Dr. Sylvia White named Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Newton-Conover High School

By James Frye

Newton-Conover City Schools is proud to announce that Dr. Sylvia White, Director of Human Resources for Newton-Conover City Schools, has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Newton-Conover High School.

“I’m very excited to be named in this position. Newton-Conover has a long history in Women’s Basketball, and I’m just excited to be a part of it again,” White said.

White brings with her an impressive tenure in athletics spanning 33 years, spanning from experience as an Assistant Coach all the way to a district and school-wide Athletic Director. White becomes the head coach, herself having spent 8 years as the program’s Head Coach and 3 years as its Assistant Coach.

While White has spent the last decade off the court in senior-level administrative positions for Newton-Conover City Schools, her experiences on the court speak for themselves.

“Personally, you know, you have to make decisions in your life professionally that sometimes makes you make a choice, and when I became a Principal, the state says the only position you can’t hold and coach in is a Principal, so the last time I moved away that was the reason -- in that tenure that could not be the case. So I’m excited to be in the position now where the opportunity has been presented where I can return to something I love very much,” White said.

White has won numerous championships and coaching honors at both the high school and collegiate levels.

White began her coaching career in 1985, while she was enrolled in graduate school at Appalachian State University. Her first season as the Assistant-turned-Head coach of the Appalachian State University Women’s Softball Team left her as the coach of the Collegiate National Tournament Runner-Up Softball Team at Appalachian State University. Following this season, White earned a Master of Arts Degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Athletic Administration.

White left following her graduation to become the Dropout Prevention and Career Development Counselor (1985-88) and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach (1986-88) at Newton-Conover High School, where she was also named the school’s Athletic Trainer (1986-1991), the Head Women’s Basketball Coach (1988-92), and a Health and Physical Education Teacher (1987-1992).

During her time as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach in the early 90s, White led the team to finish 27-1 in the 1990-91 season and 29-1 in 1991-92 season, earning the state title in 1992 and second place (first in the conference) in 1991.

For these achievements, White was honored in 1992 with the North Carolina High School Coach of the Year for Women’s Basketball, was the Southern District 7 Conference Coach of the Year for Women’s Basketball, in addition to being the Coach of 2A State Champions for Women’s Basketball. White’s overall High School Women’s Basketball Coaching Record comes in at a remarkable 145-72.

Some of her other accolades during this time include the 1991 Southern District 7 Conference Coach of the Year -- Women’s Basketball & Women’s Track, the 1990 All Piedmont Coach of the Year -- Women’s Basketball, and Coach of the State 2A Runner Up Women’s Basketball, and the 1989 Southern District 7 Conference Coach of the Year -- Women’s Basketball, as well as earning Newton-Conover High’s Terry Sanford Award for Human Relations.

Alicia Brittain Sumpter, former player for White at N-CHS, has also served as the coach of women’s basketball at St. Stephens High School.

“I’m now 43 years old and have been a coach myself. I have had and known many coaches in my lifetime, but none compared to Coach White. She’s going to do an excellent job because you just want to do your best for her. She will fuss at you like a mom and will love you at the same time. She’s a great coach, and I aspire to be like her. Those girls are lucky to have her in Newton-Conover. N-CHS is blessed to have such an astounding coach,” Sumpter said.

In 1992, White returned to higher education to serve as the head coach for the Women’s Basketball team at Mars Hill College, a role she served in until 1998. During this time, White was recognized as a member of the 1997 & 1998 Kodak All-American Selection Committee, the 1996 Converse/WBCA District Coach of the Year, and the 1996 South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year.

After departing from Mars Hill to return to K-12, White served as the Health and Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director at Crestdale Middle School from 1998-2000. In 2000, White came home to Newton as a Health and Physical Education Teacher for a year before beginning her career in administration, serving as the Assistant Principal from 2001-03.

White is eager to return to the court, and has already met with the team to establish goals for next season.

“We’re going to build on the tradition. I met with the team briefly and we have two goals. The first is to become a team, and that means that we learn what being a team means and we all play the role of one team. The second is that we all work to get better every day in everything we do -- in the classroom, as a person, and then on the basketball court. At this point, those are our goals. As we get to know each other more and get into the season we will set goals that are more measurable. But those are the two things that are going to help us be successful in what we do both on the court and off the court,” White said.

In 2003, White was named Principal of Newton-Conover Middle School, where the school met or had high growth each during her tenure. Since 2007, White has served as the Director of Human Resources for the district, and has served as the President of the Personnel Administrators of North Carolina (PANC), where she received the award for being the North Carolina Personnel Administrator of the Year.