GREENSBORO – A former professional athlete and four people who coached high school teams are among 10 new members selected for the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2016.
The class was announced at noon today.
The pro athlete is former NFL player Delton Hall of Grimsley. The coaches named to the Hall are Tommy Grayson of Eastern Guilford, Darlene Joyner of Northwest Guilford, Sue Shinn of Andrews and Phil Weaver of Grimsley.
Also in the class are Melvin Fair, a standout wrestler at Andrews and A&T, and Bobby Long, a community leader who has been instrumental in the success of the Wyndham Championship.
Three other selections are members of the Legends Class, created in 2010 for posthumous induction. The first five classes included deceased inductees. The Legends for 2016 are football player Bobby Hedrick, tennis player Carlton Harris and golfer Bud Kivett.
This is the 12th class for the Hall, created in 2005, and it increases the membership to 133.
Melvin Fair was one of the best wrestlers to come out of Guilford County. In 1971, at Andrews High School, he won the state title at 145 pounds, compiling a 29-0 record. He also played football and ran track with the Red Raiders. He then spent four years on the wrestling team at N.C. A&T, winning three MEAC championships and being named team MVP twice. Fair moved into coaching at the middle school and high school levels and spent five years as head wrestling coach at Winston-Salem State. There his teams won four CIAA championships and he was named coach of the year four times. He also served several years as the athletics director at Dudley.
Grayson is best known as the head football coach at Eastern Guilford High School from 1976 through '91. His 1982 team went 12-1 and won the state 3-A Division II championship. The football field at Eastern bears his name. Grayson also coached wrestling and baseball. As an athlete, the Lexington native attended Guilford College and played football for two years, leading the Carolinas Conference in rushing and scoring in 1966. He played baseball for three seasons and was an NAIA All-America twice and also played basketball for the Quakers. Grayson was drafted in the third round by the Detroit Tigers in 1968 and played six seasons of minor-league baseball. This is the fourth Hall of Fame to which he has been named.
A standout track and football athlete, Hall played six seasons in the NFL. At Grimsley High, he set a state record of 46.41 in the 400-meter dash in 1983, one of the longest-standing records on the books. He played multiple positions in football and played in the 1983 Shrine Bowl. Hall started three years as a cornerback at Clemson, making All-ACC as a senior when he intercepted five passes. The Steelers drafted him in the second round in 1987. In his first NFL game, he made an interception and returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown. Hall played five seasons with the Steelers and one with San Diego, finishing his career with five interceptions.
Carlton Harris (Legends class)
Carlton Harris made a significant impact in his brief life. He won numerous singles and doubles juniors championships in tennis around the city and the state. At Greensboro Day School, he not only continued his excellent tennis but also played on a state championship basketball team. Harris continued his tennis career at Notre Dame and as a senior was team captain, played No. 1 singles and doubles and led the Irish to a 20-3 record. He became a teaching pro in Chicago and played on the Chicago Fyre of the World Team Tennis league, becoming a teammate and good friend of the great Billie Jean King. Known as a role model, a hard worker and always an upbeat person, he died of leukemia in 1983 at age 25.
Bobby Hedrick (Legends class)
Bobby Hedrick grew up in Sedalia and went to high school at Eastern Guilford, where he was a standout in football, coached by fellow inductee Tommy Grayson, and also basketball and track. He stayed close to home for college, going to Elon and becoming one of the best runners in college football. He led Coach Jerry Tolley’s Elon team to the 1980 NAIA championship, gaining 186 yards in the title game. He finished with 5,409 career yards, at the time second only to Pitt’s Tony Dorsett at any college level. As a senior, Hedrick was named the SAC-8 Player of the Year and the Outstanding Male Athlete in North Carolina. His jersey was retired at Eastern Guilford and at Elon. He died of cancer in November of 2015 at age 57.
Success followed Darlene Joyner wherever she went. As an athlete at Guilford College, she played basketball and volleyball and is a member of its Athletics Hall of Fame. She went on to become a standout coach in three sports at Northwest Guilford High School. Her softball team won a state championship in 1996. In volleyball her teams won 20 straight conference championships, including 16 in a row, and compiled a record of 500-101. In girls basketball her teams had a record of 281-99. Joyner guided the volleyball and basketball teams to the state finals this past year, finishing as runners-up in both. After 31 years wiith the Vikings, she has retired as a teacher and will no longer coach the volleyball team.
James A. "Bud" Kivett (Legends class)
James A. Kivett, better known to all as Bud, was a fine all-around athlete at High Point High School, playing football and baseball and ran track. He had a standout game in the 1941 Shrine Bowl. After serving in World War II, he took an interest in golf and became a standout amateur player. Kivett won numerous city golf championships and titles in many other tournaments. He played in the National Public Links Tournament four times. He was known for a favorite putter that he fashioned out of a large dog bone, fitting it with a shaft and grip. Kivett died of a heart attack at age 54 in 1976, but his name lives on in the Bud Kivett Memorial Golf Tournament every year.
Greensboro was on the verge of losing its PGA golf tournament, first played here in 1938, until Bobby Long stepped up. The retired insurance executive worked behind the scenes to save the tournament, now known as the Wyndham Championship, which was not on the PGA Tour schedule for 2007. For Long, it was a matter of bringing people together as a city and a region. As chairman of the Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation, Long devised a financial model that saved Greensboro’s spot on the PGA Tour, where it has thrived ever since. This kind of vision was nothing new for Long. He was a key fundraiser to build Greensboro’s downtown baseball stadium and a key figure in the development of the Elon University School of Law, located in Greensboro.
Variety was always the spice of life for Sue Shinn. In high school in Indiana she played volleyball, basketball and softball and in college at High Point she played volleyball, basketball and field hockey. After coaching for 11 years at Griffin Junior High, she served 21 years at Andrews in various capacities. Whether it was volleyball, basketball or track, her teams were always successful, winning numerous conference, regional and sectional titles. In 2001 her boys and girls track teams both won the state 3-A championships, and the girls repeated in 2002. To top it off, Shinn served as the Andrews athletics director from 1993 through 2000.
Phil Weaver made his mark as an athlete, coach, teacher, counselor and administrator. He played high school ball for the legendary Bob Jamieson at Grimsley and began coaching there after he attended Duke. Over a long career at Grimsley he coached boys and girls basketball and softball. His boys teams were state runners-up three times and the girls team once. His softball team won the state 4-A title in 1985. Weaver still serves as co-executive director of the N.C. Coaches Association and the executive director of the National Association of Coaches Association Directors. The gym floor at Grimsley carries his name.