More “Strong” votes coming in for ‘Doug Henderson Football Stadium’ at Western Guilford High School

Posted by Andy Durham on September 23, 2013 at 10:00 am under High School | 5 Comments to Read

from Art Schoolfield, former Western Guilford teacher and coach….

I taught and coached at Western Guilford from 1978 through 1988. I knew Joe Robinson well… he was a great teacher, mentor, and friend. That being said, I am appalled that anyone would suggest that the football stadium at Western Guilford be named for anyone other than Doug Henderson! In fact, if Joe were alive today, I truly believe that he would be the first in line to say the same thing!

Doug was instrumental in making Western Guilford a football power during the late 70?s and throughout the 80?s. He was instrumental in the building of the stadium at Western Guilford (that’s right… the community under Doug’s leadership built that stadium, not the county!). During his time at Western Guilford, Henderson saw his teams compile an overall record of 107-47-3 and His 1977 Western Guilford team won the NCHSAA state 3-A championship. In addition, he had two different streaks of 40-plus consecutive dual meet victories as a track and field coach on the paved track he was instrumental in building at a time when most schools were still running on cinder tracks. Henderson is a former president of the North Carolina Coaches Association and helped to start the North Carolina Football Coaches Association, serving as its executive secretary from 1988 through 2003. He also served as a head coach in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, the NCCA East-West all-star game and the old North-South all-star game. All of this resulted in Coach Henderson being named to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

As impressive as this all sounds, Doug Henderson would tell you that his greatest accomplishment was having a role instilling a sense of responsibility and pride in the multitude of young men who played for him. There was a reason why we always had over a 100 young men come out to play football at Western which, at that time, was a relatively small 3-A school… they knew that they would all be treated the same, regardless of ability; and that, if they stuck it out, Doug would find a place for them to play. It might be on a specialty team or in a certain situation, but they would play… they would contribute… they would be a part of something special. For many of these young men, it was the first time they were given responsibility and the first time they were held accountable. For the majority of them, these were lessons that would carry into their adult years.

So I hope Guilford County doesn’t make a huge mistake by discounting all of the accomplishments Doug Henderson has made on and off the football field at Western Guilford by naming the stadium for anyone other than him… I have no doubt that Joe Robinson would completely agree with me!

Sincerely,

Art Schoolfield

from former high school football official Charlie Hadley:

I am a retired FOOTBALL OFFICIAL of over 40 years and officiated many of Western Guilford games in my career. In doing so I had direct contact with Doug both on and off the field. At no time were we ever treated with more respect than during our relationship with a Western Guilford Football Game. Doug Henderson was directly responsible as this is what Doug stands for and leads by example and expects whomever works or plays for him to do likewise. He was a FATHER figure to those who were fortunate to play under his leadership. i was also in the sporting goods business for a while and witnessed former graduates dropping by the school to see Doug before they would even go to their own homes.

I remember a play during the Morehead game in Eden which would decide the CONFERENCE CHAMPION. Score was 7-0 in favor of Morehead. The play was an offsides call which I called on Western as the lineman stepped back across the free kick line to go across the field to set up a wall for the runner to follow down the opposite sideline. The play worked as the runner almost scored, The play was called back and THERE WAS COMPLETE SILENCE ON THE WESTERN GUILFORD SIDELINE. His teams were taught to overcome adversity and go to the next play, Western finally acored to tie 7-7 in regulation. The game would take 3 overtimes for Western to win 24-21. I believe this may be the State Championship year if not they went deep into the playoffs. Doug Henderson is in a league with only a few others that come to mind during this era. The ones that come to mind have STADIUMS named in their honor because they were legends at their respective schools. Claude Manzi, Smith High School, Bill Slayton, Southeast Guilford, C.K. Siler, Southern Guilford. Their accomplishments have been recognized by their respective communities for some time and I know there are others.

To Name the Western Guilford Football & Track Facility in HONOR and RECOGNITION of the contributions and sacrifices DOUG HENDERSON made during his career of teaching and preparing young people to become productive citizens in their adult life IS LONG OVERDUE.

Respectfully Submitted, Charlie Hadley


  • 77 Hornet said,

    Make sure to send comments to
    gcscomments@gcsnc.com
    before Wed.

  • M. Hughes said,

    My vote goes to Doug Henderson.

    He was the best football coach that Western Guilford ever had and might have been the best coach that the school had ever too. That is my opinion.

    Henderson reached a lot of young people with his football first message.He was all business but it was a good way of doing business and that created a winning atmosphere. He made winners out of young men that without his help they might have been running and walking the streets. It didn’t matter if it was the white man or the black man, Doug Henderson helped everybody that he could and he got the most out of his players.

    Doug Henderson took that team from nothing all the way to the State Championship.

    They need to name it the Doug Henderson Stadium.

    I will be there October 4.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Maybe they oould honor both men with the Joe Robinson Field at the Doug Henderson Stadium….

    Maybe that is a solution that we could look at……

    Off the subject just a bit, I do remember the Joe Robbie Stadium with the Dolphins, down in Miami….

  • Brian McCloskey said,

    I played for Coach Henderson in my soph year and his final season at Western my senior year. Coach stayed one year longer to be able to coach his youngest son in his last year. I sat out my junior year for personal reasons and I went first day of school to talk to coach and he taught me a valuable lesson about not quitting and told me that he wished I came out during summer session but he made a promise to those who were there. It is a life lesson I still remember today at the time I did not like it but today I’m grateful. I also was able to interview Coach Henderson for an article for the school paper our senior year and I got to see a side of him I did not before. I cherished that day and interview with him. He was a great coach and life leader of many men who respect his efforts today as we pass on to our children. Now is that not worthy to honor the man who built that program and stadium. Joe Robinson was a great man as well and I know he would gladly step aside on this one.

  • Carla Parrish said,

    I never played football but I was lucky enough to have attended Western Guilford during the Times of both Joe Robinson and Doug Henderson. I have to agree that Mr Robinson (as I always will remember him) would have gladly stepped aside to honor a well-deserving man like Doug Henderson. He was never just a great coach, he was a great man, a great role model, a great teacher, and a great example of what we all should strive to be. Joe Robinson was an amazing teacher and an integral part of our school. I have to think that there is another way that he too could be honored…but the stadium is and always has been Coach Henderson’s territory. I’m grateful that I was there to see both of these men in action and that I was part of a school where there is debate over honoring 2 men who made the school great. Most schools today will never see men anywhere near the caliber of Robinson or Henderson.