The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

February 1, 2013

Mary Ann Sunbury announces retirement

Friday, February 1, 2013 — Pfeiffer University athletic director Mary Ann Sunbury has been a constant presence on the  Pfeiffer campus since 1985 and has coached all but two women’s sports for the Falcons in those 27 seasons.

Sunbury, who has seen a great deal of change over the years in women’s athletics both at the high school and college levels, will step down as athletic director and retire after 35 years in athletics, both on the sidelines and in the administrative offices.

“I will miss the interaction with my colleagues and the students; I have great coworkers,” Sunbury said.

Before Girls’ Sports Were Played

Her years in athletics started at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, S.C., which at the time was the biggest high school in the Palmetto State.

Girls’ high school sports had not existed in South Carolina until 1971 and Wade-Hampton had no teams until the insistence of Sunbury.

“My friend and I sat in the principal’s office and asked him to start a basketball team,” Sunbury said.

The argument made to her, she said, was that girls’ could not have a high school team because the gym was already full with the varsity, JV, ninth grade, B and C boys’ teams.

However, with the influence from the advent of Title IX, women’s athletics were born across the country, including a tennis team for Sunbury and her friend at Wade-Hampton her junior and senior year.

Sunbury said that she “always knew” she wanted to coach, which she did after high school.

Becoming A Coach

After graduating from Erskine College in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education,  Sun-bury coached at Pendleton High School in South Carolina for three seasons. She coached basketball and started a volleyball squad as well, including earning state championships in both sports in the 1978-79 academic year.

Sunbury earned a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and advanced into the college coaching ranks to Brevard College, then a two-year junior college. The University of Georgia was also where she met her  future husband, Bill, who recently also retired from Erwin Middle School in Rowan County Schools after 30 years as a P.E. teacher.

In her five years at Brevard College from 1980-85, Sunbury coached the basketball team to a conference championship and sent a tennis squad to nationals.

Pfeiffer College

After her time at Brevard, Sunbury said that she was ready to get into a four-year school as a coach.

That school was Pfeiffer College, where she was hired in the summer of 1985 to coach basketball, tennis and be an assistant P.E. professor, as well as supervision of student teachers.

Sunbury went on to send tennis teams to nationals in 1994 and 1995 as well as claim seven conference championships and having “strong teams” in all those years. She coached tennis at Pfeiffer until the 2007 season.

Included in her five seasons as the head women’s basketball coach was a huge win at UNC-Pembroke when the Braves were ranked 25th in the nation at the time.

Sunbury also coached the women’s volleyball team for five years, which included a conference championship and appearance in the regionals.

In 1997, she was named as assistant athletic director and worked with compliance, later becoming an associate athletic director.

Sunbury was named the athletic director in 2011 and served as such for two seasons.

As the Pfeiffer athletic program searches nationwide for their next athletic director, Pfeiffer professor Jack Ingram will serve as interim AD.

After Pfeiffer

The process for retiring has been interesting, Sunbury said, adding that “it was just time to do it.”

Sunbury said that she and her husband love to travel and plan to do so “while the knees and the body still works.”

She said that she looks forward to not having to get up early every day, but that she will miss being around college students.

The presence of students in her life, Sunbury said, “kept me on my toes and kept me young.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • holdendavis.jpg Stanly All-Star 15 year-olds lose in championship finals

    The Stanly County 15 year-old All-Stars Babe Ruth Baseball team battled its way through the losers’ bracket after suffering a 10-9 loss to the Union County Americans to reach the championship finals.
    Stanly rallied to force a deciding third game but Union County prevailed to earn a trip to the regionals in Varina, Virginia.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • stanly14group.jpg Stanly All-Stars reach state championship round

    The Stanly 14 year-old All-Stars played in the state tournament this weekend at Noel Williams Park in Unionville and reached the championship round of play.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • stanly13bigger.jpg Stanly County 13-year old Babe Ruth Baseball squad claims state title

    Don Montgomery Park in Albemarle played host this weekend to the state championship tournament for the Western Divsion of Babe Ruth Baseball for 13 year olds.
    After having started with a win Friday night over Union County American, the Stanly County All-Stars posted three more victories en route to the tournament title and a berth into the regionals starting July 29 in Sarasota, Florida.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • West Stanly summer baseball team wraps up regular season at Scotland County

    In the final two games of the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League for the West Stanly squad, the Colts traveled to Scotland County for a doubleheader, making up for Tuesday’s rainout.

    July 22, 2014

  • jakeclayton.jpg Three Stanly All-Star Babe Ruth teams open play in state tournaments

    Three Babe Ruth Baseball teams from Stanly County  began play in their respective state tournaments on Friday night with victories, two of which came in events conducted locally.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albemarle High School athletic director resigns

    The athletic program at Albemarle High School will undergo another change in personnel after the recent resignation of its head football coach.

    July 17, 2014

  • deanlowder.jpg Albemarle fireman and policeman race in school buses at Charlotte Motor Speedway

    Pulling into Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first thing one may think about is getting in one of those really fast cars and taking a spin around the track.
    Cracking the motor, hearing the roar, tearing down the front stretch at 200 mph with numerous other cars doing the same. The rush, excitement and adrenaline pumping all while maintaining focus and poise as you power the aggressive vehicle around the track.

    July 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • williams.jpg North Stanly's Antonio Williams decommits to UNC-Chapel Hill

    North Stanly standout running back Antonio Williams announced via Twitter on Saturday he has withdrawn his verbal committment to attend and play football at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bobcat.jpg Uwharrie Bobcats suffer loss, bounce back for home victory

    The Uwharrie Bobcats 70+ slow pitch softball team, along with four other Piedmont Senior Slow Pitch League (PSSL) teams, participated in a league tournament at Rock Creek Park Saturday.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • curciomug2014.jpg Can you really go home again?

    The big news that flashed across the screens of smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers and televisions on Friday concerned the return of NBA star Lebron James to Cleveland after four years in Miami.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content