Wes Durham to keynote Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony

Published 9:12 am Friday, July 14, 2023

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When Wes Durham gives the keynote address at this Monday’s Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame inductions, he will be carrying on a family tradition started in 1989 when his father, Woody Durham, gave the first induction speech at the HOF’s inaugural event.

Wes Durham

Woody, known for many years as “the voice of the (UNC) Tarheels,” grew up in Albemarle, and gave the induction speech for his high school football coach, Dr. H.T. “Toby” Webb, a member of the hall’s first class of inductees.

In the ensuing years, Woody and fellow Albemarle native and broadcaster Bob Harris (“the voice of the Duke Blue Devils”) were instrumental in getting the HOF off the ground as they were able to recruit well-known names from the world of sports to come to Albemarle as keynote speakers for the annual event, in addition to as serving as co-emcees of the ceremony.

Wes Durham chose to follow in his father’s career path, quickly working his way up the ladder of sports broadcasting. He is an award-winning play-by-play sportscaster, whose voice has become increasingly familiar in the southeast over the last 25 years.

He currently handles play-by-play calls of football and basketball for ACC Network and ESPN, and since 2004 he has been the play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.

From 1995 to 2013, he was the radio voice of Georgia Tech, and was on the call for more than 750 football and basketball games, including trips to the Final Four and the Orange Bowl. He was honored in October 2015 when he was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame for his 18-year career with the Yellow Jackets, and is also an 11-time winner of the “Georgia Sportscaster of the Year” award by the National Sports Media Association.

A 1988 graduate of Elon, he was honored by its School of Communications as its “Distinguished Alumnus” in 2013.

An avid golfer, Durham is married to the former Vicky Newman. She and Wes live in Cartersville, Georgia, which is her hometown.

Wes has two adult children, Emily, who works for a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and Will, who got his bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State and recently completed his master’s in athletic leadership at Clemson. While at Clemson, Will worked with the Tigers’ basketball program.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are:

● Al Andrew, who coached basketball, baseball and golf teams at Albemarle High School, including a state championship golf squad.

● Tristan A. (“T.A.”) Mc-Lendon, national record-setting running back at Albemarle High School and all-ACC performer at NC State University.

● Shanna Smith, star softball player at Albemarle High, all-ACC infielder at NC State, and current assistant coach at Eastern New Mexico State University.

● Greg Speight, who coached basketball and softball at North Stanly and South Stanly High schools, taking both softball programs to state championship appearances.

● Quan Sturdivant, all-state football player at West Stanly, all-ACC linebacker, four-year starter at UNC-Chapel Hill, and 2011 draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals.

Tickets are $50.

The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Merner Gymnasium at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer.