R.J. Reynolds alum headlines Hall of Fame inductees

R.J. Reynolds alum headlines Hall of Fame inductees
January 22
11:54 2018

On Friday, Jan. 26, R.J. Reynolds high school will induct their 2018 class into the school’s Hall of Fame.  As part of this class, Charles Bailey, a former standout football player and Winston native, wanted to share his thoughts on being enshrined.

Bailey was an All-Conference football player in 1968 and was invited to play in the Shrine Bowl later that year.  Upon graduation from Reynolds he attended North Carolina Central University where he earned his Bachelors degree in Recreation.  He later earned his master’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

He began his professional career as a graduate assistant at is alma mater N.C. Central.  He then went from North Forsyth High School to Winston Salem State University, where he was an assistant under legendary head coach William “Bill” Hayes.

After leaving the college ranks, Bailey began his career in the NFL, first as an area scout for the NFL scouting combine.  He transitioned to the front office of several NFL teams following his time at the combine. 

Bailey says he has been involved with sports nearly his entire life.  He credits his time at Reynolds with setting him on a path that he could never imagine that has now ended with him being a part of their Hall of Fame.

“My initial thought when I found out was that I felt very honored to be inducted into the hall of fame for RJ Reynolds,” Bailey said.  “This school started in 1922 and I’m sure there are several worthy people that can go into the hall of fame but I was chosen and I certainly would like to give thanks to the Reynolds high school family, past and present.”

“I am going to be really really excited to be recognized by the RJ Reynolds family,” Bailey went on to say when asked what his feelings will be on induction night.  “I thank Reynolds for everything that it gave me and since I have left there I have not been out of the game of football and that is simply amazing.”

Bailey credits the Rooney family, owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New Orleans Saints with furthering his career inside their organizations.  He stated while with the Steelers he reached the pinnacle of his career when they reached the Super Bowl in 1995.

“I owe a lot to Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers who really gave me opportunities to hone my business skills such as negotiating contracts,” he said. 

According to Bailey, the African-American presence really exploded during his time in the NFL.  He was given the opportunity to interview for several general manager positions prior to the Rooney rule being implemented.  The Rooney rule states that a franchise has to interview a minority candidate for each front office position.

Bailey also advocated for a home stadium for his Demon teams to play on.  He says it is a shame that Reynolds does not have the opportunity to play “true” home games while most other teams do.

“It’s time for a new stadium there and I know there is an initiative for a new all purpose stadium to be built because Reynolds has always had away games even in the city of Winston-Salem,” he said.  “I think it is imperative that Reynolds gets a new stadium because Reynolds high school gave me a great opportunity to play in the Shrine Bowl and a great sense of confidence after leaving there”

“It all goes back to Reynolds High School because it was very important in my life for what it has done for me personally and professionally,” he continued.  “So I think it’s important that the community comes together for a stadium at Reynolds High School,” he said emphatically.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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