Francis, Bryant to be inducted into NC Hall of Fame
Posted May 1, 2013
Updated May 2, 2013
Eleven North Carolina sports figures will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Thursday evening at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The 2013 Hall of Fame class includes Kelvin Bryant, Ron Francis, Wade Garrett, Bill Guthridge, Tommy Helms, Marion Kirby, Rich McGeorge, Hugh Morton, Bob Quincy, Marty Sheets and Mildred Southern.
"I'm proud to be the first representative of hockey to be introduced into the North Carolina Hall of Fame and the way the Carolina Hurricanes have cemented themselves in the sports culture of this community," former Hurricane Ron Francis said Wednesday.
This year’s ‘Great Moments in NC Sports History’ will recognize and honor the hiring of Everett Case as the head basketball coach at NC State University and the 1974 NC State University basketball team. Both Case’s career and the 1974 classic game will be highlighted during the induction ceremony.
On Wednesday the Hall received the Naismith Legacy Award, named after Dr. James A. Naismith, the founding father of basketball. The award recognizes the Hall’s ongoing efforts to further the game’s values of honor, respect and integrity.
2013 NC Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Kelvin Bryant, a Tarboro native and top all-time running back at UNC-Chapel Hill, was named the United States Football League Player of the Year in 1983 and MVP in the championship game. Bryant also played for the Washington Redskins.
- The first ever NC inductee to come from the sport of hockey, Ron Francis, remains the greatest player in Carolina Hurricanes franchise history. Over 23 NHL seasons Francis played in four NHL All-Star games, ranks fourth in NHL history in points and has won the Lady Byng Trophy three times, the Selke Trophy once and the King Clancy Trophy once (2002). Francis won the Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh but spent 16 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Hartford/Carolina franchise. The franchise officially retired Francis’ No. 10 jersey on Jan. 28, 2006, and on Nov. 12, 2007, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Francis currently serves as Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Guilford County native and premier fast-pitch softball pitcher Wade Garrett pitched for 20 years for Champion Paper of Canton and recorded 358 victories and had only 83 losses. He was a member of the All-State or All-South team 15 times, was all-region 10 times, appeared in 10 world tournaments and was also chosen all-world. He is a member of the N.C. Softball Hall of Fame. He also played in the 1951 East -West All-Star Basketball Game.
- Bill Guthridge, Dean Smith’s first lieutenant for 30 years and successor as the head coach of the Tar Heels. Guthridge was named National Coach of the Year in 1998, after leading UNC-Chapel Hill into the Final Four.
- Charlotte native Tommy Helms was an integral part of Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” of the 1960s and 1970s, manning the second-base position on a team that included Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez. Helms was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1966 and was a member of the National League All-Star team in 1967 and 1968. Helms won Gold Gloves in 1970 and 1971. He had a career batting average of .269 and wound up managing the Reds in parts of two seasons as the successor to Rose.
- A 1964 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College Marion Kirby played on a national championship football team. Since Kirby has established himself as one of North Carolina’s top high school coaches. After a year as a graduate assistant at East Carolina, he became the head football coach in Edenton High School, where he posted a mark of 59-14-3 and won three conference titles. Kirby then moved to Page High School, taking the Pirates to the playoffs 16 times and winning 12 league titles. They won state 4-A championships in 1980, 1983, 1984 and 1985 and were runners-up in 1982. Kirby’s career record stands at 278-65-8. He was selected to build Greensboro College’s football program from scratch, and he later became athletic director at Guilford College. He is a member of the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame, and he served for many years as secretary-treasurer of the N.C. Coaches Association.
- A 1971 graduate of Elon College (now Elon University), Rich McGeorge was a first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, for whom he starred as a tight end for nine seasons. He played both football and basketball at Elon, and at one time he held the national NAIA record for catches, 224, and total yards, 3,486. He also led the Elon basketball team in scoring in 1969 with an average of 16.8, and he was an all-conference selection for the 22-8 Christians his senior season. When he graduated, McGeorge held Elon’s career field goal percentage record at 59.8 percent and was the team’s leading rebounder with 688 boards. He served as an assistant football coach at both Duke University and the University of Florida prior to spending seven years on the staff of Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins. He is a member of the Elon Sports Hall of Fame, the NAIA Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
- The late Hugh Morton was a many-faceted man who turned Grandfather Mountain into one of the state’s treasures. As a fierce defender of nature, he was one of North Carolina’s most staunch conservationists. Morton was also a world-class photographer, which placed him squarely into the state’s sports realm. His collection of photographs includes perhaps one of the most extensive sports collections in the nation, and it documents the men and women who have close ties to both the ACC and the Southern Conference. Morton served as a board member and past president of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
- A member of the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame, Bob Quincy also was a five-time Sports Writer of the Year in North Carolina. He began his newspaper career at the Rocky Mount Telegram and later became sports editor of the Charlotte News. He spent time as sports information director at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1962 until 1966, before returning to Charlotte to work in radio and television. Quincy was hired as sports columnist for the Charlotte Observer in 1971 and remained on that staff until his death in 1984. The Bob Quincy Memorial Scholarship is offered by his alma mater’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Quincy authored two books, including one on Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice.
- Marty Sheets is one of the most highly decorated special athletes in the world. He holds 250 Special Olympic medals in an array of sports at local, state, national and world levels. Sheets has won gold, silver or bronze medals in swimming, skiing, tennis and power lifting at the world competition level, and golf at the 2007 national level. He and the late singer John Denver were chosen to lead the United States delegation into the World Games opening ceremonies in 1987. A number of state and community awards have been conferred upon Sheets, including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
- Mildred F. Southern is the matriarch of tennis in the South, particularly in North Carolina. The Winston-Salem native has served North Carolina and Southern tennis as well as the United States Tennis Association in a range of capacities, from association president to referee, to ranking committees and as a competitor who has been at the top of her game in various age groups for years.