January 30, 2019 (RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame is excited to announce recent updates to five displays. These new cases and graphics reflect the rich diversity of North Carolina’s sports history; topics include Michael Jordan, the Carolina Hurricanes, North Carolina Women in Sports, North Carolinians in Olympic Sports, and Football. All displays and artifacts reside in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame permanent exhibit, located on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
With hundreds of high school programs, dozens of collegiate programs for men and women, and one professional NBA team, North Carolina shows plenty of love for hoops. But perhaps best known is Jordan.
The new graphic display highlights Jordan’s illustrious career, from his collegiate days at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill to his more than 1,000 regular season games during his NBA career (resulting in winning the NBA’s MVP award five times).
The Carolina Hurricanes
The National Hockey League first arrived in North Carolina in 1997 when the Hartford Whalers relocated to the state and became the Carolina Hurricanes. Canadian Rod Brind’Amour joined the ’Canes two years later, and helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 2006. After retiring, he became part of the team’s coaching staff in 2011; he was promoted to head coach in 2018.
Brind’Amour’s Carolina Hurricanes uniform is featured in this case. He played 1,484 regular season games during his 20-year NHL career.
North Carolina Women in Sports
While many North Carolina high schools were offering girls’ basketball as early as the 1920s and ’30s, that was not the case everywhere. In 1972, Congress passed educational legislation that included Title IX, which prohibited, in part, discrimination against girls and women in athletics. New opportunities allowed women to compete on a wider scale and affected athletes including:
- Andrea Stinson is a three-time all-American at NC State and one of the top 50 female athletes in ACC history. Stinson was also a three-time WNBA all-star and the sixth all-time leading scorer in league history. Her artifacts in this case are a bobblehead doll and her Charlotte Sting uniform.
- Charlotte Smith is currently the women's basketball head coach at Elon University. Smith is best known for hitting a shot in 1994’s NCAA national championship game, carrying the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill to a win over Louisiana Tech. In the same game, she tied the NCAA tournament record for rebounds, at 23. Her North Carolina–Chapel Hill jersey is featured in the display case.
- Chasity Melvin’s career at NC State included scoring more than 2,000 career points and grabbing more than 2,000 rebounds. Melvin was recently named an assistant coach for the Greensboro Swarm (G League team of the Charlotte Hornets) — one of few women to coach men’s professional basketball. Her jersey from her time with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics is featured in the display case.
- Kristi Overton Johnson dominated the women’s slalom in waterskiing for 15 years, accumulating 80 pro victories and capturing more number 1 world rankings than any other female skier in the sport’s history. The case features her Racing Bib from the 2007 WaterSki World Championships, and her medal from a 1987 tournament.
- Karen Shelton earned her 600th victory as head coach at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill on October 15, 2015; Carolina’s new field hockey stadium, opened in 2018, is named in her honor. In addition, she represented the US in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic games and is in the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame. The display case features a Commemorative field-hockey stick from her 2009 UNC–CH championship win.
North Carolinians in Olympic Sports
The first North Carolinian to compete in the Olympic Games was Harry Williamson, a track and field athlete from High Point who had attended the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Having broken numerous records in half-mile and mile runs, he qualified to race in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Since then, many men and women have competed. Our updated case features:
- Carla Overbeck captained the 1996 US Olympic team that won a gold medal in women’s soccer. A soccer ball, signed by her 1999 USA Women’s World Cup team, is featured in the display case.
- Stephanie Wheeler played on the gold medal–winning US women’s wheelchair basketball team at the 2007 Paralympic Games and later served as coach of the US Paralympic National Team. The case includes her jersey from the 2010 World Championship.
- Sue Walsh earned the ACC swimmer-of-the-year title three times as a standout at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill before competing on the 1980 US Olympic swim team. One of her lapel pins is featured in the display case.
- Marty Sheets has earned more than 250 medals—primarily in golf, power lifting, swimming, tennis, and skiing—including seven at the Special Olympics World Games. The display case includes several of his medals from 1968–1999.
- Steve Rerych won more individual ACC titles than any other swimmer in conference history at NC State, then won a pair of gold medals for the US swim team in the 1968 Summer Olympics. One of his medals from the 1968 Summer Olympics is included in the display case.
- George Williams built a nationally known track and field program at Saint Augustine’s University while coaching more than 40 Olympians, including three gold medalists, and serving as assistant coach of the US men’s track and field team in the 1996 US Olympic Games and as coach of the 2004 Olympic team. His cap is featured in this display case.
While ACC schools receive a lot of attention in North Carolina, East Carolina University and Appalachian State University (App State) also boast successful football programs. In fact, App State, in one of the great upsets in sports history, traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play in the September 1, 2007, season opener for both teams. App State’s Mountaineers beat the Michigan Wolverines, 34–32, sending shock waves through all of college football.
- Jerry Moore guided the Mountaineers to three consecutive national championships and seven appearances in the national semifinals during his time as head football coach, 1989 to 2012, at App State. One of his commemorative footballs appears in the display case.
- Gerald Austin officiated for 25 years in the NFL, including 18 as a referee—and three Super Bowls. His penalty flag is featured in the display case.
- Ricky Proehl set school records in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns at Wake Forest University before winning two Super Bowl rings, with the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. A jersey from his Carolina Panthers uniform appears in the display case.
- Don McCauley led the nation in rushing yards during his 1970 season as running back at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill before playing 11 seasons with the Baltimore Colts. His cleat worn while playing with the Baltimore Colts is featured in the display case.
- Rich McGeorge completed a successful football career at Elon College before being taken by the Green Bay Packers as a first-round pick in the 1970 NFL draft. His certificate is included in the display case.
Learn more about these and other North Carolina athletes as you tour the Sports Hall of Fame. The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (NCSHOF), with 351 members, was established in 1963 and is located at the North Carolina Museum of History.
For information about the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-814-7000 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.
About the NC Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate
The NC Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 400,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.