CHAPEL HILL — Most high school basketball coaches never get to enjoy winning a state championship in their careers, let alone achieving the feat in their first season as a head coach.
Angela Mayfield has done that one better. She’s coached two seasons and won two championships. Late last month, the N.C. High School Athletic Association recognized the Lady Bears’ achievements by awarding their coach one of the organization’s highest honors.
Mayfield, who has posted a 57-4 record since taking over the program from Howard Mayo at the end of the 2015-16 season, was named as the Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year Award winner for 2018. She received the award during a presentation made at the NCHSAA’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 3 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
The NCHSAA annually presents statewide awards in seven different categories, all based on those “who have done the most for high school athletics,” rather than a single accomplishment or having an outstanding won-loss record. State awards are presented to a male coach, female coach, athletic director, principal, superintendent, sports medicine representative and a media representative.
Although Mayfield’s remarkable success upon taking over the Lady Bears was certainly noticed, her long history of contributions to the Mount Airy athletic program were noted. A 1988 graduate of MAHS, the former Angela Harbour’s Lady Bear basketball teams had been some of the most successful in school history. After graduating from college, she returned to her alma mater to teach. She was given an opportunity to be an assistant basketball coach under Howard Mayo in 2009, helping Mayo build the program into a powerhouse that flirted with the state championship more than once. After a decade in charge, Mayo left to return to his native Virginia in 2016, and Mayfield, who had already been the head coach of many of the players in summer ball, was promoted to head coach.
In her first season, the Lady Bears posted a 30-2 record, winning the Northwest 1A Conference title and then sweeping through the playoffs all the way to the school’s first-ever appearance in the state championship game, where Mount Airy beat Pamlico County 66-40.
In addition to her coaching duties, Mayfield also took over a role as co-athletic director following the death of longtime AD Donald Price in 2016. In the first season in which she and Jonathan Wilmoth filled Price’s shoes, Mount Airy became the first 1A traditional school in a decade to win the Wells Fargo State Cup, emblematic of the state’s best all-around sports program.
The Lady Bears returned all five starters from their state championship team and faced heavy pressure to repeat in 2017-18. Mayfield adeptly defused the expectations, and Mount Airy went on to win the title in even more impressive fashion, going 27-2, with all 27 wins by double-digit margins. A rematch with Pamlico in the state finals was a decisive 69-32 win for the Lady Bears.
Joining Mayfield as honorees for 2018 were Tony Marshburn of Northside-Jacksonville, the Harvey Reid Male Coach of the Year; April Ross of Carrboro, the Dave Harris Athletic Director of the Year; Joe Poletti of East Carteret, the Bob Deaton Principal of the Year; Tony Baldwin of Buncombe County, the Bob McRae Superintendent of the Year; Nick Stevens of HighSchoolOT.com, the Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year; and Dr. Eric Warren of Union Co. Schools and Novant Health, the Elton Hawley Athletic Trainer of the Year.