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Howell won 929 combined prep football and baseball games in his storied career. Photo

Originally published: 2014-01-30 10:16:49
Last modified: 2014-01-30 10:24:52

NCHSAA 100 to Remember: Howell left indelible mark on people, N.C. high school sports

Jamie Shell / (

Until a decline of health in the months leading to his May 2013 passing, Coach Charles "Babe" Howell was often seen at Avery football practices lending expertise at the request of Vikings head coach Darrell Brewer, watching games on the second level of the MacDonald Stadium press box or sitting in his car high atop the football field observing the drills and plays ran by the Avery team each fall.

"I started my coaching career under Coach Howell. He's been there with me every step of the way," Brewer said. "From the time I started as an assistant coach to when I went to coach at Cloudland and back to coaching at Avery, he's been there for me personally. He's honestly been like a second dad to me."

Coach Howell's record on the field speaks for itself. A 44-year veteran of coaching, teaching and administration, including 33 years as an athletic director, he began his career in 1965 as head football coach and athletic director at Sylva-Webster High School, now Smoky Mountain, and his teams won five state football crowns and a pair of state baseball titles.

Howell coached and served as athletic director at AHS in the mid-1990s, and has been inducted into seven separate halls of fame, including the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 1999, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and North Carolina Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to