Wingate President Dr. Jerry McGee to Join N.C. Sports Hall of Fame

RALEIGH, N.C.-- Wingate University president Dr. Jerry McGee is one of eight new members in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to Dr. McGee, the new members include Wilt Browning, Wray Carlton, M.L. Carr, Sam Esposito, Kristi Overton Johnson, Lennie Rosenbluth and Henry Trevathan.

McGee and his N.C. Sports Hall of Fame classmates will be enshrined Thursday, May 10 at the 49th annual induction banquet. The evening event will be held in the main ballroom of the North Raleigh Hilton. An afternoon news conference will be held Wednesday, May 9 (4 p.m.) at the North Carolina Museum of History, home of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

"Sports officials and administrators neither seek nor expect such recognition," Dr. McGee says. "Sports have played a major role in my life. It's humbling to realize that others value my contributions."

"On behalf of Wingate's athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes, I offer our congratulations and our enthusiastic support for Dr. McGee's induction to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame," Wingate vice-president and director of athletics Steve Poston says. "The successes the Bulldogs have achieved during his tenure are a direct result of his commitment to the young men and women who have passed through our gates."

Wingate has won the South Atlantic Conference's Echols Athletic Excellence Award five years in a row. Wingate is the first current SAC school to win five consecutive Echols Athletic Excellence Awards. Bulldog student-athletes are also making their mark in the classroom.

Wingate is number three among NCAA Division II Academic All-America® producing schools in the 2000's with 42 honorees during this millennium. Only Pittsburg State (Kan.) University and Truman State (Mo.) University have produced more Academic All-America® honorees during this time period. Wingate's 51 Academic All-America® honorees and 56 SAC Scholar-Athlete Award winners (both lifetime totals) are tops among all SAC schools.

As a college football referee, Dr. McGee has officiated 400 college games during the past 40 years. He was routinely selected for post-season assignments including the inaugural ACC Championship game, the Florida Citrus Bowl (twice), the Rose Bowl (twice), the Gator Bowl (twice), the Army/Navy game (twice), the Orange Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the Peach Bowl, the Snow Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Motor City Bowl, the Houston Bowl, the Las Vegas Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Golden Isle Bowl (three times) and the Holiday Bowl.

Dr. McGee was selected on three occasions to officiate games which determined the NCAA Division I national championship. Fittingly, his final on-the-field officiating duty was the 2009 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game between Oklahoma and Florida. In addition, Dr. McGee has served as a member of the NCAA President's Council and twice served as the national chairman of the Football Issues Committee for NCAA Division II.

Dr. McGee joined the Wingate family as the school's 13th president in 1992. In more than 35 years in higher education, he has secured well over $200 million in gifts and grants for scholarships, endowment and campus development. Under his visionary leadership, Wingate has been recognized as one of the best small liberal arts colleges in the South and the premier small private university in North Carolina. During his presidency, Wingate developed graduate programs, achieved University status, began a School of Pharmacy and doubled its enrollment.

In October, Dr. McGee was inducted into the Wingate University Sports Hall of Fame. Also, Dr. McGee is a member of the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame and the Union County Business Leaders Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor bestowed to N.C. citizens.
"Dr. McGee has facilitated dramatic growth in our athletic venues," Poston says. "During his tenure, we had added new football and softball stadiums. We have made significant renovations to our baseball and soccer complexes. This spring, we will add a new track to this list."

Poston believes Dr. McGee's influence reaches far beyond awards and facilities. "Dr. McGee's presence at our athletic events does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by the student-athletes who participate," Poston says. "He rarely misses a home event."

A native of Rockingham, Dr. McGee has two sons: Ryan, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a senior writer for ESPN the Magazine and Sam, a graduate of Wake Forest University and Yale Law School and a practicing attorney. He has three grandchildren - Tara, Hannah and Brooks McGee. He was married to Hannah Covington McGee for 33 years before her death in 1999; he married Marcella McInnis of High Point in 2009.

Dr. McGee received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University. He was a baseball student-athlete for the ECU Pirates. McGee was named a Distinguished Alumnus by East Carolina in 2008. He also holds a masters degree from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from Nova University. Prior to his time at Wingate, he served as a vice-president at Gardner-Webb University, Meredith College and Furman University.

The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1962. The permanent exhibit is located on the third floor of the North Carolina Museum of History on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. The exhibit features significant artifacts donated by the inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Banquet ticket information is available at www.ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling 919-845-3455.


- Courtesy Wingate Media Relations