CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released its “100 to Remember: Coaches” list and among those honored is Chapel Hill High’s own Sherry Norris.
Norris, who coaches women’s volleyball and basketball, has been coaching for more than 35 years, says she continues coaching because it’s still exciting for her and it gives her the opportunity to support women’s sports.
“It was my goal, because I was never able to play sports, was to be an advocate and give girls the same opportunity that boys had at the high school level,” Norris said.
Before Title IX, high schools were not required to give equal access to men’s and women’s athletics, and in Norris’ Bladenboro High School in Bladen County, this meant women’s sports fell through the cracks.
“There was basically a budget crunch and when they had that budget crisis, they cut girls’ sports at the high school that I ended up attending,” Norris said.
Norris added that the only athletic options available to women were cheerleading and being a marching band major.
In her time as a coach, Norris has led the Chapel Hill High Tigers to more than 500 wins in women’s basketball and more than 700 wins in volleyball, making her the high school coach with the most wins in North Carolina.
Norris, who also won the Toby Webb Coach of the Year award last year, says she attributes her winning record to setting a good example for her players to follow.
“One of the things that makes you a good coach is that you have to demonstrate certain qualities to your players and that’s a willingness to work hard, to be committed to the team,” Norris said. “I have done that over the years and by modeling that type of behavior, I really feel like my players commit to the program and the team that they’re on.”
The NCHSAA’s top “100 to Remember: Coaches” list is part of a series of lists the organization is releasing in honor of its 100th anniversary this year.