National Impact

State, national organizations recognize Jerry McGee

Former Edenton, Northeastern football coach died Sunday


Jerry McGee (seated) coached football and was an athletic director at John A. Holmes and Northeastern high schools during his career.


By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hours after the death of Jerry McGee, those who knew McGee from across the state of North Carolina and the nation offered their condolences.

McGee, 80, died Sunday.

In a news release sent to The Daily Advance Monday, Duke University’s athletics department said:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Jerry McGee’s passing. Without question, Jerry set the standard for exemplary service to amateur athletics on the national level, and his legacy will live forever. We are proud to recognize him as an alumnus, letterman and former member of our football coaching staff. Our deepest sympathies go out to Patsy, Mike and the entire McGee family.”

In a news release Monday, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association stated:

High School athletics in the state have lost another of the giants, as Gerald “Jerry” McGee, long-time Executive Director of the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) has passed away. McGee served as the Executive Director of the NCADA from 1991 until December 2015, serving as Executive Director Emiratis until his passing.

McGee began his work at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton where he served as the school’s Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. In 1966 he took a job as an assistant football coach at Kansas State and for five years spent time at Kansas State, Southern Illinois and East Carolina before returning to his alma mater Duke to work alongside his twin brother, Mike, who was then the Head Coach of the Blue Devils.

In 1981 McGee returned to northeastern North Carolina and the high school level when he took the job of Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City. He was appointed as Director of Athletics and Physical Education for Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School System and served in that role for 16 years.

During his time in Elizabeth City, McGee took on the role of Executive Director of the NCADA, where he made many of his greatest contributions to education-based athletics in the state and nation. In 2002, McGee had the vision to bring together leaders of athletic director groups across the country, forming the National Executive Directors Council (NEDC), which he led for more than a decade and is a thriving national organization.

Current NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said:

“Jerry McGee is one of the all-time greats in the education-based athletic landscape of North Carolina. He succeeded in everything he did--as a teacher, as a coach at the collegiate and high school levels, and as the Executive Director of the NC Athletic Directors Association, which is ultimately where I believe he made his greatest impact.

Jerry loved teaching young people, and he loved mentoring the leaders of the next generation. The NCHSAA and the NCADA are better organizations today because of his dedication and commitment to excellence, that has touched the lives of so many in our state and across the country.

Jerry was a great friend to the NCHSAA — serving on our board of directors and on too many committees to name. We loved Jerry and will miss his caring ways, his wisdom, and his energy.

Our thoughts go out to Jerry’s wife, Patsy, and we pray for the entire family as we mourn the loss of this giant of a man.”

McGee, earned his certified athletic administrator (CAA), served on the Boards of Directors for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and the NCHSAA for many years, developing a long and powerful friendship with the late Charlie Adams, long-time NCHSAA Executive Director. According to NCSHOF.org, Charlie Adams described Jerry McGee by saying, “I believe that Jerry has done more on behalf of high school athletics than anyone in the state of North Carolina. His influence and impact has been felt in so many ways.”

McGee has been awarded honors at the state and national level on numerous occasions, including induction into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), NIAAA, NCADA and NCHSAA Halls of Fame. He was awarded the highest civilian honor in the state of North Carolina, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

The North Carolina Athletic Directors Association said in a statement posted on its website Sunday night:

“We are sad to announce the passing of long-time leader of the NCADA, Executive Director, and friend, Jerry McGee. He was a great mentor and visionary leader to athletic administrators and coaches in North Carolina and nationally for more than 40 years. More importantly, he loved each of us like a father and always made us feel special. His legacy will live on through each of us who were led and inspired by him. Rejoice, there’s another servant leader, coach, and friend in heaven.

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to Patsy McGee, the McGee family, and his many friends around the world.”

According to the NCADA, McGee was named the executive director of the NCADA in 1991 and held that position until his retirement in December of 2015.

The Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association sent its condolences to the McGee family on a Twitter post Sunday night.

“The AIAAA sends it’s condolences to the family of NIAAA member and former North Carolina Executive Director Jerry McGee. He was an amazing leader and friend.”

The Maine Interscholastic Athlete Administrators Association also said via Twitter Sunday:

“The MIAAA sends its condolences to the family of former North Carolina Executive Director Jerry McGee, who passed away today. Jerry was a major leader in both his state and the NIAAA and will be missed.”

McGee served on the NIAAA board of directors during his career.

According to McGee’s obituary, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Elizabeth City’s Christ Episcopal Church.