INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 1, 2017) – Longtime wrestling coach at Cary High School, Jerry Winterton, has been selected to join the 11-member class of the National Federation of State High School Association’s 2017 National High School Hall of Fame class.
Winterton compiled a 621-16 record, a 97.5% winning percentage, in his 30-year tenure as Head Wrestling Coach at Cary and East Wake. He led the Imps wrestling program to 11 NCHSAA state wrestling tournament titles and eight dual-team championships. His teams finished second in those two events another 13 times.
Known as Mr. Wrestling in North Carolina, Winterton coached 42 individual state champions and 30 All-Americans, and he registered 166 tournament victories – tops among all wrestling coaches in the United States. Winterton’s teams won 28 consecutive conference championships (1983-2010), and he was selected one of the top 100 coaches from all sports in the 100-year history of the NCHSAA. Winterton was selected North Carolina Wrestling Coach of the Year 10 times and National Coach of the Year twice, and he was named to the North Carolina Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.
Winterton is the seventh NFHS Hall of Fame honoree from North Carolina and will join the Hall at during the annual induction ceremony which is held at the NFHS Summer Meeting scheduled for Providence, Rhode Island this summer. He joins Bob Jamieson, Russell Blunt, Charlie Adams, Tim Stevens, Jerry McGee and Willie Bradshaw as one of the NCHSAA’s honorees.
Other inductees this year include four former high school athletes, including New York Yankees’ star Bobby Richardson of South Carolina and record-setting softball pitcher Lisa Fernandez of California, along with four other of the winningest coaches in high school history.
Other athletes who were chosen for this year’s class are Joe Dial, who set a national record in the pole vault in 1981 as a senior at Marlow (Oklahoma) High School; and Melissa (Missy) West, a three-sport standout (basketball, softball, soccer) at Franklin Academy in Malone, New York, who later played basketball at Duke University.
Russ Cozart, who has posted a remarkable 647-6 dual-meet record in 42 years as wrestling coach at Brandon (Florida) High School, is one of the other four coaches selected for the 2017 class. Other coaches who will be honored this year are Joe Lombard, girls basketball coach at Canyon (Texas) High School who ranks second nationally in career coaching victories; Steve Shondell, who won almost 1,200 matches and 21 state titles in 34 years as volleyball coach at Muncie (Indiana) Burris High School; Bernie Walter, who won 10 state titles in 36 years as baseball coach at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland.
The other two members of the 2017 class are Bill Laude, a football, basketball and baseball official from Frankfort, Illinois, and Rick Wulkow, who had significant contributions to high school sports during his 35 years with the Iowa High School Athletic Association.