), XXXV (2001)
NFL official 1982-89, referee 1990-2007
Graduate of Erwin High, Western Carolina

2008 Inductee

Ray Roberts

First-team All-America offensive tackle at Virginia (1991)
Chosen 10th overall by Seahawks in 1992 NFL Draft
Captained Lions (’96-2001) to conclude 10-year career

2009 Inductee

Lou Fogle

Coached Asheville High, Dorman (S.C.), finished with 213 wins
South Carolina Coach of the Year, 1981, ‘88
Four-year starting receiver at Clemson; All-ACC as senior (1963)

2010 Inductee

Brad Johnson

Won Super Bowl XXXVII (2003) as Buccaneers’ quarterback
15-year career (166 TD passes); also led Vikings, Redskins, Cowboys
Football, basketball four-year star at Owen, Florida State

2014 Inductee

Eddie Biedenbach

Coached UNC Asheville to 256 wins, 3 NCAA Tournaments (1996-2013)
All-Time Big South Conference leader in victories (158)
N.C. State’s Player of the Decade (1960s) as point guard

2015 Inductee

Roy Williams

Coached University of Kansas Men's Basketball Team from 1988 - 2003
Current coach of UNC Chapel Hill Men's Basketball Team
Over 700 career wins with seven final four appearances


Jerry Moore

Coached Appalachain State Football Team from 1989 - 2012
Posted 215-87 (.711) record at ASU
Won 10 Southern Conference Titles and three FCS national titles (2005-07)

Connie Rogers-Newcome

Basketball player scored more than 3,000 points at Erwin High and N.C. State
Parade All-American in 1978
Averaged 18.9 points and 12 rebounds a game


david Gentry

WNC's all-time coaching leader in high school football wins (381 through the 2016 season)
Won seven 1-A titles at Murphy High (986, ‘87, ‘91, ‘96, 2011, ‘13, ‘16)

Carolyn and Ron Mckee

Worked in management of Asheville Tourists for 26 years (1980-2005)
Built WNC's most successful pro sports franchise
Both are members of South Atlantic League Hall of Fame

2018 Inductees

      Bobby Poss

                             Won five state 4A titles as a football coach, including two at Reynolds
                             Posted a 241-89-1 record in 28 seasons

       Cindi Simmons

                            Coached basketball and volleyball for 25 seasons at Sylva-Webster and Smoky Moumtain High
                             Won three state titles in volleyball, and basketball state title in 2007

        Jan Stanley

                           Coached volleyball at West Henderson for 35 years
                           Won five state titles and finished with 699-115 record