John Irvin Barnes III  The NCATA family is saddened by the recent passing of long-time member John Irvin Barnes III of Clayton, NC. John battled cancer for many years and is now at rest with his lord and savior. John was a fixture at NCATA events and volunteered at athletic events across the Wake County region as well as the state wrestling tournament. John was a positive person who always had a smile on his face and helping hand to anyone he met.

Our deepest sympathy and prayers for his family and friends. He touched many lives throughout his career and helped shape many with his positive attitude and personality.  MORE HERE


Bernard “Bernie” Capps, Jr., 73, of Rocky Mount died peacefully Sunday, February 10, 2019 at UNC Medical Center. Born in Nash County, NC on June 1, 1945, he was the son of the late Clarence B. Capps, Sr. and Annie Powell Capps. He was preceded in death by his sister, Judith Capps Jackson.

Bernie leaves to cherish his memory his brother-in-law, Paul A. Jackson of Whiteville, NC; niece, Stephanie Jackson Bagwell and husband, Andy of Cary, NC and their children, Abigail & Stewart Bagwell; nephew, Jason P. Jackson and wife, Christy of Morrisville, NC and their children, Hailey & Alexis Jackson; and numerous relatives from the Capps and Powell family trees.

A longtime athletic trainer for Rocky Mount High School, Capps was an advocate for all things Gryphon. Affectionately known as “Bumble Bee,” Bernie was a 1963 graduate of Rocky Mount Senior High who began honing his craft as a student manager for the late Coach Dudley Whitley at R.M. Wilson Junior High in 1958. He received a B.S. from Atlantic Christian in 1968 and began his teaching career in elementary physical education in Key West, Fl. However, Rocky Mount was always home and he returned in 1972 as an athletic trainer for Rocky Mount City Schools where he also taught driver’s education and physical education.

Capps held his position as trainer at Rocky Mount High for 42 years, retiring at the age of 66, in 2011, and spent time afterwards helping in various capacities at Rocky Mount Academy. In his time care-taking for RMHS athletics, he played a role in 11 state championships. A charter member of the N.C. Athletic Trainers Association, who was inducted into the NCATA Hall of Fame in 2003. He was also honored by the association with a 25 year service award and lifetime membership. In 2006 he received the Dedicated Service Award at the SEAM Night of Champions. Other honors include induction into the George Whitfield Baseball Clinic Hall of Fame and the Unsung Hero Award from the N.C. Athletic Association for Region 3 in 1998.

Certainly a fixture at all games and practices, Capps was far more than an athletic trainer and instructor — he was a consummate networker for those privileged to be one of his friends, students, or colleagues. Arranging doctor’s appointments, connecting people, and calling in scores — sometimes the seemingly impossible just needed a little help from Bernie. For years, his unassuming home was a gathering place for coaches, former coaches, players, and lovers of Rocky Mount athletics. The playing field was leveled and true lovers of the game came together to discuss the finer points, watch highlights, solve world problems, and become lifelong friends. It was here at Bernie’s that coaches, players, teachers, and lovers of the game gathered for decades to become not just acquaintances, but family. With his Sun Drops and Blow Pops, Bernie was truly a friend to all.


Elton Gale Hawley, 67, died Saturday, April 9, 2016. He was born Oct. 14, 1948, in the Plain View community. He was a graduate of Midway High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University. He taught at Olympic High School in Charlotte for 23 years and worked with the coaching staff as the athletic trainer and interim athletic director. Mr. Hawley completed his athletic training education at Wake Forest University. He was the first athletic trainer employed in the Charlotte/ Mecklenburg School System in 1972.

Mr. Hawley was a charter member of the N.C. Athletic Trainers Association. He was also the inaugural recipient in 1984 of the NCATA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award. He has served on the NCATA Board of Directors as a district director, vice president and a two-term president. He was the first inductee into the NCATA Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2004, he was recognized for his contributions to the athletic trainers’ profession and was named Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer.

For 27 years, Mr. Hawley served as the athletic trainer coordinator for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. He also served as Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas chairman emeritus and received the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas Hall of Fame Award. In 2001, he was awarded the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas Heart of Gold Award.

Mr. Hawley retired from the Carolinas HealthCare System in 2010. As the athletic trainer coordinator in Sports Medicine/Special Events, he covered major races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the PGA Golf Tour in Charlotte, assisted the Carolina Panthers athletic training staff, the Charlotte Hornets (Bobcats) and other major events as well as high school sports. He went with the Carolina Panthers the last half of the 2000-2001 season as interim athletic trainer.

While at Carolinas HealthCare, Mr. Hawley designed a Mobile Athletic Training vehicle to be used at special events. While serving as athletic training coordinator for the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools, he was responsible for developing and implementing sports medicine programs in Charlotte area schools.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Hawley taught adult athletic training classes at the North Carolina Coaches’ Association clinic in Greensboro. He served on the N.C. High School Athletic Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the NCHSAA created the Elton G. Hawley Sports Medicine Person of the Year award. He was named one of “50 Who Made A Difference” by the N.C. High School Athletic Association. In 2007, he was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. The N.C. Athletic Directors Association presented Mr. Hawley with its Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Survivors include his wife, Brenda Smith Hawley; son, Elton Perry Hawley and wife Ashley; son, Brian Chase Hawley and wife Jennifer; grandchildren, Clayton Jordan Hawley, Hailey Cheyanne Bolin, Matthew Joseph Hawley, Michaela Janelle Hawley, Brandon Campbell, Madison Sage, Hannah Reese and Camryn Paige Hawley; sister, Marjorie Hawley Adcock and husband A.D.; brothers, Eugene Corbett Hawley and wife Lexzine, Forrest Lee Hawley and wife Betty; nieces, Heidi Cline, Vicki A. Massey and husband Vernon, Aprel H. Bounpane, Leigh Ann Hawley Haertel and husband Brad; nephew, Charles Murray Hawley and wife Mary; great-nephews, Ethan and Dillon; and great nieces, Morgan, Marisa and Jordan.

John Herman Bunch, Jr., 81, of Raleigh died Sunday, May 10, 2015. Born in Clinton, NC, Mr. Bunch provided physical therapy and sports medicine to North Carolinians for over forty years, and athletic training services in the ACC and organizations for over 50 years. He was appointed by 3 governors to serve on the North Carolina Physical Therapy Examiners Board for 15 years, including six years as its Chairman. He was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his years of service and dedication to North Carolina by Gov. Michael F. Easley. He served as athletic trainer for NC State University from 1956-1963, and again as head trainer for all sports from 1970 -1977. While in this role, he was the trainer for the 1974 NCAA championship basketball team, and he always cherished the friendships he developed with them, and remained in close personal contact with many. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. From the ACC, to minor league baseball, to professional football, his love of sports medicine and service to that profession was vast.

However, his true love was being a loving grandfather, father, and husband. He is survived by his, wife Barbara Bunch, daughter Mary-Allison Bunch, son John Bunch and his wife Debbie, and grandsons Bryan, Sean and Casey. He lived a full life of days short of his 82nd birthday.


Tracy Scott Hefner, 45, of Connelly Springs, passed away Tuesday November 11, 2014 at Forsyth Medical Center following a period of declining health.

Tracy was born on November 9, 1969 in Burke County to the late Jack Thomas Hefner and Phyllis Berry Hefner. He was a graduate of East Burke High School, and N.C. State University with a degree in History. He was formerly employed by Burke County Public Schools as a history teacher, athletic trainer, and coach at East Burke High School. He was also an athletic trainer for the Shrine Bowl. He was a member of Corinth Reformed United Church of Christ in Hickory.

In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by a sister, Patricia Scarbrough.

Surviving is one sister, Brenda Cranford of Hickory; two brothers, Lewis Chaney of Rhodhiss and Tom Hefner and wife Jennifer Fisher of Icard; also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.


David Costner McAllister, 53, of Cary, passed away Sunday, March 9, 2014, at his home in Cary.

David was born Nov. 20, 1960, in Wake County, to the late Alexander Costner McAllister and Kathryn Dry McAllister.

He was a graduate and avid sports fan of NC State University and received his master’s degree from East Carolina University. David was a founding teacher and athletic trainer with Cary Academy for over 17 years. He was a loving husband and caring father.

David is survived by his wife of 17 years, Catherine Hord McAllister; son, Colton Alexander McAllister of the home; in-laws, Ralph and Jimmie Hord of Shelby; sister-in-law, Rebecca Hord Wyrick and husband Jeff; and nephew, Jordan Taylor Wyrick, all of Summerfield.

Larry Dean Carpenter, 47, of Gastonia, died Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Robin Johnson Hospice House, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. He was born September 3, 1966 in Gastonia, a son of Jerry Dean and Shirley Williams Carpenter. Larry was a 1984 graduate of Ashbrook High School, received his under graduate degree from UNC Charlotte and earned his Masters Degree from Winthrop University. He worked for 21 years as a guidance counselor and athletic trainer, the last 14 years of which was at Ashbrook. Larry touched many lives as an educator, but was just as deeply touched by those he served. He was a longtime member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and was selected by NC to be the trainer at the 2005 Shrine Bowl. He was a lifetime member of Lutheran Chapel Church in Gastonia. Larry was a loving husband and devoted father who was selfless to the core. In addition to his parents, survivors of Mr. Carpenter include his wife of 22 years, Donna Gibson Carpenter; children, Stephen Anthony Carpenter, Lauren Healy Carpenter, and Elizabeth Marie Carpenter; brother and sister-in-law, Todd and Emily Carpenter, and their children Drew and Ben, all of Gastonia; father-in-law, Richard Gibson of Lake Wylie, SC; his wife Donna’s siblings, Rick and Karen Gibson; Mike and Rose Gibson; Gail and Mike Bernard; Cheryl and Joel Barvinek; and their children and grandchildren.

WILLIAM “BILL” THOMAS GRIFFIN, age 43, passed, on March 31, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Susan (Engle), son, Riley, and parents, Karen and Mike Leslie. Sisters, Catherine (Bruce) Rosenthal, and Patricia (Michael Sae Yong) Choe, nieces and nephews. He is proceded in death by his father, Earl Griffin. He attended Cleveland Bendictine High School. Bill graduated from Kent State University. Bill worked as an athletic trainer and Manager of Medical Records for Greensboro Orthopaedics. He was President of the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association. He also served on the Governmental Affairs Committee of the National ATA.