Since its inception in 2006 the goal of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame was to honor and recognize athletes that had ties to the Wilmington Area. In 2007 the Bill Dooley Scholarship Program was established to honor Coach Bill Dooley, longtime award winning Atlantic Coast Conference Head Football Coach. Coach Dooley was one of the founding fathers of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame (GWSHOF) and served as its inaugural Chairman in 2006.
Dooley has received many hall of fame awards, which include the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the All-American Hall of Fame, the Mississippi State University
Hall of Fame, the Independence Bowl Hall of Fame, the Mobile Hall of Fame and the Gulf Coast College Hall of Fame.
The proceeds over the years of the GWSHOF various events have supported the Bill Dooley Scholarship Program, which benefits high school and college student athletes.
The schools are chosen by the Inductees and the students are chosen by the school administration.
Since the beginning of the organization GWSHOF has honored 52 Inductees and awarded 47 Scholarships.
The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame is deeply honored to announce the establishment of the Coach Bill Dooley Education Endowment Fund.
The GWSHOF distributes four scholarships yearly. “These students are not only awarded for their athletic achievements but also for their high academic performance,” says Jon Rosborough, Chairman of GWSHOF. “They must also be good citizens that exhibit leadership and excellent character.”
The Scholarships are funded by the net proceeds of various GWSHOF fundraising events throughout the year. Coach Dooley’s Endowment Fund will enable guaranteed funding of these scholarships independent of the Hall’s yearly revenues. Once the Endowment Fund reaches a mature level its yearly earnings will finance the four annual scholarships. Net event revenues that are currently used to fund the Scholarships will then be directed to the Endowment Fund. This will allow for increased earning and ultimately more educational opportunities.
The Coach Bill Dooley Education Endowment Fund will operate as a 501c entity. All contributions are tax deductible. Additionally, the Fund will provide donors with more options than the traditional cash donation. Some of these options are: stock and bond transfers, life insurance policies, annuities, and contributions from trust funds.
Those that knew Coach Dooley during his life were keenly aware of his strong advocacy for education. Coach often said that education brought “bigger and better things in life.”
In the words of Coach Bill Dooley, “It is all about recognition and education.”
The Endowment named in his honor will allow Education Scholarships to be funded in perpetuity.