Jack Holley to be inducted into NC Sports Hall of Fame

NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Over a 46-year career on the sidelines, Jack Holley won more high school football games as a head coach than any other coach in North Carolina history.

This week, he'll be honored for his accomplishments with his induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame will get even bigger.

His teams at Wallace-Rose Hill, South Columbus, Tabor City, Hallsboro, West Columbus and Harrells Christian Academy won 412 games, lost only 96 and had nine games end in a tie. And his teams made five state championship appearances, winning in 2008 as coach at Harrells in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association.

It was a career that has earned him a spot in North Carolina coaching history.

"His overall coaching, during his career, was phenomenal and put him in a class where most people will never get to," Bobby Guthrie of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame. "One thing that we look at is very few coaches will probably end up going 30 or 40 years because it is just not happening, where we used to see it happening now which Coach Holley has done."

Holley graduated from New Hanover High School in 1957 where he had played on four championship teams in three different sports which included football, basketball and baseball and was a teammate of a current member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and former NFL quarterback Roman Gabriel.

Holley was also an outstanding athlete at Guilford College, where he is in the school's hall of fame.

Holley won numerous awards over the years before retiring in 2011. He died two years later. His daughter says her father always had a special bond with his athletes.

"I think it says a lot about the lives he impacted while he was here, his boys, the players, and I should include girls in there too since he coached some girls in golf when we first came to Wallace-Rose Hill, but just the athletes he coached, how he changed their lives and they changed him too," said Jemma Holley.

The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1963, received 42 nominations this year, but only 15 earned the honor of joining the 336 six men and women who have been previously enshrined in the Hall.

The Hall is located in Raleigh in the North Carolina Museum of History, and when you visit, be sure to look for that floppy orange hat, the hat that was worn many years by a North Carolina coaching legend.

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