Chapel Hill’s Norris surpasses 500 basketball wins

ewarnock@newsobserver.comFebruary 10, 2013 

Chapel Hill Head Coach Sherry Norris reached 500 wins in girls basketball with a 57-37 decision at Southern Vance. She already had more than 700 wins as a volleyball coach.

JIM KENNY — newsobserver.com

After years of updating its roadside sign under the golden arches from “Over 1 billion served” to “2 billion” then 3 and 4, McDonald’s finally gave up and just said “Billions and Billions sold.”

Whatever plaque Chapel Hill High wants to erect some day to honor coach Sherry Norris, perhaps it should just read: “Hundreds and hundreds of game won.”

Norris recorded her 500th win in girls basketball Tuesday with a 57-37 victory at Southern Vance. Norris topped 700 victories in volleyball last October and became the sport’s all-time leader in wins in North Carolina.

Despite the 20-point margin Tuesday – and the fact that Chapel Hill was still undefeated in Carolina 3A conference play – Norris said in typical fashion: “We trailed by one at the half. It was a tough game for us.”

Getting to 500? Not so much.

“What it really says about me is that I have staying power,” Norris said.

“I honestly think this means more for my family: my sons John and Jason and my husband Ronny. They’ve made a lot of sacrifices over the years to let me be able to continue coaching.”

Norris improved her record to 502-374 with two more wins, a 101-27 victory Wednesday at Northern Vance, which set a team record for points scored in a game and another against Oxford Webb, 79-23, on Friday night.

“It is an outstanding accomplishment, but not just for me,” Norris said. “When I look back at all the years I’ve been at Chapel Hill High School, it’s really about the great athletes and all the assistants over the years who have been so loyal and have worked so hard to help this program accomplish what it has.”

Sandy Rasnake has worked with Norris for 20 years, serving as coach of Chapel Hill’s undefeated junior varsity team.

“He’s done an outstanding job all these 20 years, especially at getting the younger girls ready to move up to the varsity,” Norris said of Rasnake.

Chapel Hill’s assistants are relative newcomers. John French, who doubles as football coach at Smith Middle School, is in his second year working with the Tigers’ front court players. Chapel Hill alumna Jurica Hargrave, who earned all-state honors in 2007 under Norris before playing at High Point University, works with the guards and teaches shooting.

Norris coached the volleyball teams to N.C. High School Athletic Association state championships in 1994 and 2003, and the girls’ basketball team to a state championship in 1981. In 35 years of coaching, Norris has a 710-248 record in volleyball.

The NCHSAA named Norris as its 2012 Toby Webb Coach of the Year honor, recognizing her as the state’s top coach in girls’ high school sports.

Norris trails Sandra Langley of Southwest Edgecombe who had at least 689 victories as of press time, making her the winningest active girls’ basketball coach among NCHSAA programs. Tom Pryor, who coached most of his career at Edneyville, is the all-time leader with 702 wins.

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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