Peoples honored by NCHSAA for service

Published 7:53 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

A man who wears many hats only begins to describe J. Alan Peoples.&bsp; Peoples, a retired U.S. Army colonel, 39-year educator, 10-year school administrator, 26-year coach, 29-year English teacher, four-year Polk County commissioner and nine-year mayor of Tryon, has dedicated a lifetime to service, education, and coaching. &bsp;

But his jobs as a coach and educator and his ability for touching the lives of student-athletes daily has earned Peoples the 2010 Charles Adams Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA). &bsp;

This award is one of the highest forms of recognition given by the NCHSAA, outside the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. The Charles Adams Distinguished Service Award recognizes those who embody impeccable service to high school athletics.

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Notification sent asking Peoples to attend a meeting held at WRESA, the Western Region Education Service Alliance, on Sept. 21 indicated he would be receiving an award.&bsp; He had no idea he would be recognized and presented with one of NCHSAA’s top awards.

I was totally speechless. Peoples said. Do you know what kind of people are nominated for this type of award? I was just blown away. &bsp;

Working tirelessly to provide quality opportunities for athletes in cross country and track and field, Peoples has served as director for 20 state championship track meets and 35 regional competitions for cross country and outdoor track combined.&bsp; Peoples has directed over 200 track meets in his tenure.&bsp; The NCHSAA has awarded seven sportsmanship awards and one of only two state-level academic awards to teams headed by Peoples. &bsp;

His teams have placed over 30 student-athletes at the collegiate level.

Peoples has served as director for all levels of high school cross country, indoor track and outdoor track meets at one time or another, and is currently director for the 1A, 2A and 3A Cross Country Regionals to be held at Jackson Park Oct. 30.

This record of continued service has been evidenced for four decades. While serving as principal of Tryon High School in 1986, Peoples started the mens cross country team.&bsp; From 1985-1988 he served as race starter for Tryon High School track meets.&bsp; He also led the schools athletic programs as athletic director and coached the varsity mens basketball program from 1974-1976 at Epson High School.