Dr. Jerry McGee 2012
Dr. Jerry McGee is a native of Rockingham and spent his youth in the textile village of Roberdell. He was an outstanding baseball player, but his major contributions to sports have been as a university president and one of the nation’s most respected college football officials.
During a career that spanned 36 years, Dr. McGee officiated in more than 400 games in the South Atlantic, Yankee, Big South, Big East and Atlantic Coast Conferences. Beginning in 1973 with a small college game attended by less than 1,000 fans and ending with the 2009 BCS Championship Game viewed by nearly 30 million, he was the epitome of consistency and fairness. He was selected for 24 postseason assignments, including the inaugural ACC Championship Game, two Army-Navy games, and 20 bowl games. Among the bowl games: Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, Peach, Holiday, and two each from the prestigious Rose Bowl, Gator and Citrus. Three times he worked games that determined the national title.
Dr. McGee represented all college football officials when he served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Officials and was recently honored by his fellow ACC officials with the Commissioner’s Award for outstanding service to football officiating. Says Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association: “I think of Dr. Jerry McGee as one of the finest officials ever in the history of our game.”
Dr. McGee has also been a strong advocate of collegiate athletics during his tenure as president of Wingate University. He has served 20 years on the President’s Council of the South Atlantic Conference, three as its chair. He also was a member of the prestigious NCAA President’s Council and a two-time chair of national football committees. “Dr. McGee’s work as chair of the NCAA Division II Task Force completely revolutionized preseason conditioning and practice for football participants, resulting in a better and safer experience for all NCAA football players,” says NCAA Vice President Mike Racy.
During his presidency, Wingate University has constructed eight major athletic facilities, added six varsity sports, and enjoyed unprecedented success on the field and in the classroom. Wingate has won the SAC Athletic Excellence Award five consecutive years and ranks third among 296 NCAA Division II institutions with 42 Academic All-Americans since 2000.
McGee has two sons, Ryan, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, and Sam, a practicing attorney in Charlotte, plus three grandchildren. He was married to Hannah Covington McGee for 33 years before her death in 1999 and married Marcella McInnis in 2009. He holds degrees from East Carolina, Appalachian State, and Nova University, and is the author of two books, The Sitting and Talking Place and Roberdell, A Village of Grace. He has been honored by ECU as a distinguished alumnus, received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for extraordinary service to North Carolina, and is a member of the Wingate University, South Atlantic Conference, and Union County Business Leaders Halls of Fame.