WALLBURG — Starting this fall, the Ledford High School gym will be referred to as the John Ralls Gymnasium.
The school is expected to name the gym in his honor after the Davidson County Board of Education approved the renaming of Ledford’s gymnasium after the longtime coach this month.
Ralls coached at Ledford for more than 30 years. He had 994 wins between softball and basketball, 13 state championships in three different sports, including four girls’ basketball, three softball, three boys’ golf and three girls’ golf. His teams finished as the state runner-up four times.
The announcement came after a surprise announcement that involved former Panther players and coaches, as well as the Ralls family.
Ralls and Robert Kent, his old basketball teammate — and fellow member of Ledford’s coaching fraternity — went for lunch in April. The two retired coaches stopped at Davidson-Davie Community College to pick up Matt Ridge, Storm basketball coach and athletic director who played at Ledford for Kent from 1989 to 1992.
At the college, Ralls was surprised with the news of having the gym renamed in his honor by Gabe Scott, who serves as athletic director at Ledford. Scott was joined by Ralls’ wife, Lynn, and two children, Brett and Katie.
“This is so well deserved,” Ridge said. “What Coach Ralls and his LHS teams accomplished is unprecedented. I’m proud to say Coach Ralls is both a friend and mentor.”
Ralls’ career record in girls’ basketball is 700-305. His tenure was highlighted by two North Carolina Coach of the Year awards in 1995 and 2002. He was runner-up for National Coach of the Year in 2001.
Ledford’s girls basketball program made the playoffs in 26 of the 28 years he coached. A date when the school will host a ceremony for the unveiling of the gym’s new name has yet to be announced.
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