North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Elects Three New Members to Board of Directors
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame recently elected three prominent sports enthusiasts to its 30-person board of directors. They are Carlester Crumpler, Helen Ross and Mike Solomon.
The board’s principal role is to select and induct the state’s outstanding sports personalities to the hall.
Crumpler’s football exploits at Wilson Fike High School in the late 1060s electrified sports fans throughout North Carolina. He led the Fike Cyclones as it became the first team ever to capture three consecutive state 4-A football championships. Crumpler rushed for 4,089 yards at Fike, with a 2,083-yard, 26 touchdown performance in 1969.
Crumpler earned All-East, All-State and All-America honors in high school. He starred in the Shrine Bowl and the East-West Coaches All-Star Game. He also claimed two state championships in track.
His play at East Carolina University was also spectacular. During a three-year span he gained 2,889 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns while the school won Southern Conference titles in 1972 and 1973. Crumpler was drafted in 1974 by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and played briefly for the CFFL’s Montreal Alllouettes.
Crumpler was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. He serves as academic coordinator for student athletes in ECU’s office for student development.
Ross was an award-winning sportswriter for the Greensboro News & Record for 18 years, covering Atlantic Coast Conference football and basketball, as well as golf at all levels. She won multiple awards given by the North Carolina Press Association.
She served on an advisory panel of the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Writers Association in the early 1980s as the league sought to provide equal locker room access to all reporters, male and female.
Ross left the newspaper in 1995 to help launch PGATOUR.Com, and she currently is a senior writer for the Emmy Award-winning website. She has won several writing awards from the Golf Writers Association of America, including first place for the 2014 feature article “Reclaiming His Life” on Jarred Lyle’s two-time battle with leukemia
She served nine years on the GWAA’s board of directors and was First Vice President until she resigned the post when she went to work for the PGA TOUR.
Ross, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a native and resident of Greensboro.
Solomon has a long history of sport’s involvement in North Carolina. He was chairman of the Greater Greensboro Open (now the Wyndham Championship) in 1988. He served as co-chairman of the Greensboro Coliseum expansion and renovation bond campaign and as chairman of the Greensboro Coliseum Commission, and he was founder of the ACC Tournament Host Committee in Greensboro. Solomon was the first chairman of the North Carolina Sports Commission.
As executive director of North Carolina Baseball, he was instrumental in an effort to bring a major league team to North Carolina.
In addition he was tournament director of the Korea Golf Classic in 1995, an all-star tournament featuring top golfers from the PGA and Asian Tours.
A Virginia Tech civil engineering graduate, Solomon is economic development director for the Timmons Group, a 400-person firm that assists agencies develop sites for industrial and commercial development and job creation throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame board was formed in 1962 and its first induction ceremony was held in Charlotte in 1963. To date, 319 outstanding North Carolina athletes, coaches, administrators and others are members of the hall, and their accomplishments featured in an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.