Born to Chuck and Vena Boles on February 13, 1954, Sheila E. Boles was raised in Fayetteville. Her interest in sports began early. She quickly became a stand out on the basketball team and was named All Conference for 4 years. She was also and avid musician and an active student. Sheila attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1973 and played for UNCW’s first collegiate Women’s Basketball Team. The following year she was awarded UNCW’s first female athletic scholarship and was named Team MVP. Sheila was named at the first Women’s All-State Basketball Team and Volleyball Team.
In 1977, she began her teaching and coaching career at Pender Lee Junior High School. From there she moved to Lake Forest Junior High and then to Trask Junior High School. While at Trask, Sheila first coached the boy’s basketball team. Her success earned her the position head of coach of Laney High School’s Women’s basketball team. In 1986 she led the Laney bus to the State semi-finals and was selected as the mid-eastern AAAA Coach of the Year. In 1989, Hugh McManus, the principal of Hoggard High School, made an unprecedented move and hired Sheila Boles to coach the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team. This was the first time in North Carolina a woman was hired as a men’s high school basketball coach. Boles led Hoggard’s program to multiple Conference Championships and was twice selected mid-eastern AAAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year. She helped many of her players receive scholarships to play at the college level and was a model to all of the young people who’s lives she touched.
In June 1998, Sheila began the greatest fight of her life. A battle against breast cancer. As she underwent treatment she continued teaching and coaching her boys. The season was her toughest ever but her strength and determination paid off. She defeated her cancer and won both New Hanover County and Southeastern North Carolina’s award for Teacher of the Year. She was selected mid-eastern AAAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year and was given the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Award for Courage.
In 1999, Boles was appointed athletic director at Hoggard High School, and became the first female AD in New Hanover County. During her term, she earned many honors and distinctions. She served in the North Carolina’s Athletic Directors Association Board for 5 years, and she was named Athletic Director of the year in 2008 by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association.
Throughout her career, Sheila has been an integral force in her community. Volunteering at the Martin Luther King Center, assisting with the Special Olympics, serving the board of directors, the Landfall Tradition Golf Tournament and for the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. In her retirement she continues to give back to the Wilmington community which is so dear to her heart.
The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducts Sheila Boles.