The 2012 TSSAA Hall of Fame will induct eight new members at the annual luncheon April 21 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.
Two administrators, two coaches, two officials and two contributors will be inducted that day to join others in the annual gathering of those selected since the process began in 1982.
Those being inducted at this year’s luncheon are: James Armstrong, administrator from Brentwood; Richard “Dick” Henley, administrator from Seymour; Charles Mitchell, coach from Byrdstown; Jerry Pearson, coach from Springfield; Butch Campbell, official from Murfreesboro; Leon Rash, official from Jasper; and Sam and Nelda Kerr, contributors from Cumberland City.
The Hall of Fame luncheon will begin at 11 a.m. and will not only honor the new inductees and their families, but all past inductees as well.
Tickets will go on sale March 5 for $25 each at the TSSAA website (www.tssaa.org). The ticket form can be printed off and mailed to the TSSAA office along with a check or money order. All ticket orders will be available for pick-up
Dr. James Armstrong: Former coach and administrator, who served nearly 40 years in secondary school education. He began his career as a football coach in Kentucky for five years before continuing his career in Middle Tennessee. He coached football and basketball at Pearl High School in Nashville for 10 years, and he started the baseball program there in 1966. He served as an assistant principal for eleven years at Bass Middle School and East High School before becoming principal at Highland Heights. He was at Highland Heights for seven years and then took the helm at Maplewood High School from 1991–96. Armstrong also served on the TSSAA Board of Control from 1993–96. He taught some classes at Tennessee State and Trevecca throughout the years until his retirement in 1998.
Richard “Dick” Henley: Has been an administrator and football coach at the Tennessee School for the Deaf for over 25 years. He has served as the president of the Educational Association of TSD, and has overseen numerous events and tournaments at the school. Henley arranges for a preseason tournament each year with other schools for the deaf in the area and volunteers his time to work in TSD’s Run for the Deaf held each Spring. His football team was recently named Deaf Digest 2011 Team of the Year in eight-man football, which is considered a national championship. He also won a national championship as a player for TSD in 1967.
Charles Mitchell: Spent 30 years at Pickett County High School as a girls’ and boys’ basketball coach, taking his teams to six region championships, six sub-state contests and made five trips to the TSSAA State Tournament. Had close to 400 victories in his career, and he won a state championship with each the girls’ (1977) and boys’ (1990) programs. Mitchell served as a principal for two years at Pickett County and served as the superintendent of Pickett County Schools for four four-year terms before retiring in 1999.
Jerry Pearson: Football coach for over 45 years in Robertson and Dickson Counties, beginning at East Robertson High School and then followed by stints at Dickson County, Greenbrier and Springfield high schools. Pearson had over 200 career victories, and his 1988 Dickson County squad won the football state championship in Class AAA. He played at Springfield High School for fellow TSSAA Hall of Fame coach Boyce Smith, who is also a member of the National High School Hall of Fame.
Butch Campbell: TSSAA official for over 30 years, working in football and basketball who worked in numerous postseason tournaments and games, including the 1995 Clinic Bowl at Vanderbilt. Campbell was a supervisor of officials in basketball for three years in the North Central Association. Has served as the clock operator at the TSSAA state basketball tournaments for 35 years and has worked over 1,250 games. Campbell was a teacher and principal in elementary school in Murfreesboro for over 40 years, and served on the school board there as well.
Leon Rash: TSSAA basketball official for over 40 years who worked numerous postseason games, including district, region and three TSSAA state tournaments. He has also served as a supervisor and assigning officer for the Southeast Tennessee Basketball Officials Association, and for several years was a TSSAA Officials’ Camp Director. Rash helped organize the baseball umpire association in Sequatchie Valley in the mid-1970s, and has received an A.F. Bridges Official of the Year Award twice for his teaching and promotion of citizenship and sportsmanship in high school athletics.
Sam and Nelda Kerr: Have worked tirelessly in many different capacities at TSSAA championship events for many years. They spearheaded the first TSSAA merchandising program and took up tickets at numerous state championships. Sam has also been heavily involved in officiating for football, basketball, track and field, and softball. He is a true pioneer in the softball officiating program, and umpired in the very first softball state championships. Sam and Nelda are both ambassadors to the TSSAA and to high school sports in Tennessee.
Published in The Messenger 2.15.12