Thoughts and memories of former Western Guilford football coach continue to come in

It’s been about three years now, since former Western Guilford assistant football coach Bill Hollifield passed away from a heart attack, at around age 65, up in the North Carolina mountains not too far from Cherokee…

He was a tough one, but he was well thought of, as we received another comment on the ole’ Black Hornet line coach today and we get a comment or two on the old coach, every few months….

Here is the most recent one that came in today…..

I too was caught off guard by the unexpected and untimely death of one of the greatest mentors, gentlemen and souls I have ever had the previledge to meet and spend time with. I was scared to death of Coach Holifield before i ever stepped foot on the Western Guilford campus in 1977 – My father told me stories of this man from his days at Guilford College as an athlete – and how tough this man was so tough he “could eat nails” my dad told me…”he will make damn sure you toughen up if you get to play for him”…..oh my god i thought to myself what in the world will i do when i come face to face with this man – I will come to understand that this man expects you to conduct yourself with pride and class and to understand the meaning and value of self confidence and self discipline, teamwork, hard work pays and many life lessons that I would never have learned if not for Coach Holifield. I cherish the years i spent playing for and working with Bill Holifield. Rest In Peace and enjoy heaven – i hope to see you there someday.

Chip Smith
WGHS Class of 81


  1. Legend has it that when he attended Guilford College back in the 60’s, 5 guys cornered him and were calling him names out of his race. He was half Cherokee and very proud of it. Well word is he whooped all 5 single handedly! He was a captain and an “All American” on the football team at Guilford.

  2. bill was a tough one and he didnt mind seeing a little blood on the old wrestling mat -i had the misfortune of being his practice demonstrator during wrestling practice if you put up any fight it could be bad day for you if you made him look bad- one of the toughest guys i have ever seen next to my dad- i learned a lot from him -one thing was you didnt have to like him but you had to respect him

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