Paul B. Gay named one of top 100 coaches
Legendary Sanford Central coach and teacher Paul B. Gay is one of 100 great coaches in the state's high school athletic history, so said the North Carolina High School Athletic Association on Wednesday as it announced "100 to Remember: Coaches" as part of the celebration of the NCHSAA's centennial in 2013.
Gay, who's a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame (class of 1996), East Carolina University Hall of Fame (1997) and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (1998), led Sanford Central High School, now Lee County, for 25 seasons, including five state championship or co-championship seasons.
Chatham Central coach Ronald Scott, who coached Bear baseball for 36 years, and current Pinecrest volleyball coach Barbara Foxx, who surpassed 650 career wins last season with the Lady Patriots, were also recognized in the 100.
A special committee, including school administrators and coaches from across the state as well as sports media, put together the list in a series of meetings. Many people made nominations for the lists on the NCHSAA web site, with nominees going back to the NCHSAA founding in 1913. Association records and archives were also consulted, as well as members of the committee offering names for discussion.
“Coming up with a list of ‘100 To Remember’ was a tremendous challenge,” said Davis Whitfield, commissioner of the NCHSAA. “So many individuals have participated, coached or been involved with the rich history and tradition of the first 100 years of the NCHSAA. This group of distinguished individuals not only served their schools, school systems and communities in an exceptional fashion, but our Association as well.”
Gay was an all-state and all-North State Conference halfback for East Carolina while also playing baseball, basketball and golf.
After jobs in Lancaster, S.C and Raleigh's Broughton High, Gay came to Sanford Central in 1960. He was a biology and physical education teacher along with a coach and athletic director.
Sanford Central won four state co-championships (or Eastern Region state championships), including going 13-0 in 1968 for its third straight Eastern crown. Gay led Sanford Central to the 1973 state championship and was the AP's state Coach of the Year that season. Sanford Central won eight conference championships under Gay. His career record was 177-75-12.
Scott totaled 520 wins, 11 conference championships and the 1976 state championship coaching Chatham Central on the diamond. He also coached basketball, cross country and football and was athletic director. He's a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.
Foxx has coached at Pinecrest for more than 35 years and is one of the top three winningest volleyball coaches in NCHSAA history.