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July 23, 2014

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Oval Jaynes, right, and William A. Meehan, left, president of Jacksonville State, during a 2010
home football game.
Jacksonville State photo by Steve Latham

Originally published: 2012-06-28 09:15:51
Last modified: 2012-06-28 09:18:53

Jaynes inducted into Athletic Directors Hall of Fame

A Blowing Rock man has been honored as one of the legends in the world of college athletics. 

After a storied 53-year career as both a football coach and an athletic director, Oval Jaynes traveled to Dallas, Texas, this week for induction in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame.  

Jaynes and fellow inductees Laing Kennedy of Kent State, Nelson Bobb of the University of North Carolina Greensoboro, Bob Bottger of St. Louis Community College Meramec, Rudy Carvajal of Cal State Bakersfield, Andrea Seger of Ball State and Nelson Townsend of Maryland Eastern Shore received their awards on June 26 at the NACDA’s 47th annual Convention in Dallas.

“I’m very honored and very grateful,” Jaynes said. “I’m grateful for the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, coaches and administrators, and a really outstanding group of student-athletes. I am truly humbled to be recognized by my peers with this great honor.”

After more than 53 years of serving on a college campus, Jaynes retired in the spring of 2011 after serving as the director of athletics at Jacksonville State the previous three years.

Under Jaynes, the Gamecocks enjoyed much success, winning numerous Ohio Valley Conference championships and advancing to NCAA postseason play, and more than 300 student-athletes posted a 3.0 grade point average or higher in the classroom.

Jaynes, who spent more than 20 years in coaching, including three years as the head football coach at Gardner-Webb, began his administrative career as an assistant athletic director and associate athletic director at Auburn University from 1981-1986.

He was the athletics director at Colorado State for five years before taking over at the University of Pittsburgh. He led the Panther athletic department from 1991 until 1996, when he moved to director of athletics at the University of Idaho. He then spent five years at Chattanooga as director of athletics and then another year at UTC as special assistant to the chancellor.

Fourteen of his former staff members went on to serve as athletic directors at Division I Institutions, including Jay Jacobs at Auburn University and Mark Hollis at Michigan State University.

Forty of his former staff members and players have gone on to become head football coaches, including Skip Holtz and Urban Meyer, and 61 have become NFL assistant coaches.

Additionally, three of his former coaches went on to become head coaches in the NFL.

Jaynes has been very active in many national organizations and has served on numerous NCAA committees. He has served on the NCAA Council, the NCAA Nominating Committee, while also chairing the District VII Post-Graduate Scholarship Committee.

He is also involved in NACDA, having served as the AFCA liaison, while also being a member of the finance, legislative and executive committees. He was elected and served as the third vice president in 1995-96 for the Division I Athletic Director’s Association. He served on the College Football Association board of directors in 1996-97, and is still active in the American Football Coaches Association, where he is currently the chairman of the Convention Foundation Committee.

In March 1999, he received the General Robert R. Neyland Award for Lifetime Achievement by the All-American Football Foundation. 

He also received the Bill Wade Unsung Hero Award in 2002 by the All-American Football Foundation, which is awarded to a college player for outstanding performance.

In the summer of 2008, Jaynes was inducted into the Burke County Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Morganton, N.C.

Jaynes is a 1962 graduate of Appalachian State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He was a two-sport letterman for the Mountaineers, excelling in football and baseball. As an end for the football team, Jaynes was an All-Conference and All-State performer and was also selected for “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.” 

He was awarded his master’s degree in educational administration from North Carolina in 1965.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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