CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Toby Webb Coach of the Year Awards. The Toby Webb award recognizes two coaches annually, one male and one female. Sue Moon from North Henderson and John Gray from Durham Jordan have been selected as this year’s winners.
Since 2006, the Toby Webb Coach of the Year Award seeks to recognize and honor coaches who have had an impact on the lives of student-athletes, and students in general, by encouraging them to succeed, helping to develop self-confidence, ambition, a sound work ethic, and other skills necessary for success in the students’ later lives. Consideration is also taken for coaches with a record of encouraging student-athletes to be well-rounded and display excellence in the areas of scholarship, citizenship, and music among many others.
Each recipient of the Toby Webb Coach of the Year Award is recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting in Chapel Hill. They also receive a $2,000 cash award and a commemorative plaque.
SUE MOON – NORTH HENDERSON HIGH SCHOOL
Sue Moon has coached volleyball and women’s basketball for 30 years, the last 16 of them at North Henderson High School in Hendersonville. She has been recognized as an NCHSAA regional Coach of the Year and a recipient of the Homer Thompson Memorial “Eight Who Make A Difference”. She has coached as an assistant in the North Carolina East/West All-Star Game as well as served as a Head Coach for the Western NC Blue-White All-Star Gamaes and serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Volleyball Coaches Association. Coach Moon has helped organize the “Volley For A Cure” event over the last nine years, helping to raise money for the fight against cancer, helping raise more than $45,000 to help find a cure.
She has also helped raise the availability of recreational and club teams in the area by staring a local recreational league to open the game to younger students. She also built a club program called North Valley to allow volleyball players from the area to participate with both their school athletic programs while receiving high-quality, low-cost training and opportunites to participate in USA Volleyball tournaments during the off-season. She also helps with Special Olympics while getting her athletes to participate as volunteers at the local games as mentors for individual athletes.
Coach Moon has help raise the standard for student-athletes academically by creating the Scholar Athlete Cord for graduation, recognizing athletes with at least three varsity letters and a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.4 or higher. She’s also helped to develop student-athlete leadership skills by starting a leadership development program called “The Ultimate Teammate” that brings in school and community leaders to speak on specific leadership characteristics. Athletes then use skills learned in those discussions in their service projects throughout the school.
One of Coach Moon’s athletes, Megan Edwards said of Coach Moon, “She is the reason for the confidence I have today. She always takes the time to give me advice when I panic, lift me up when I’m upset, or set me straight when I’m not living up to my potential. She does this for everyone she knows. To say it simply, when I grow up, I want to be Sue Moon.”
JOHN GRAY – CHARLES E. JORDAN HIGH SCHOOL
John Gray has coached every season at Jordan High School for the last 50 years in the Cross Country and Track and Field Programs at the school. He helped found the Women’s Cross Country program at Jordan in 1978 and joined with other local coaches to start the Durham City County Cross Country Championships in 1979. The Women’s Championship of that event named the trophy in his honor.
A friend to fellow coaches, Coach Gray has helped mentor new coaches entering the school for many years, always happy to help younger coaches with advice on coaching or conditioning their teams. This past winter, Coach Gray was diagnosed with cancer, and up until the day of surgery, he was out at practice every day, working with the kids and giving advice to the coaches that would be working with his programs while he fights cancer.
He coached several teams to top three finishes in the state and one team state championship in track while helping push his athletes academically to achieve to their maximum potential, including his women’s Cross Country team this past year posting an unweighted GPA of 3.62. He has helped raise the profile of the sport of track within Durham and has used summer programs to help get more kids involved in the sport. Each summer he holds summer runs, welcoming anyone in the community to run and help improve their fitness level.
One of his student-athletes, Irene Zhang wrote about Coach Gray saying, “I knew Coach Gray would be down at the track with a smile on his face and fun day of running planned. For every cut you got in the woods, he had a Band-Aid in his pocket. For every misplaced hair tie, he had a bag of spares in his binder. Coach Gray is there for every moment no matter how fast you are, no matter how much talent you have.”
2006 – Hal Capps, Western Alamance & Carolyn Rogers, Perquimans
2007 – Patty Evers, East Bladen & Mickey Lineberger, South Point
2008 – Cindi Simmons, Smoky Mountain & Tom Evaul, Avery County
2009 – Vickie Peoples, Enloe & Norman Trzaskoma, R.J. Reynolds
2010 – Debra Philyaw, Jones & John Moon, Eastern Alamance
2011 – Zoe Bell, Ardrey Kell & Ray Horton, Pender
2012 – Sherry Norris, Chapel Hill & Terry Frazier, Roanoke Rapids
2013 – Sandra Martin, Providence & Eddie Rivers, Forest Hills
2014 – Wendy Gaines, Triton & Michael Gainey, Rocky Mount
2015 -Scott Braswell, Hoggard & Natalie Tribble, North Iredell
2016 – Darlene Joyner, Northwest Guilford & Johnny Sowell, Monroe