NC Sports Hall of Fame is honored to announce its 2021 induction class. The new members, listed alphabetically, are Debbie Antonelli, Mack Brown, Dennis Craddock, Dr. Charles Kernodle, Mac Morris(Page High School basketball coach), Trot Nixon, Julius Peppers, Bobby Purcell, Judy Rose, Tim Stevens and Donnell Woolford. They will be enshrined during the 57th annual Induction Banquet on the evening of Friday, July 23, 2021 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
June 30, 2021 (RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame has selected 11 outstanding North Carolina sports figures for induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
The inductees will be enshrined at the 57th annual induction ceremony at the Raleigh Convention Center on Friday, July 23, at 7 p.m. Two of the inductees will be inducted posthumously.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, currently with 363 members, was established in 1963 and is located at the N.C. Museum of History.
A brief biography of each inductee follows. The 2021 induction class, listed alphabetically, includes Debbie Antonelli, Mack Brown, Dennis Craddock, Dr. Charles Kernodle Jr., Mac Morris, Trot Nixon, Julius Peppers, Bobby Purcell, Judy Rose, Tim Stevens and Donnell Woolford. Inductees being inducted posthumously are indicated by an asterisk below:
Debbie Antonelli – With more than three decades as a full-time broadcaster for ESPN, Antonelli is one of the best-known female college and professional women’s basketball television analysts in America today. An Emmy Award winner and Gracie Award winner for broadcasting, she is also known for her on-air commentary for men’s basketball, and in 2017, Antonelli became the first woman in 22 years to be a color analyst during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Mack Brown – After recently completing his 12th season as head football coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brown has compiled a record of 253-121-1 (.664) in his tenure as a head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. His 253 career victories rank 10th on the all-time list and are the most among active coaches. A two-time national coach of the year (2005 and 2008), Brown is 14-9 in post-season bowl games, with his 2005 Texas team winning the national championship with a 41-38 win over USC.
Dennis Craddock* – One of the most successful coaches in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Craddock coached the men’s and women’s cross-country and track-and-field teams at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 27 years, winning 45 conference championships, more than any coach in any sport in the history of the league. He was named ACC Coach of the Year 31 times, and 25 of his athletes won 38 NCAA titles, while 19 of his stars competed in the Olympics, winning five gold and two bronze medals.
Dr. Charles Kernodle Jr.* – Kernodle had been the Burlington Williams High School football team doctor for more than 60 years. He had lived in Burlington since 1949 and had missed only a few home or away games during that time. The football field at Williams High was named in his honor on his 90th birthday in 2007. In addition to his duties at Williams, he also helped with the football and basketball teams at Elon University.
Mac Morris – A member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame and the co-executive director of the North Carolina Coaches Association, Morris served as the head basketball coach at Greensboro’s Page High School for 25 years and compiled a 456-151 (.751) record that included state 4-A titles in 1979, 1983 and 1990. Both his 1983 and his 1990 teams were undefeated at 26-0 and 31-0, respectively. The 1983 team ranked second nationally by USA Today, and he was named the AP Coach of the Year.
Trot Nixon – A two-sport star at New Hanover High in Wilmington, Nixon became a standout baseball player with the Boston Red Sox. As a high school senior, he was named the North Carolina player of the year in both football and baseball and was named Baseball America’s national player of the year. A right fielder, Nixon hit .274 in a 12-year major-league career with 137 home runs and 555 RBIs. In 42 post-season games, Nixon hit .283 with six home runs and 25 RBIs.
Julius Peppers – One of the most celebrated players in pro football history, Peppers finished his 17-year career with 724 tackles, including 159.5 sacks – the fourth-best mark in NFL history. His 266 games played are a record for a defensive lineman, and his 13 blocked kicks are the second most ever in the NFL, as are his 51 forced fumbles. At the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, he led the nation in sacks in 2000 with 15. A unanimous All-America in 2001, he also won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player and the Lombardi Award as the best collegiate lineman.
Bobby Purcell – A former longtime executive director of the Wolfpack Club and now a special assistant to the athletic director, Purcell has served in several capacities since joining the N.C. State University athletics department staff in 1981. He served as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator under Monte Kiffin, Tom Reed, and Dick Sheridan. At the Wolfpack Club, he oversaw the construction of the Murphy Football Center and Vaughn Towers, as well as the funding of nearly 300 student-athlete scholarships annually.
Judy Rose – The former director of athletics for 28 years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Rose became the third female to serve as the athletic director of an NCAA Division I program when she accepted the position in 1990. In 1999-2000, she became the first female to serve on the prestigious NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. Chief among her accomplishments with the university was the overall growth of the 49ers athletics department, culminating with the unveiling of the school’s football program in 2013.
Tim Stevens – One of six North Carolinians in the National High School Hall of Fame, Stevens built a national reputation for his reporting of high school athletics. He covered high school sports for the Raleigh Times and the Raleigh News & Observer for 48 years, winning numerous national awards. Named as one of the top 10 sports reporters in the country by the AP Sports Editors, Stevens is a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame, and its media award is named in his honor.
Donnell Woolford – A three-sport star at Fayetteville’s Douglas Byrd High School, Woolford graduated from Clemson University, where he earned All-ACC and All-American honors twice. A first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1989 and a Pro Bowl honoree in 1993, Woolford started every game from 1989 to 1996 and ranks third in Bears history with 32 career interceptions. A graduate assistant coach at Clemson in 2016, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2005.
Note: Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues was selected as a member of the 2021 class of inductees but is unable to attend. Current NCSHOF Guidelines require in-person attendance for induction.
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1963, celebrates extraordinary athletic achievement and leadership. The Hall commemorates and memorializes exceptional accomplishments in sports for the inspiration and enjoyment of all North Carolinians, especially youth, through popular exhibits and educational displays. A collection of memorabilia from many of the nearly 400 Hall of Fame members is showcased in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the North Carolina Museum of History. For more information, visit ncshof.org.