This month's Hall Pass Newsletter includes a feature about our HOF Member of the Month, the legendary coach Bob Jamieson, a "Did You Know?" relating to the great tradition of high school athletics represented in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and some wise words about high school sports from new NCSHOF inductee Tim Stevens from his induction speech in July.
Bob Jamieson - August NCSHOF Member of the Month
By HELEN ROSS
During his 82 years on this earth, Bob Jamieson had an impact on literally generations of young men and women in the Greensboro, North Carolina, area.
He came to the Piedmont Triad from New Jersey as a teenager to attend Guilford College, where he was a four-sport letterman, and never left. He graduated in 1933 and moved across town to coach at what was then known as Greensboro Senior High School and now Grimsley.
Again, he never left. And Jamieson’s influence was felt on fathers and sons and mothers and daughters during his many years coaching football, basketball, swimming and golf. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
"He believed in the integrity of the youth he coached, and he was honest with them at all times,” the late Tony Simeon, a friend and rival at High Point Central High School, told the Greensboro News & Record when Jamieson died in 1993.
"I know parents felt their children were always in safe hands and well taken care of with him. I liked his philosophy of working with young people – good sportsmanship, clean living, using proper language, dressing properly. Do we have any coaches like that today?”
Jamieson also was a visionary for others in his profession, one of the architects of the North Carolina Coaches Association in 1948. The N.C. High School Coaches Clinic began the following year, funded by the East-West All-Star Games that were the brainchild of Jamieson and Smith Barrier, who was then the sports editor of the Greensboro newspaper.
The East-West football games, which endure today, are played at the stadium that was renamed in Jamieson’s honor upon his retirement in 1975. They cut it close in 1949, though -- Jamieson got the keys to the stadium from the contractor at 4 p.m. that day, hours before the inaugural kickoff.
Jamieson’s West team then went on to beat the East, coached by another NCSHOF member, Leon Brogden of Wilmington’s New Hanover High. Jamieson was the director of the games until 1986.
A charter member of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association, Jamieson was named the AD of the year in the state in 1973 and in the south a year later. He helped develop athletic training programs for high school athletes across the state, as well.
Jamieson guided Grimsley to at least a share of seven North Carolina High School Athletic Association state football championships and had an overall record of 240-125-15. As a basketball coach, he compiled a record of 618-217 and his teams won three state crowns. He also coached four state golf champions.
Jamieson’s legacy also extends to swimming, a sport he had to learn to coach. He began a boys swimming program at Grimsley in 1946 and a girls’ team in 1948, then was a founder of the Greensboro Swimming Association in 1955. He led teams from Greensboro to 14 AAU swimming titles.
Even after retirement he continued to coach the GSA girls’ team for eight more years. The pools at Grimsley and Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro came to fruition, at least in part, from Jamieson’s influence. He is a member of the N.C. Swimming Hall of Fame.
Jamieson was in the inaugural class of inductees to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1987. He also was elected to the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, the first person from North Carolina to join that group, and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame.
In addition, he was a charter member of the National High School Coaches Association, serving as chairman in 1970-71.
Bob Jamieson, a legendary high school coach and administrator who helped start the North Carolina Coaches Association, is not the only member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame to have made his or her mark in the high school ranks
In fact, Jamieson is one of 25 great high school coaches in the NCSHOF and another six in the Hall were legendary administrators in the high school ranks. The most recent inductee from among high school coaches is basketball coach Mac Morris, who had a great record at Greensboro Page and was in the class inducted in July of this year.
Wilmington’s Leon Brogden was the first from the high school ranks to join the Hall when he was inducted in 1970. A charter member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame – as is Jamieson—Brogden coached football, basketball and baseball and won state titles in three sports. His tenure included stints in Edenton, Wilson, and then at New Hanover High, where he perhaps is best known for coaching NCSHOF athletes Sonny Jurgensen and Roman Gabriel.
Lee Stone of Asheboro, a great football coach at Asheville Lee Edwards, Broughton and Asheboro, was next to join as a coach in 1977.
Current NCSHOF Board member George Whitfield (2005 inductee) did coach baseball at the college level but is best known for winning nearly 1,000 games at several high schools, including Richmond County.
Three former NCHSAA executive directors, including Hap Perry, Simon Terrell and Charlie Adams, are also members of the NCSHOF.
What a rich tradition of high school athletics in North Carolina is represented in the NCSHOF!
Tim Stevens, a member of the most recent induction class to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inducted in July, spent his entire professional career covering high school athletics as one of our state’s top sports media people, including writing about the achievements of many of those enshrined in the Hall as coaches or administrators.
This portion of his induction speech speaks to the importance of high school sports:
“…I think that I was fortunate to spend much of my career covering the most important level of athletic competition. The United States is the only nation that has athletics as a part of its high school co-curricular program. High school athletics exist for the players to have fun and to help develop citizens to function in a democracy.
“If you were hiring someone, you would want someone who can work alone, or in a group, who will sacrifice for the common good, who can handle success and defeat, who can follow instructions, who can play by the rules. These are the lessons of high school athletics.
“The lessons taught in high school athletics impact my life every day. They are tomorrow’s voters. When I wrote about high school athletics I got to say good things about people who often didn’t have nice things said about them.”
Well said, Tim—thank you!