GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two Guilford College alumni are among 10 individuals named to the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday. Tommy Grayson '68 and Darlene Joyner '81 will be formally enshrined in a September 19 ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum. Both are also members of the Guilford College Sports Hall of Fame
Grayson, who still assists the Quakers' baseball team, was drafted out of Guilford by the Detroit Tigers. He spent six seasons in minor-league baseball, two at the Triple-A level. He earned NAIA All-America honors in 1967 and 1968, the 1967 Carolinas Conference Baseball Player of the Year and Guilford's Best Undergraduate Male Athlete in 1966. The Lexington, North Carolina, native helped fellow Guilford County Sports Hall of Famer Stuart Maynard's '43 baseball team to a 28-9 record in 1966 and a NAIA World Series appearance, where the Quakers finished fourth overall.
The Guilford graduate has also spent much of his coaching career on the gridiron, assisting with the Quakers' football team on multiple occasions. Grayson served as the wide receivers and tight ends coach in 2002, worked with the defensive line in 2003 and coached running backs in 2004.
Grayson retired from a distinguished high school teaching and football coaching career in 2002. He spent seven years as a teacher and head football coach at Rockingham County High School from 1995-2002. Grayson enjoyed 16 years as the head football coach at Eastern Guilford High School where he compiled an 80-81 record and won a North Carolina Class 3-A Division II East title in 1981. He also coached NFL receiver Torry Holt at Eastern Guilford. Grayson also coached golf, wrestling and baseball at Eastern, where the school's football field bears his name.
During his time at Guilford, Grayson set multiple school records including single-season batting average (.409), triples (7) and slugging percentage (.765), which still rank among Guilford's all-time leaders. Grayson also set football marks for single-season rushing yards (775) and touchdowns (10). He also ran track and basketball for the Quakers. Grayson helped the basketball team reach the 1967 NAIA National Tournament.
Grayson was enshrined into Guilford's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982 and is also a member of the Chowan College and Davidson County (NC) Sports Halls of Fame.
After starring for the basketball, volleyball and track and field teams at nearby Northwest Guilford High School, Joyner enrolled at Guilford where she played volleyball and basketball for fellow Guilford County Sports Hall of Famer Gayle Currie. She lettered once in volleyball and three times in basketball before graduating with her degree in education.
Joyner returned to Northwest Guilford after graduation and embarked on an outstanding teaching and coaching career that included a 1996 state 34/4A slow-pitch softball championship, plus regional titles and state championship game appearances in both volleyball and basketball. Joyner recently retired after 31 years at Northwest and received 2016 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Toby Webb Coach of the Year for her accomplishment as a coach and mentor. She also received the 2013 Homer Thompson Sportsmanship Award for District 5 and was named the state's Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year in 2009. Joyner entered Guilford's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
Joyner coached volleyball for 22 years, softball for 14, basketball for 14 years, and girls' cross country for two at Northwest. Her basketball teams went 281-99 with consecutive trips to regional championship games in 2015 and 2016. The 2016 club compiled a 30-1 record, won the 4A West Region title and reached the state final. Joyner received the 2015 N.C. Basketball Coaches Association District 7 Coach of the Year Award after helping the Vikings to a 28-1 record and a spot in the state 4A West Region final.
Joyner recorded a 500-101 volleyball mark and won 20 conference championships, including one in each of her final 16 seasons. The 2015 Vikings unit won the West Region title played for the 2015 state 4A championship.
Grayson and Joyner are the latest Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame honorees with Guilford College ties. Others include maynard, Currie, Bob Jameson '32, Rick Ferrell '28, Jerry Steele, Kitty Steele, Jack Jensen, Marion Kirby, Herb Appenzeller, Larry Dempsey Sr. '51, and Sandy Gann '66.