CHAPEL HILL — As part of its centennial celebration, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association recently announced of its “100 To Remember: Coaches” – highlighting the top coaches in NCHSAA history – and five Durham coaches are on the list.
• Hillside’s Russell Blunt, who led the Hornets to 10 state titles on the track and guided the football team for several years;
• Ken Browning, who went 214-54-6 with Northern’s football team, wining 10 straight conference crowns and a state championship;
• Jordan’s Ann Harris. She led teams to six state championships, including four in a row (1983-‘86, 1989-’90) and established a record for the most wins in a season (37);
• Jim Maxwell, who was the founder and volunteer head coach of Jordan’s swimming and diving program (1974-2002), which won five state championships;
• Paul Sykes. His career record of 464-37 included state basketball titles for Durham High School in 1938, ’39, ’40, ’41, ’42, ’44 and ’46. His teams won 73 consecutive games between 1937 and 1940.
Nominations for the honor were made through the NCHSAA website, and a committee of administrators, coaches and journalists selected the list after they poured over NCHSAA records and archives dating back to the association’s founding in 1913.
Some might note the absence of Hillside grad and former coach Willie Bradshaw, who also was the Durham school district athletics director for more than a decade, but he was honored previously on the NCHSAA’s “100 to Remember: Administrators.”
A complete version of the lists, with longer biographies, is available at www.NCHSAA.org.