Jerry McGee 2015
From his days as a high school football coach to his many years as a director of athletics programs at the local, state and national levels, Jerry McGee has devoted his life to improving athletic experiences for tens of thousands of high school student-athletes. McGee began his illustrious professional career at John Holmes High School in Edenton, where he was the school’s football coach and athletics director.
In 1966, McGee embarked on a new chapter in his life, that of an assistant college football coach. He began at Kansas State University and stints at Southern Illinois University and East Carolina University soon followed. In 1971, he returned to his alma mater, Duke University, as the Blue Devils’ defensive coordinator. It reconnected him, work-wise, with his twin brother, Mike, then the school’s head coach. Both also had played football at Duke.
Five years later, McGee returned to Elizabeth City, where he had graduated from high school, to become the football coach and athletics director at Northeastern High School. In 1981, he was appointed director of athletics and physical education for Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School System and served in that position for 16 years. During his tenure at Elizabeth City-Pasquotank, McGee added additional duties to his plate in a role as executive director of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) – a position in which he has served since 1991.
Perhaps McGee’s greatest contribution to athletics administration came in 2002 when he started the National Executive Directors Council (NEDC). As founder and chairman of the NEDC, McGee’s vision was to bring together leaders of athletics directors’ groups from across the country. The NEDC, through more than a decade of McGee’s leadership, has been transformed into a thriving national organization.
McGee, who’s earned his classification as a certified athletic administrator (CAA), served on the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) board of directors for many years, working closely with Charlie Adams, the longtime executive director with whom he developed a long-lasting relationship. “I believe that Jerry has done more on behalf of high school athletics than anyone in the state of North Carolina,” Adams has said. “His influence and impact has been felt in so many ways.”
McGee has received a myriad number of national and state honors, including induction into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), NIAAA, NCADA and NCHSAA halls of fame. He has also been a recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor.
He continues to reside in Elizabeth City with his wife, Patsy. They are the proud parents of four children plus their children’s spouses – Jerry Jr. (Alden), Michele (Mike), Patricia (Rey), and Chris (Celina) – in addition to 11 grandchildren.