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Jennings Boyd


Coach Jennings Bryan Boyd (August 1, 1933-April 2, 2002) was perhaps West Virginia’s greatest high school basketball coach. He was born in Buchanan County, Virginia and graduated from Northfork-Elkhorn High School in neighboring McDowell County in 1951. After receiving his teaching degree from Concord College, he returned to his alma mater (whose name had been shortened to Northfork High School) as a mathematics teacher and assistant coach. He became head coach in 1966.

Under Boyd, the Northfork Blue Demons won eight consecutive AA state basketball championships from 1974 to 1981, an all-time state and national record, and a total of nine championships in 15 years. Boyd’s up-tempo teams, famous for their fast breaks and transition offense, compiled a 102-5 home record on the high school’s cozy, less-than-regulation, gymnasium court. He retired from coaching in 1981 after beating Dunbar 55-53 in his last state championship game, with a lifetime 446-83 (85 percent) record. Boyd retired from teaching in 1986 and served on both the McDowell County Board of Education and the county commission, where he was president in 1986. Boyd, West Virginia Coach of the Year in 1976, was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1983. He and his wife, the former Patricia Ann Romeo, had three sons.

Written by C. Stuart McGehee


  1. Marino, Rose. Welch and its People. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Pub., 1985.

  2. Hypes, Larry. Decade Saw Blue Demons Set National Championship Record. Bluefield Daily Telegraph, December 31, 1989.

  3. Hypes, Larry. Northfork, Boyd Began Legendary Run 25 Years Ago. Bluefield Daily Telegraph, December 12, 1998.

  4. Murphy, Jody. Boyd Recalls Glory Days. Beckley Register-Herald, March 16, 2000.