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Sad News - HOF Jerry Steele Passes Away

By Andy Durham, 07/12/21, 8:15AM EDT

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They just don’t make ’em like this man any more....

Heard the news for the first time tonight, on the FOX 8 News Sports Sunday with Danny Harnden, and the news was not good, it was sad, but it was also news that brings on a lot of fond memories…

They just don’t make ’em like this man any more…He was tough, and it was like he was mountain-tough, or country-tough…He used to live right up the road from where I lived as a kid, and he and his family were almost like royalty in the old Guilford College community…

Coach Jerry Steele, the former men’s basketball coach for the Guilford College Quakers, and for the High Point College Purple Panthers…Jerry Steele also served as the assistant coach to Bones McKinney, with the old Carolina Cougars of the ABA/American Basketball Association….Coach Steele became the head coach of the Carolina Cougars after Bones McKinney stepped down…

Coach Steele played for Coach Bones McKinney at Wake Forest University….Jerry Steele was there at Wake Forest, along with Jack Jensen, who would later join Jerry Steele on the coaching staff at Guilford College, and Coach Jensen would take over as the Guilford College head coach, after Coach Steele left Guilford for the Carolina Cougars….

Thinking Jerry Steele’s high school basketball background led him to Wake Forest from up around Elkin or Mount Airy..

Jerry Steele played his college basketball at Wake Forest, then he went on to become the head men’s basketball coach at Guilford College, and then he left Guilford College to coach for the Carolina Cougars, and after his 2-3 year stint with the Cougars, he became the head coach for the men at High Point College…

At Guilford College, Jerry Steele coached Bob Kauffman, Bert Feik, Bo Whitaker, Pat Morarity, Tom Ennis, Jerry Crocker, David Smith, early days of M.L. Carr, and many more great ones…Several of the those above named players could have played ACC basketball, but Jerry Steele talked them into playing for the Guilford College Quakers…

At High Point Colllege, Coach Steele coached Pearlee Shaw(Northeast Guilford HS), Ray (Western Guilford HS), Brett Speight(his dad Jim, was the baseball coach at High Point College), Mike Everett(Western Guilford HS), and I know he heavily recruited Ralph Kitley from down in Rowan County…Ralph ended up at Coach Steele’s alma mater Wake Forest…He also coach a young Orlando “Tubby” Smith(Kentucky), at High Point College…..Lots of great ones at Guilford College and at High Point College, and he did a good job with the Carolina Cougars…

He was a tough man and coach, but he was a personable coach too….He was well-respected by all that knew him…

Here is what former High Point College basketball player, and former Page High School assistant coach Brett Speight is saying about Coach Steele, over on Facebook…
One of the most influential people in my life passed away last night. Words can’t express how much he meant to me over the years. He has been in my life since I was 5 years old when my Dad took the baseball coaching job at High Point College. He helped me become a better basketball player, but more importantly, a better person. RIP Coach Jerry Steele……..your memory will definitely live on forever!!!

Jerry Steele was inducted into the NCSHOF in 2002.