From Erwin to Everyone: A Coach's Legacy
From Erwin to Everyone: A Coach's Legacy
Posted on 03/01/2018
Mr. David A. Ball stands outside the Erwin High gymnasium dedicated in his honor.By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

Every BCS student-athlete has been influenced by the talent and dedication of Mr. David Ball. The 1975 graduate of Clyde A. Erwin High School taught and coached at his alma mater for 36 years, where he was a popular social studies teacher and one of the most successful Warriors coaches. Every day, students view the school's athletic Hall of Fame display, a tradition he began, and walk into the school's David A. Ball Gymnasium, named in his honor. Mr. Ball now works as the District Athletic Specialist for Buncombe County Schools, and in March, he will be inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association's (NCADA) Hall of Fame.

"I'm a product of Buncombe County Schools," Mr. Ball said, thanking various Erwin District teachers and coaches who influenced him. "We all stand on the shoulders of others. We don't get to where we are without the support and help of many people."

Ball began his work with Erwin as a social studies teacher in 1979, and through his masterful coaching, quickly brought regional respect to his Warriors baseball team. By the time he was chosen as the school's Athletic Director in 1998, Coach Ball had a career winning record of 286-160, his Erwin teams had qualified for the state playoffs thirteen times, and his 1988 team was runner-up for the NCHSAA 3A State Championship.

Coach Ball's 1988 baseball team was the runner-up in the NCHSAA 3A State Championship.Two of Coach Ball's players went on to play professional baseball, including David Miller with the San Francisco Giants (1981) and Terryll Humes with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1991). But despite his successes, Ball explained that his motivation was larger than winning.

"You're not really into coaching to build an ego for yourself," said Mr. Ball, whose soft-spoken and controlled demeanor typifies his coaching style. "Of course you're competitive and want to be successful, but it's about having a love for student-athletes. As a coach, you do what's best for them and create the best situation for them within your sport."

After the 1998 season, David Ball was ready to put his years of experience as an athlete, coach, and educator to work for more students. He served as Erwin's Athletic Director through 2015, working to improve facilities, hire the best staff, and increase the school's athletic offerings. In 2009, Mr. Ball started Erwin's Hall of Fame, now up to 50 inductees. Under his leadership, Erwin also introduced swimming for both boys and girls teams.

Mr. Ball also worked to build a solid football program from one that struggled from 1989 through much the next decade. During a 10-year period, the Warriors endured five winless seasons, and secured only 10 wins. Finally, with the building of a new weight room, the hiring and development of a strong coaching staff, and the hiring of Head Coach Mike Sexton, the program came roaring back to life. In recent years, the Warriors have averaged over eight wins per season and game day in the fall is an Erwin community staple.

"I've been successful as an athletic administrator because I learned so much from other athletic administrators around the state and nation," Mr. Ball explained, grateful for the opportunity to meaningfully impact student development.

Now overseeing all middle and high school athletics as Buncombe County Schools' District Athletic Specialist, Mr. Ball puts his vast experience to work for all student-athletes.

His storied career has led organizations like the NCADA, North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to bestow many honors on David Ball. With the NCADA, Mr. Ball was elected to serve on the Executive Board and as state President in 2012. He was also elected to serve four years on the NCHSAA Board of Directors in 2010.

Mr. Ball was the 10th North Carolinian to receive the NFHS Citation Award. (2014)During the 2013-14 school year, Mr. Ball was named among the NCHSAA's "100 to Remember" athletic administrators and was selected as the NCHSAA Athletic Director of the Year. Through the NIAAA, Mr. Ball served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member in 2008, and received the State Award of Merit in 2009. In 2014, he was the 10th North Carolinian to receive the NFHS Citation Award, which honors athletic directors and coaches who have made significant contributions to high school activity programs.

Mr. Ball said his professional achievements would not have been possible without the loving support of his wife Barbra and children, Tony and Kelly, who continually supported him through late game nights, weekend travel, and state-wide administrative responsibilities.

Through his decades of service, Mr. David Ball has built quite a legacy here in BCS, but he isn't done yet.

"I'm privileged to serve our schools and work to elevate them to their highest level," he said.
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Read the NCADA press release about Mr. Ball here.

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