Press release from the office of Rep. Brian Turner:
Longtime Enka High School wrestling coach Jim Whitmer received the state’s highest award for athletic achievement, the Laurel Wreath Award on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the WMAC Tournament at Tuscola High School.
“Coach Jim,” as he is known to the wrestlers he has coached, founded the wrestling program at Enka High School in 1970. He built and maintained one of the state’s most dominant wrestling programs until his retirement in 2001. His teams won ten conference championships, five sectional tournaments, and two regional tournaments. He coached six state champions and 35 state place winners.
The Award was presented to Coach Whitmer by Representative Brian Turner.
“Coach Whitmer not only built a wrestling program at Enka, he created a tradition of excellence and discipline, and so many athletes in the Hominies have benefited from his leadership,” Turner says.
In his 26 seasons of coaching, Whitmer amassed a dual meet record of 351 wins and 80 losses. His coaching career was so notable that he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2008.
Coach Whitmer also has a lifetime of dedicated service to amateur wrestling outside of coaching. During his career, he served in numerous leadership positions within the wrestling community, including board positions in the US Wrestling Federation, NC USA Wrestling, and as a member of the NCHSAA Wrestling Coaches Committee.