The man who rewrote the record book, literally, for North Carolina high schools is among the seven people who have been selected for induction in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame next spring.
NCHSAA associate commissioner Rick Strunk will be joined in the hall by: University of North Carolina and NCHSAA fund-raiser Moyer Smith of Chapel Hill; the late football coach Jack Holley of Teachey; former Cary wrestling coach Jerry Winterton; coach and administrator Ralph Holloway of Morehead City; the late coach and administrator Joe Miller of Wilmington; and football coach Chris Norman of Shelby.
The group is the Hall’s 28th annual class and pushes its total membership to 163. A special NCHSAA committee selects the inductees from nominations.
Strunk has been involved with high school athletics and the media for almost 40 years. As for the N.C. high school record book, there wasn’t one until 1989, when Strunk helped in a process that traced the history of North Carolina high school athletics to its origins in 1913. Potential record performances were pursued from all over the state and were verified.
He was so good at it that he served on the national high school record book committee for eight years.
Strunk played basketball at Newton-Conover High School before attending the University of North Carolina on a Morehead and a National Merit Scholarship. He was sports editor of the daily Observer-News-Enterprise in Newton, sports director of WNNC Radio there and also did eight years of radio and television broadcasting.
Strunk served at Lenoir-Rhyne College and at Furman University as sports information director and won 16 national awards for excellence in publications. He joined the NCHSAA staff in 1986, and has helped initiate such programs as the NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete, its Hall of Fame and an intern program. He has designed, written and edited many NCHSAA publications and serves as its media liaison.
Smith was head football coach at Lexington and Albemarle before becoming an assistant at Florida State and North Carolina. He was later president of the UNC Educational Foundation, the school’s athletic boosters group. After his retirement from UNC, he helped raise more than $500,000 for special NCHSAA initiatives.
A standout athlete at Lexington High School, Smith played in the Shrine Bowl before going to the University of North Carolina, where he played football and ran track.
After retiring from UNC, he was inducted into the Davidson County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and was the first Lifetime Achievement Award winner given by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors.
Holley built a 412-96-9 football record in 46 years at Tabor City, Wallace-Rose Hill, Hallsboro, West Columbus, South Columbus and Harrells Christian Academy. His win total is among the national top 10.
Winterton’s teams won 95 percent of their dual meets, a mark unmatched by any wrestling coach in the country with at least 350 wins. His 621-16 overall record is among the top 20 in the nation in career victories. His Imps won 28 consecutive conference championships and had 138 consecutive victories.
Holloway is a member of the Palmetto (S.C.) High School Hall of Fame as an athlete, the Burlington Cummings High Hall as a coach and the N.C. Athletic Directors Hall of Fame. He also was principal at East Carteret.
Miller was head football coach at New Hanover for 20 years and built a 186-56-1 record. He later was an innovative athletics director for New Hanover Schools. He is a member of the N.C. Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame and the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame.
Norman’s Shelby teams had a 147-39-1 record in football and won three NCHSAA championships.