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CoastLine: Sheila Boles and her life of firsts

Ricky Meeks
Sheila Boles

Sheila Bolesplayed for the first women’s basketball team at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  She won the first women’s basketball scholarship the next year, and she became the team’s first MVP. 

According to the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame, it was 1989 when Hugh McManus, then the principal of Hoggard High School, hired Sheila Boles to coach the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team.   It was another first:  a woman hired to coach men’s high school basketball, which she did successfully, leading the team to multiple Conference Championships and two times earning the mid-eastern 4-A Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award. 

She was named the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year in 2008 and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.  She was inducted into the Colonial Athletic Association Legends, the NC High School Sports Hall of Fame and the UNCW Sports Hall of Fame.  She took her spot in the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

She also serves on the Board of Education of the charter school at the Lake Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home.

But that’s just part of her life.  On this edition, we learn more about her firsts, what she’s doing now, and the lessons that have served her well.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.