CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCT) – Three North Carolina high school coaching legends from Eastern North Carolina will be inducted into the NC High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame as part of its 2023 class.
Current SouthWest Edgecombe High School girls basketball coach Sandra Langley will be joined by former Pantego High School and Roanoke High School coach Nolan Respess and former Farmville Central High School coach Mike Terrell. Also among the 2023 class are Boyce Deitz from Swain County, David Gentry from Murphy and Jimmy Teague from Reidsville. The Class of 2023 will honor two members posthumously, Richard Brenner from Winston-Salem and Spike Corbin from Wilmington.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Induction Banquet will occur on Saturday, August 19, at the Embassy Suites in Cary. Ticket information will be available later. The NCHSAA is planning a formal introduction luncheon and press conference for the inductees and their significant others at the NCHSAA Office in April.
Richard Brenner | Winston-Salem
Richard Brenner, originally from Philadelphia, PA, served as a television sports anchor for 34 years. He spent 21 years in the Triad, serving the local community in High Point and the surrounding area with Fox 8. Brenner was a highly decorated sportscaster, winning three Southeastern Regional Emmy Awards and a host of other awards including Virginia Sports Broadcaster of the Year for 1978. He was honored by NC Youth Soccer Association for outstanding soccer coverage in 1991 and inducted in the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
In the Triad, Brenner’s name was synonymous with coverage of Friday Night Football and other sports. He collected one Silver Circle and a National Iris Award from the National Association of TV Program Executives for local TV programming excellence, including his Friday Night Football highlight show. Despite his passing, his legacy lives on in a pair of scholarships, the Rich Brenner Athletic Scholarship which is awarded each year to a member of the UNCG Women’s Tennis Team, and the Rich Brenner Athletic Scholarship awarded by the Corrigan/Faircloth Chapter of the National Football Foundation each year for outstanding Community Leadership.
E.A. “Spike” Corbin | Wilmington
“Spike” Corbin was one of the pioneers of integration and a highly successful coach in the North Carolina High School Athletic Conference (NCHSAC) prior to the integration of Associations in the late 1960’s. Corbin served as a head football, basketball, and baseball coach at Williston Sr. High in Wilmington from 1948 until integration in 1968. His teams won NCHSAC State Championships in all three sports, collecting two football championships (1949 & 1955), two basketball titles (1955 & 1956), and three baseball championships (1955, 1963, & 1966).
Corbin was decorated as a baseball coach, earning the NC State Baseball Coach of the Year honor in 1965 and 1975. While serving as an Assistant Principal at Hoggard, he helped the school win their 1972 Baseball Championship. From 1975-1980, Corbin served as the Director of Health, PE, & Athletics for the New Hanover Board of Education. Legend has it that Spike Corbin is responsible for writing the fight song for Hoggard High School, and the school named their Athletic Complex “E.A. Corbin Field” in his honor.
Boyce Deitz | Bryson City
Boyce Deitz had a phenomenal career as a coach and athletic director at Swain County High School before serving his community in many different political aspects after retirement. Deitz served as Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for the Maroon Devils, compiling a 218-72-2 record in his football career. His record at Swain County alone was 201-58-1 including three 1A Football Championships and a 2A State Championship.
He was chosen as the 1979 Coach of the Year, and the football field at Swain County has been named in his honor. Deitz served as a member of the NCADA Board of Directors and has served as an officer in that organization for three years. In his civic career, Deitz was instrumental in the construction of the Western NC Regional Livestock Center. He has been inducted into the Jackson County and Swain County Athletic Halls of Fame.
David Gentry | Murphy
Simply put, David Gentry is the winningest coach in the history of the NCHSAA for the sport of football. Gentry has compiled a 426-195-3 record in 47 years of coaching, giving him more wins than any coach in the history of NCHSAA Football. His record at Murphy alone is impressive, earning a mark of 361-117-1, which is the most wins at a single school in NCHSAA Football history. Gentry’s teams won 9 State Championships and finished as runner-up an additional three times.
He has collected 18 conference championships in the highly competitive Smoky Mountain Conference, winning Conference Coach of the Year 18 times as well. Gentry was the 2017 Shrine Bowl Head Coach. He was selected as one of the NCHSAA’s 100 Coaches to Remember in the Centennial Celebration of the Association in 2013 and was inducted into the WNC Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. The football field at Murphy is named in his honor.
Sandra Langley | Pinetops
Sandra Langley is one of the longest-serving athletic directors and women’s basketball coaches in the state of North Carolina. Langley has served as a teacher and coach in Edgecombe County since 1974 and is still racking up wins in women’s basketball while serving as the athletic director at SouthWest Edgecombe. Langley is the winningest coach in women’s basketball in our state’s history, having earned more than 820 wins in her illustrious career, passing Harvey Reid (NC’s winningest Men’s Basketball Coach – 818 wins) for most wins in men’s or women’s basketball earlier this season.
Langley has been an outstanding athletic director as well. She earned her CAA Status from the NIAAA in 2009 and has served on the NCHSAA Board of Directors. In addition to her duties as coach and athletic director, Langley worked as the SouthWest Edgecombe advisor for Special Olympics from 1985 until 2003. She was also the Tarboro-Edgecombe County Special Olympics Meet Director from 1975 until 1981.
Nolan Respess | Williamston
Cecil “Nolan” Respess was an outstanding football, basketball, and baseball coach at some of the smallest schools in the NCHSAA’s history in eastern North Carolina. Respess began his coaching career in 1963 at Pantego High School, coaching Baseball and Men’s & Women’s Basketball at the small, rural school. He led the Baseball team to a state runner-up finish in 1965 and helped the school earn three conference titles in both men’s and women’s basketball. In 1966 he moved to Robersonville High as head Football and Baseball coach. Success followed him there, winning three baseball state championships and one football state title. In 1975, Respess jumped to Roanoke High, as head Football coach, winning the 1975 State Championship and coaching baseball at the school from 1975-1992.
Respess served as the Head Coach for the East in the East/West All-Star Football Game in 1978 and was an assistant coach in the North-South Football Game in 1972. He served as an athletic director for 30 years, retiring from that role in 1992. He was selected as a coach of the year 22 times and was the District 1 Athletic Director of the Year in 1988. In 2004, Roanoke High School named their football stadium in his honor.
Jimmy Teague | Reidsville
Jimmy Teague has jumped around to many NCHSAA Member Schools and even to the collegiate ranks, but one thing has been a common denominator at all his stops, winning. Teague started his coaching career in 1979 and just hung up his whistle in January of 2023 following another run to the State Championship Game in Football for his Reidsville Rams. Teague’s 1980’s football team at Pine Forest finished the regular season undefeated and was the only Pine Forest team to accomplish that feat in the last 33 years. He is responsible for the only conference championship in Garinger High School in the last 23 years in football, the 1990 Conference Championship that saw Teague selected as Conference Coach of the Year.
Perhaps Teague’s biggest impact has been at Reidsville, where he led the Rams to eight State Championships, numerous Conference Championships and was Conference Coach of the Year more than ten times. He has served Past President of the NC Football Coaches Association and been active with Fellowship of Christian Athletes as an Area Director for Rockingham and Caswell Counties. He finished his career with 374 wins and just 111 losses through a 36-year career.
Mike Terrell | Farmville
Mike Terrell served as a teacher and coach from 1965 through 2004, mostly in Pitt County Schools. Terrell was a head basketball coach at Hamlet High from 1969 through 1972, advancing to the State Championship three times and compiling a varsity record of 107-34. After moving from Hamlet to Farmville Central, Terrell served as an assistant Track and Football Coach from 1975-1980, helping the Jaguars to four conference championships from 1975-1979. He served as a varsity Volleyball Coach from 1981 through 1990, winning the conference in 1990. Terrell also served as a varsity Tennis Coach from 1981-1990 earning a conference title in 1981.
Terrell’s biggest contribution came in basketball, where he served as Farmville Central head coach from 1973 until 1993. His teams went 355-118 winning three state titles and finishing as a runner-up once. He then moved to C.E. Jordan where he was a head basketball coach from 1994 until 2001 where he posted a 144-54 record winning a conference title in 2000. During all of his coaching and teaching, Terrell still managed to serve his community, donating over 4000 hours of volunteer service at Vident Medical Center.