‘A great human being:’ West Charlotte High gym renamed for graduate, longtime coach Charles A. McCullough Sr.

McCullough coached and taught at WCHS for more than 30 years.
Charles McCullough Senior passed away in 2017, but his daughter says his spirit and legacy will forever live inside of West Charlotte High School.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:18 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:30 AM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is keeping the legacy of a longtime coach and mentor alive in the very school he attended.

During Wednesday’s board of education meeting, the board unanimously voted to rename the West Charlotte High School gymnasium to the Charles A. McCullough, Sr. Athletic Center.

McCullough was a WCHS graduate, athlete, physical education teacher and boys’ basketball coach. He coached for 33 years and led the team to more than 600 wins and five state championships. He died in 2017.

A gym will be renamed after Charles A. McCullough.
A gym will be renamed after Charles A. McCullough.

“Coach McCullough was much more than a coach; he was a mentor who instilled pride in his players and his community,” said vice chair Thelma Byers-Bailey. “He competed successfully himself at the collegiate and national levels. Then, he leveraged that experience to lift the students he coached to the highest levels. He was an outstanding coach, father, husband and all-around human being, and he inspired everyone around him.”

McCullough’s daughter, Cynthia, says she remembers watching her dad pour his time and love into the school and students.

“My dad was a great coach, a great human being. He loved the community; he put his heart and soul into the students that he coached, that he taught Drivers Ed to. He was a tremendous athlete,” Cynthia said.

Cynthia said she remembers asking her father what he would do if the school named a building after him, a dream that became a reality years later.

“I had asked him one time before my father passed away in 2017, I said, ‘Dad, what if one day the gymnasium was named after you?’ He said, ‘Honey, I think people should get their roses when they’re living but if that happens, I know you’ll take care of it and I’ll be proud,’” Cynthia said.

Tom Wilson is a proud WCHS alum and former basketball player who fondly remembers his years being mentored by McCullough.

“Coach McCullough talked to us, he mentored us, he worked with us and got us to play basketball on a team sport, and got us to work hard in the classroom,” Wilson said.

Principal Orlando Robinson was beaming as he witnessed McCullough be honored for his accomplishments and impact not just in the school but the greater west Charlotte community.

“It humbles me to be a part of this history. Couch McCullough was an example of excellence. He was a West Charlotte athlete, a West Charlotte graduate, served his country, then came back and became a legend and influenced so many lives over his thirty-plus years as a coach,” Robinson said.

A CMS spokesperson says the date of the renaming ceremony hasn’t been shared yet.