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April 2, 2002: Legendary Basketball Coach Jennings Boyd Dies

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Jennings Boyd died on April 2, 2002, at age 68. He was one of the legendary coaches in West Virginia history.

  In 1966, two significant events happened in Northfork. First, racial segregation ended in that part of McDowell County, as Northfork merged with the historically black Elkhorn High. Second, Jennings Boyd was hired as head basketball coach. Boyd’s teams would become known for their up-tempo styles, fast breaks, and transition offense.

Under Boyd, the Northfork Blue Demons won nine Double-A state basketball championships in 15 years. Remarkably, they captured eight consecutive titles between 1974 and 1981. This unprecedented run is still an all-time state and national record. Boyd also compiled a stunning record of 102-5 at home on an undersized court.

After winning his final championship in 1981, Boyd retired from coaching with an 85 percent winning record. He continued at Northfork as a math teacher for another five years and served on the McDowell County Board of Education and County Commission. Jennings Boyd was honored as West Virginia coach of the year in 1976 and inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1983.

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