Coach Wayne Owens Memorial Gym

David Brinkley, Valdese native, and the Valdese Parks and Recreation Department invite you to help honor long-time coach Wayne Owens. Coach Owens was a tremendous friend, leader, and champion for Valdese youth athletics and the Valdese Community Center from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. As a fitting and well-deserved tribute to Coach Owens, David Brinkley has championed a project to renovate the gymnasium at the Valdese Community Center in Owens' honor. 

A Tribute to Wayne Owens from Joe Brown, Valdese Class of 1965

Longtime Valdese Coach Jerry Murray Shares About Coach Wayne Owens

"Wayne coached Little League basketball and adult basketball for many years. He used the same technique with both and was highly successful. Rather than criticizing a player for committing an error, he would positively encouraging the player to improve his technique. This worked great with kids because they learned to play in a positive way, and it worked with adults, as well, because adults don't like to be told they are doing something wrong. His bench manner was calm, and there was no screaming and yelling! He exhibited good sportsmanship." - Jerry Murray.

Wayne Owens Inspired Valdese Youth like Bill Bradshaw

"Imagine how I felt as a young boy around 11 years old, to walk into the Valdese Gym and see Coach Owens. I lost my right arm at two and a half, and getting that boost of inspiration at such an early age changed my thinking from victim to thinking I could accomplish anything I attempted. I went on to play basketball for Coach Owens for a short time. I went on to graduate from Valdese High School, completed courses at CCVTI in Horticulture, became a member of the Valdese Rescue Squad, became a certified SCUBA diver, and retired with 30 years of service for the Department of Health and Human Services as a law enforcement officer. I married, raised a family, and lived in Valdese my whole life. I believe this good life was built on an early foundation inspired by Coach Owens!" -Bill Bradshaw.

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