DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke football letterman and assistant coach Jerry McGee passed away Sunday at the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City, N.C. He was 80 years old.
Born December 1, 1938 in Washington, D.C., and raised in Elizabeth City, N.C., McGee lettered three seasons on the gridiron at Duke from 1958-60 and was a member of the Blue Devils' squad that defeated Arkansas, 7-6, in the Cotton Bowl on January 1, 1961. Following his graduation from Duke in 1961, he entered prep coaching and led Edenton Holmes High School to a pair of North Carolina state championships in 1964 and 1965.
McGee then coached in the college ranks, serving stints at Kansas State, Southern Illinois, East Carolina and Duke. With the Blue Devils from 1971-75, he worked alongside his twin brother, Mike, who was the head coach.
McGee, who went on to serve as the executive director of the N.C. Athletic Directors Association from 1991-2015, was enshrined into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, National High School Hall of Fame and National Interscholastic Administrators Association Hall of Fame. In addition, he was awarded the highest civilian honor in the state of North Carolina, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
In addition to Patsy, his wife of 57 years, McGee is survived by his daughters, Michele McGee Wolfert (Mike) of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Patricia McGee Essex (Rey) of Greenville, S.C.; his sons, Gerald “Jerry” Morrison McGee, Jr. (Alden) of Jacksonville, Fla., and Christopher Michael McGee (Celina) of Sanford, N.C.; eleven grandchildren, Jack McGee, Miles McGee, Michael Wolfert, Amanda Wolfert, Mary Cathryn Wolfert, Laura Essex, Clare Essex, Will Essex, Ben Essex, Olivia McGee and Brandt McGee; brothers, Hubert “Jim” McGee, Jr. (Bev) of Elizabeth City, N.C., and Michael Burnett McGee (Ginger) of Montrose, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, Edward Andrew McGee.
Donations may be made to The Jerry McGee Endowment Scholarship Fund, NCHSAA, P.O. Box 3216, Chapel Hill, N.C., 27515 or NCHSAA.org.