Eight more outstanding individuals in the annals of state prep athletics were recently selected for induction into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
The late Norvell T. Lee of Goldsboro was inducted into the hall of fame along with Barbara Foxx, Donald Clark, Henry Jones, Fred McDaniel, Ron Parsons, David Rothwell and Milt Sherman.
Lee is only the fourth person from Goldsboro to be inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. Lee was an outstanding basketball coach and athletic director at Goldsboro High School as well as several other schools before advancing to the collegiate ranks in 1994 when he took over the basketball program at St. Augustine College.
Lee was a teacher and basketball coach from 1958 through 1969 at three different segregated high schools, Swift Creek, Sampson and Dillard High Schools.
His teams won seven conference championships during those years, finishing as the state runners-up in 1968 in the NCHSAC (North Carolina High School Athletic Conference), the Association that served African American High Schools in the state during segregation.
In 1969, Lee joined the Goldsboro High School staff as an athletic director, teacher and basketball coach. He was a pillar at Goldsboro High and during his 26-year tenure, his Cougar teams compiled a 455-133 record with 19 conference championships.
In 1983, Lee led Goldsboro to an appearance in the 4A State Championship Game where they fell to Page 73-55 in the Greensboro Coliseum.
A year later, Lee was named the head coach of the East team in the NC Coaches’ Associations’ annual East-West All-Star Game and he received a lifetime achievement award from the NCHSAA. He was inducted as one of the charter members of the Goldsboro High School Hall of Fame in 1987.
Lee took over the basketball program at St. Augustine College in 1994 and had great success in his brief tenure with the school. Lee led the Falcons to the school’s first-ever CIAA Tournament Championship in 1997, beating Fayetteville State 70-64. The Falcons had been in the CIAA since 1953 and had come in second place six times before breaking through under Coach Lee.
Tragically, Lee’s time at St. Augustine was cut short, lasting just four seasons. Coach Lee passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 1997 five months after completing the basketball program’s championship season.
The gymnasium at Goldsboro High School is named in his honor.