Wake County Public School System
Hall of Fame
Jack Spain served as Athletic Director for Broughton High School, where he taught physical education and coached student athletes for twenty-seven years.
Jack grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School, where he was active in student government, Key Club, and the Salvation Army Boys’ Club, and was a two-time letterman in varsity baseball.
An alumnus of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, George Washington University, and Colorado State University, he earned degrees in education, kinesiology, and anatomy, and became a Certified Athletic Trainer.
After graduate school, Jack joined a private sports medicine clinic in Colorado, specializing in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of sports related injuries. He also volunteered at several local high schools and served as the head athletic trainer for the Coors’ Bicycle Classic and U.S.A. Wrestling.
As the head trainer for U.S.A. Wrestling, Jack coordinated medical coverage for eight National Junior Wrestling Championships for high school wrestlers, eight National Wrestling Championships for elite wrestlers, and three U.S.A. Wrestling Olympic Trials.
Jack returned to his home state of North Carolina in 1986, when he was hired by Dr. Richard Jewell to be a physical education teacher and Broughton’s first Certified Athletic Trainer.
When the head football coach Henry Travathan showed him the training room where he would be working, he paused outside the room and said, “please tell me you won’t quit when I open this door.” What Jack discovered wasn’t an athletic training room, but a storage room – the high school equivalent of a hoarder’s garage – but Jack wasn’t fazed. He cleaned, built taping tables, purchased equipment and supplies, and went to work. Broughton got its first training room and the Holiday Gym became Jack’s professional home for twenty-seven years.
In 1993, Jack became the athletic director and served in that position until his retirement in 2013. Maintaining a successful athletic program required patience, commitment, long days, and long nights, but seeing the positive impact athletics can have in young people’s lives was incredibly rewarding.
“I have never scored a goal. I have never coached a win. Never scored a touchdown. But to see the success that these young athletes had was incredibly gratifying.”
His career at Broughton continued the school’s tradition of athletic excellence, which included twenty years as one of the top ten athletic programs in North Carolina, and more than twenty NCHSAA State Championships in women’s basketball, cheerleading, men’s cross-country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s tennis. Broughton was one of the first schools in Wake County to include lacrosse as a varsity sport, more than fifteen tears ago. During this time, Broughton had thirty-seven High School All-Americans, innumerable collegiate athletes, ten professional athletes, and one two-time U.S.A. Olympian. The success of the athletic program at Broughton was paired with a tradition of coaches who believe that, regardless of winning or losing, sportsmanship and positive values are the true benefits of athletic competition.
“First and foremost, we’re about doing it the right way…Doing it with a sense of pride in our school, respect for our opponents, and we’ll walk off that field with our heads held high whether we won or lost.”
In retirement, Jack enjoys spending time with Martha, his wife of forty-two years, and his daughters, Liz and Griffin, both Broughton athletes and graduates. He currently serves as a Broughton volunteer and on the WakeEd Partnership Coach WakeEd Partnership Coach Bob Pittard Scholarship Selection Committee.
1993-2017 – NCHSAA Men’s and Women’s State Soccer Championships Host School
2000 – ESPN National High School Soccer School of the Decade
2000-2017 – NCHSAA Football State Championships Host School
2001-Present – NCHSAA Cheerleading State Championships Host School
2004 – Creation of the Broughton Athletics Hall of Fame
2004-2009 – NCHSAA Men’s and Women’s State Track Championships Host School
2005 – 2018 – NCHSAA Softball State Championships Host School
2008-2009 – NCHSAA Men’s and Women’s State Swimming Championships Host School
2012-2016 – NCHSAA Volleyball State Championships Host School
2004 – NCHSAA Regional Award
2004 – Co-Founder Broughton Athletics Hall of Fame
2006 – NCHSAA Tribute of Appreciation Award
2008 – NCHSAA Regional Award
2012 – NCHSAA First Annual Charlie Adams Service Award
2013 – NCHSAA Best 100 in 100 Years – Administrators
2014 – Broughton Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee
2016 – Co-founder of BALL – Broughton Athletes Learning to Lead
“To be selected as a member of the Wake Education Partnership – Wake County Public School System Hall of Fame is truly humbling. It is an honor and an award for which I am immensely proud and appreciative.”
Jack Spain was inducted into the Wake County Public School System Hall of Fame in 2020.