Former Dudley Panthers football, basketball, baseball, golf, and track coach Willie Young, gone at age 81

Young, Willie Henry

June 2, 1940 – April 9, 2022

Mr. Willie Henry Young, 81, peacefully passed away on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on April 29, 2022, at Love and Faith Christian Fellowship, 4344 Blackberry Rd., with Pastor John Goins officiating. Visitation with the family will be from 1:30 to 2 p.m. on April 29 at Love and Faith Christian Fellowship Church. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery (Veterans Section), 3901 Forest Lawn Drive. Arrangements are under the direction of Hargett Funeral Service.

In 1940, Willie was born in Greensboro, NC to the late Willie and Ruth Young. He was a graduate of Dudley High School (class of 1958) and a graduate of Kentucky State College (class of 1962). He attended North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University, where he earned teaching certifications. Willie was an all-conference varsity football and baseball player at Kentucky State College, and a star football player at Dudley High earning a spot on the East-West team.

Willie served his country in the United States Army and had the opportunity to play football in Germany. He also played semi-pro football in Cincinnati. After this, Willie “Coach” Young began working for the state of North Carolina as a beloved physical education, drafting, and industrial arts teacher. He was a well-respected football, baseball, basketball, track, and golf coach during his 30-year career as an educator. His career went full circle when he returned to his alma mater–Dudley High School–to teach and coach. He spent over 20 years at Dudley, where he retired. As a coach, Willie led his teams to multiple winning seasons, and to conference and state championships in golf, basketball, track, and football. He earned distinctions as football and baseball Coach of the Year (1984, 1985, and 1986) and earned a coveted coaching spot in the Shrine Bowl. Willie was a charter member in the James B. Dudley High School Educational and Sports Hall of Fame/Hall of Distinction.

Willie dedicated his life to inspiring and encouraging young people in the classroom and in sports. Nothing made him prouder than to see students’ dreams come true. After retirement, he enjoyed traveling with his wife, who was serving in the Army Nurse Corps. Together they made beautiful memories and his favorite pastimes were golfing with friends, spending time with his family, and watching sports.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Irene Coleman and Josephine Young, and daughters, Tammie Young McCullough and Tracy Young Solla.

Survivors include his devoted wife of 35 years, Leslie N. Garrett-Young, who will cherish his memories with his two grandchildren, Amaris Solla and Tiana McCullough; stepchildren, Natalie Smith, Fred M. Pritchett, Jr. (Stacey), Mark Pritchett (Cynthia), Tammy Boone (Carlton), and Chris Pritchett (Yolanda), along with their children. Willie also leaves his loving siblings, Doris Hill, Dorothy Roberts, and Randolph Young (Jeanette), to cherish his memories, along with a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, golf buddies, former players, and friends.

As we prepare to lay him to rest, we are strengthened by Psalms 116:7: “Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Donations in Willie Young’s honor may be made to Love and Faith Christian Fellowship Church, 4344 Blackberry Rd., Greensboro, NC.