Feb. 9, 2015. Former Watauga High School football coach Bill Mauldin received an honorary membership into the N.C. Football Coaches Association (NCFCA) on Saturday in Greensboro.
NCFCA Secretary Coach Sam Story said that this award is essentially a lifetime achievement award and works as the “Hall of Fame” for high school football coaches in the state. Story said that Mauldin’s daughter Kathryn Mauldin-Matthews introduced Mauldin at the reception.
Mauldin, who began his coaching career at Watauga High School as an assistant under Jack Groce in 1970, took over the program in 1977. The next year, he coached the Pioneers to a 13-0-1 record and its only state championship.
In November 2013, Mauldin was honored with other Watauga High School football standouts and received a plaque from Groce at halftime during Pioneer Pride Night.
“It was great fun,” Mauldin said during the ceremony. “[The 1978 team] was a super group of young people who have all gone on to become successful adults.”
Mauldin added, “It’s not the easiest thing following a living legend [Groce].”
The Pioneers finished the season on top after defeating Burlington-Williams 33-28 in Boone.
Mauldin also coached football, basketball, golf and track before leaving to coach Catawba College in Salisbury in 1986.
Along with Mauldin, three other coaches were honored on Saturday: Bill Slayton, primarily of Southeast Guilford High School; Mike Carter, primarily of Mooresville High School; and Bill Frazier, primarily of Warrenton County High School.
Story said this was a distinct honor considering the vast number of coaches that have since retired and are now eligible for this lifetime achievement award.
Story noted that NCFCA is “deeply indebted” to coaches like Mauldin, who he said set the bar very high with respects to the success of the football team and the character instilled in the young football players.
“While the coach’s record is impressive, [this award] also recognizes his positive influence on the lives of so many people,” Story said, adding that Mauldin’s “class-act program” was rich in tradition and sportsmanship.