Phil Senter, longtime Jordan-Matthews High School football coach who led team to 14 playoff appearances, dies…He coached the Jets from 1977 to 1996…..CLICK HERE for a great photo of the coach who went to the NCHSAA football playoffs, 14 of 19 years with the Jordan Matthews Jets….
(Coach Senter was 76 years old.) CLICK HERE for the Coach Phil Senter photograph…The man always looked young, Forever Young….
Coach Senter one of the top high school coaches in the history of high school football in the state of North Carolina….He was just that good….He coached Robert Siler, one of the top backs, back in the day at Jordan Matthews High School…Robert went on to play college basketball at Wake Forest University, as a scholarship player for Wake…Last check, Robert Siler was still selling cars and trucks for Terry Labonte Chevrolet, in Greensboro….Siler was Coach Senter’s top back, back in the day, at Jordan Matthews High School….Jordan Matthews was highly successful with Phil Senter as their head football coach….Senter, again, was one of the best all time….
from Chapel Fowler with the Chatham News and Record….
Phil Senter, longtime Jordan-Matthews football coach who led team to 14 playof appearances, dies
He coached the JMHS Jets from 1977 to 1996
SILER CITY — Phil Senter, the vaunted Jordan-Matthews football coach who led the Jets to 14 consecutive playoff appearances in 19 years at the helm, died Tuesday morning.
His daughter, Wendy Copelan, confirmed the news in a Facebook post early Tuesday. She said Senter had been suffering from neuropathy, a result of chemotherapy to treat lymphoma, and was “a little unsteady” when he fell and broke his neck Monday night pulling a recycling bin in from the road.
Neurosurgeons arrived to treat him, but Copelan said the injuries from his fall were “too severe.”
“My daddy and my hero left us peacefully this morning,” Copelan wrote. “I am so angry that he fought lymphoma and won and this fall took him.”
“I am everything I am today because of this amazing man!” she continued. “Please pray for strength for us. We are rocked to the core. God, I need you!”
Senter, who retired from the school in 1996 after going 146-65-2, remained a beloved fixture in the community long after he stopped coaching.
P.J. Lowman, the former Jordan-Matthews men’s basketball coach who played four years of football for Senter at J-M, said the coach changed his life for the better — “and there’s hundreds of people just like me” who feel the same, he added.
“Honestly, I don’t even know where to start,” said Lowman, now coaching at Apex Friendship. “He’s a guy who held the coach title long after he coached. He was so active on Facebook. If I ever posted something about my teams, he was always there with a word of encouragement. He stayed our coach 25 years after he was gone.”
Obituary from the News and Record, in Greensboro, N.C.:
OCTOBER 24, 1943 – AUGUST 18, 2020 Phil Ellis Senter, age 76, of Siler City, died Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill.
Mr. Senter was born October 24,1943 the son of Alton and Maudie Holland Senter. He was a member of the First Wesleyan Church, a native of Harnett County, NC.
Phil was a graduate of Western Carolina University, and served as an educator for 46 years. He was a member of the 1962 State Champion Basketball team, Sanford Central High School. In 2003 the Jordan Matthews Football field was dedicated in his honor, and he was inducted in the Jordan Matthews Hall of Fame in 2007.
Phil loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He retired from Jordan Matthews High School and Chatham Charter as a teacher and coach. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Wilda (Estridge) Senter, two daughters: Wendy S. Copelan of Siler City, and Leslie S. James and husband Stephen of Siler City, and one son: Neal Senter, sister: Patsy Brooks and husband Charles of Sanford, grandchildren: Allison Hill and husband Quinton, Abbey, Kaitlin, Forrest, Landon, and Annabel, and son-in-law: Lee Copelan of Siler City.
Phil will lie in state Thursday, August 20, 2020 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Smith & Buckner Funeral Home. The funeral will be Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11 at Jordan Matthews Football Field, 910 E. Cardinal Street, Siler City with Rev Donald Southern and Rev. Eddie Mason officiating.
A private burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, N. Chatham Ave., Siler City. Memorials may be made to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center: DUMC 3624, Durham, NC 27710. Smith and Buckner will be assisting the Senter family. Online condolences may be made at www.pughfuneralhome.com. Smith and Buckner Funeral Home 230 North 2nd Ave., Siler City, NC 27344