Former football coach and Wadesboro Councilman Ed Emory, 75, died Friday in Wadesboro after an extended illness.
Emory was a native of Lancaster, S.C., and attended Camden Military Academy and East Carolina University. He was a starter for the ECU Pirates, where he played nose guard and linebacker on the football team. During his senior year at ECU, he was co-captain and third team All-American. He earned two degrees in 1959, in social studies and physical education. He later went back to ECU for a master’s in administration and physical education.
He had a long career in education, serving as a teacher, principal and athletic director in public schools. He taught and coached at Anson High School, Brevard High School, Richmond Senior High School and Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Clemson and his alma mater, ECU. Emory also served as the offensive coordinator for the Memphis Showboats in the short-lived USFL.
Emory coached the Pirates from 1980-1984. His best year as coach came in 1983, when the team had an 8-3 record and finished No. 25 in the Associated Press poll. The three losses that year were by a combined 13 points. He was inducted into the ECU Hall of Fame in 2003.
Emory led the Richmond Raiders to a 77-7 season from 2001-2006. Under Emory, Richmond reached the East Region championship game, falling to Laney, and the West Region finals twice, losing to Independence in 2003 and 2004.
According to his obituary in The Charlotte Observer, Emory’s tenure in Anson County Schools was a groundbreaking time for race relations. “It was during his time in Anson County when school integration took place and he was revered as a pioneer in breaking down racial barriers,” the obit reads. “He felt as if his students were a part of his family and genuinely loved each of them. He encouraged many young men, opening his home to many and reared them as his own children.”