First Posted: 10/21/2009
Wayne Motsinger started a basketball team without the most important component a gym. That did not stop him, though, as Motsinger essentially brought college basketball to Surry County by establishing a program at Surry Community College.
For his efforts, Motsinger will be inducted into the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame Saturday.
After coaching at Elkin High School for two years in which he rattled off a 40-8 record, Motsinger moved on to SCC. When Motsinger arrived, the Knights played an abbreviated schedule and the program was far from a serious contender. Under Motsingers supervision, the Knights went 307-90. During that time, Motsinger was instrumental in establishing the Tar Heel Conference for local small college teams.
We didnt even have a gym when I came (to SCC), Motsinger recalled. It was tough the first couple of years.
Before the Knights had their own court, they walked across campus to use the facilities at Surry Central. But even that wasnt easy. The Golden Eagles had first dibs on usage, so many nights the Knights were left waiting for their turn. If Surry Central was hosting games, SCC would have to find another gym, usually at Dobson Elementary.
Motsinger was named coach of the year 12 times during his tenure at SCC and his teams won 12 of the first 13 conference titles a conference Motsinger helped create. In his 16 years at the helm, Motsingers teams only had one season without a winning record.
That success caught the attention of recruits who may not have been interested in the program during its initial stages.
Motsingers dominance on the hardwood began at an early age. At Winston-Salems Glenn High School, he was an all-conference basketball player. When he switched to East Forsyth, he was named all-conference again, as well as in baseball. In 1963, Motsingers East Forsyth squad lost to Mount Airy in the state championship game by two points.
Although he vividly remembers the loss to the Granite Bears, it did not sour him on Surry County. Motsinger, who played college ball at Guilford where he was named the conferences defensive player of the year three times, coached at Surry Central and a year at Starmount after his stint at SCC. He also volunteered his time with youth organizations to spread his love of basketball.
Over the 40-some years Ive been up here, Ive been at the little league programs, coached high school girls and boys and college, Motsinger said. I got a little bit of a taste at all the levels in Surry County. Ive enjoyed doing it and had a good life doing it.