Leon Brogden


Brogden was a standout football, basketball and baseball coach during a long career that included stops at high schools in in Eden, Wilson and Wilmington, N.C. He coached two future NFL quarterbacks, Roman Gabriel and Sonny Jurgensen.

Brogden was an end for the Demon Deacons in the early 1930s. He became a coach at Edenton in 1935 and moved to Wilson a year later. After 10 years in Wilson, he moved to Wilmington in 1945.

In 1951, Brogen's New Hanover High football team won the state championship. From 1956 to 1962, his basketball teams won six of seven state championships. During his 40 years as a coach, his teams won 55 championships.

While at Wilson, Brogden's teams won two state baseball championships and one football title. At New Hanover, he led the club to eight championships in basketball, three in baseball titles and one in football.

Brogden was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1970, becoming the first high school coach to receive that honor. He went into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in 1974. He was a charter member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Brogden retired in 1976 after 31 years in the New Hanover County school system. The Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament is played in Wilmington in December of each year. The Wilmington Senior Amateur Golf Tournament is formally known as the Leon Brogden Senior Amateur Golf Championship. New Hanover's gym, Brogden Hall, was dedicated in 1955.

In 2009, Brogden was named the head coach of the Wilmington Star-News' All-Time Football team.

Brogden was born in 1910 in Wake County. He died on Oct. 1, 2000 at the age of 90.


Al Dowtin


Al Dowtin was a basketball All-American in 1926-27 who helped the Deacons to a 35-9 record in those two seasons. Behind Dowtin's sparkling play, Wake dominated the state's Big Five (Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina, Davidson and Wake Forest) teams.

In addition to his floor play, Dowtin also assumed a leadership role by serving as captain of the Deacons as a senior. Following his graduation, he played two seasons of professional baseball, another sport he had played successfully while at Wake Forest.

In 1931 Dowtin returned to Wake Forest to serve as the school's first golf coach and a year later was named graduate manager of athletics and alumni secretary. In this position, Dowtin played a large role in securing the services of Douglas Clyde "Peahead" Walker as head football coach from Elon College.

Due to World War II, Dowtin once again had to sever ties with Wake Forest in 1942. When the war was over he became the director of law enforcement for the Asheville branch of the state's Alcohol Beverage Control board. He held that position from 1946 until his retirement in 1972.


Dickie Hemric


Dickie Hemric held the ACC's career scoring record in basketball from 1955 until 2006. During his four varsity seasons (1952-55), the Jonesville, N.C., native never averaged fewer than 22.4 points per game.

Hemric was a first-team all-conference pick in all four seasons, the first two of which were played in the Southern Conference. He earned ACC Player of the Year honors in 1954 and 1955 while also being selected first team All-ACC. He led the Southern Conference in rebounding in 1953 and paced the ACC in 1954 and 1955. Hemric was instrumental in leading Wake Forest to its only SoCon Championship, in 1953.

His career point total of 2,587 remains the school record and was the ACC record Duke's J.J. Redick surpassed it in 2006. Hemric also still holds 10 other school records along with two ACC records, including total career rebounds (1,802) and highest rebounding average (17.3 per game).

Hemric's 48-point scoring outburst against Virginia in 1955 stood as the school record for seven years. He eclipsed the 40-point barrier on four occasions. Hemric's NCAA record of 905 career free throws made stood for 55 years until broken by North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough in 2009.

After graduation, Hemric played for two seasons with the Boston Celtics, helping the team win the NBA title in 1957. He then began a business career with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Ned Dixon "Dickie" Hemric was born Aug. 29, 1933 in Jonesville, N.C. He was inducted into the WFU Hall of Fame in 1974.

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