Blacksburg High School Sunday announced its eight-member 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame class.
The inductees are Coach Warren Murphy, 1974-2004; Coach Bob Lee Trear, 1967-2002; Brian Crist, Class of 1990; Donald A. “Trey” Gresh, III, Class of 2009; Evan Marshall Gregg, Class of 2009; John Jennelle, Class of 1951 posthumous; Coach Bill Winfrey, 1972-2012 posthumous; and James “Jimmy” Wright, Class of 1970.
The inductees will be formally recognized at the BHS Football Game on Friday, Sept. 24.
- Coach Warren Murphy directed the girls’ basketball program for 12 years 1977-89, winning two state championships in 1978 and 1982. His 1981 squad was a state semifinalist with a 24-1 record, and his 1978 and 1982 teams were state champions with 26-1 and 26-0 records respectively.
For 18 years, he was the boys’ basketball JV coach.
Murphy also served as the Blacksburg Athletic Director for 13 years (1992-2005) and was the State AA Athletic Director of the Year in 2000. In 2005, he was a National High School Athletic Coaches Association Nominee for Athletic Director of the Year.
He was four times the New River District Girls Basketball Coach of the Year (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982). He was the Region IV girls’ basketball Coach of the Year in 1978, 1981, and 1982.
Murphy was the Roanoke Times All-Timesland Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 1982 and that same year was a National High School Athletic Coaches Association Nominee for National High School Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. His teams four times were the New River District Tournament Champions (1978-1979, 1981, 1982) and were the Region IV Tournament Champions three times (1978-1981, 1982).
Coach Murphy retired in 2004 and currently resides in Orlando, Fla., with his wife, Jan. Their daughter, Alison, lives in Fairfax County, Va., with her husband, Richard and their five children.
- Coach Bob Lee Trear directed the boys’ basketball program at Blacksburg for 29 years and was the longest serving boys’ basketball coach in Timesland upon his retirement in 2002. He also coached JV football for 18 years (1970-88) and golf for 2 years (1975-76) and coached in two all-star games (1975 and 1977).
His basketball teams three times were the state runners-up (1975, 1977, 2002). They also won eight district championships and 15 district tournament championships, six region championships and made four state final-four appearances. His squads were region runners-up five times.
Coach Trear’s career record of 427-258 ranked seventh among active coaches upon his retirement
He retired from teaching industrial arts/wood technology, photography, and printing in 2006 after 39 years. He and his wife, Karen, live in Blacksburg and have three children (Kelley, Robin and Lane) and six grandchildren.
Brian Crist, Class of 1990, was a multi-sport athlete at BHS, earning varsity letters in football, basketball, track, and baseball. He was a member of 1988 district championship football team and the 1989 regional and state championship football team, the 1988-89 state semi-finalist, district and regional championship basketball team, and participated in the 1989 state track meet.
Crist earned All-New River District honors as a quarterback and defensive back, was named the 1990 Outstanding Athlete of the Year by the Blacksburg Sports Club, and went on to continue his football career as a starting quarterback for Hampden-Sydney College.
He has been a football coach at the Division 1 level for 25 years and has coached in two national championship games, winning the 1998 NCAA national championship. One of his teams also made a Final Eight appearance in the NCAA 1AA playoffs.
Crist was a member of Coach Frank Beamer’s staff for the 1995 Big East and Sugar Bowl championships.
Crist now lives in Canfield, Ohio, with his wife, Amy, (also a BHS alum), and they have four children: Jackson, Ali, Caroline and Logan.
Donald A. Gresh, III “Trey,” Class of 2009
Gresh was a four-year starter at quarterback football and shortstop. He is the only BHS student athlete ever to earn 12 varsity letters in the major sports (football, four in baseball, one in basketball, and three in indoor track). He is Blacksburg High’s all-time passing leader (6,753 yards). He was the team’s MVP and team captain and was named the Most Outstanding Senior.
Gresh was All-River Ridge, all-region, and all-state in multiple sports and is only the second freshman ever to start the first game of his freshman season in varsity football. The first was Sidney Snell.
He was the only eighth grader to play JV football for an entire season, starting at quarterback and leading the team to an 8-2 record. He was the first eighth grader to play JV basketball.
He is Blacksburg’s baseball career leader ihis senior season, the third highest average in school history. He was a member of the BHS 4x 00 indoor track team that broke a 24-year school record and was a state qualifier in indoor track in the 55M, the 300M, and the 4×200.
He received a full scholarship to Virginia Tech, was a three-year letterman, and was the ACC Special Teams Player of the Week three times. He participated in the 2010 ACC championship Game when VT beat FSU in Charlotte, the 2011 Orange Bowl, the 2012 Sugar Bowl, the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl, and the 2013 Sun Bowl.
Today, Gresh is the Chief Operating Officer for Family Office Research, an Investment Management & Advisory Firm in Northern Virginia. He resides in Sterling with his wife, Shannon Gresh (formally Shannon Mayrose), a 5-year soccer starter at VT, and now a school counselor for Fairfax Public Schools
Evan Marshall Gregg, Class of 2009
Marshall was a five-time Virginia state champion and record holder in the 50- and 100-freestyle and 200 individual medley. He set All-Timesland records in the 200 individual medley, the 100 freestyle, and 1the 00 backstroke
At BHS, he was the Most Valuable Swimmer four years in a row and named the Most Valuable Bruin Athlete as a senior. He was a three-time All-Timesland Swimmer of the Year and was named the Roanoke Times male athlete of the year in 2009.
He went on to earn a scholarship and four letters in men’s swimming and diving at the University of Michigan and was the co-captain of the team that won the NCAA championship in 2013. He was an All-American and a Big-Ten champion in 2012 and swam in the 100-meter butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials.
After his BHS graduation, Gregg earned a Bachelor of Science from Michigan, a Master of Public Health from Virginia Tech, and a Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services School of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. He is training to be a psychiatrist as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
John Jennelle, Class of 1951 Posthumously
Jennelle was a 4-year letterman in football, played for Coach Joe Newman, and was the team co-captain his senior year. As a 160-lb. fullback his senior year, he led the district and the state in scoring with 24 touchdowns and nine point-after conversions. His 159 points set an all-time district record.
He was named captain of the 1950 All-District team and selected for the Modern All-Blacksburg team.
The president of Emory and Henry, Foys Gibson, invited Jennelle to a tryout for the football team, but upon graduation he elected to serve in the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Bamberg, Germany, in the First Infantry Division (The Big Red One) and the 26th Regiment (Blue Spaders) Heavy Motor Company. Upon retirement from Poly Scientific in Blacksburg, Jennelle coached football for the Blacksburg Parks and Recreation Department.
He is survived by his daughter, Sharon Jennelle Snyder, who lives in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and three grandchildren: Tavish Jennelle, Zach Snyder, and Natalie Snyder, and one great-grandson, Silas Jennelle.
Coach Bill Winfrey. 1972-2012 Posthumously
Coach Bill Winfrey coached football at Blacksburg High School from 1972-2012. He helped coach two state championship teams in 1977 and 1989 and two state-runners up teams in 1984 and 1985.
Coach Winfrey ran the scout team for most of his 40 years at BHS. He also coached the offensive line. He served as the junior varsity football head coach for several years in the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s.
As the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Blacksburg from 1972 to 1998, Winfrey opened the area’s first public indoor aquatic center in 1992. The recreational fields at Kipps Elementary School in Blacksburg are named for him.
He was a 1949 graduate of Sigourney High School in Sigourney, Iowa, where he played football and ran track. He played football at Parsons College after high school. Winfrey served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, 1952-1954.
After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 1956, Winfreycoached football in Iowa and Texas. In 1966, he served as the secretary of the Iowa Football Coaches Association.
Coach Winfrey died Oct. 23, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Pam, his three daughters, Barbara, Merrie, and Susan and his grandson Nicholas Anthony.
James “Jimmy” Wright, Class of 1970
Wright was a 4-year letterman in track and cross country on two undefeated cross-country teams. He set and held the BHS 2-mile record for two years, made the JV basketball team as an eighth- grader, started on all offensive, defensive, and special teams on the eighth grade and JV football teams.
As the smallest defensive end to ever start for BHS, Wright led tem team in backfield tackles and received the Coaches Award. The Indians’ 1969 defense gave up only 41 points in nine district games.
As a walk-on to Virginia Tech’s wrestling team with no formal experience, Wright started and lettered as a freshman and placed third in the collegiate state championship as a junior.
He coached Bridgewater College’s indoor and outdoor track and cross-country teams to third place or better conference finishes each of two seasons, qualified two male athletes to national qualifying times/distances, and started the first ever women’s cross-country team.
Wright is active in his local (Baptist) church and as a volunteer with the local crisis pregnancy center. He is thankful to God for all these opportunities, but is especially thankful for his wife, Wanda; his sons, Jamie and Matthew; his daughters-in-law, Lisa and Amanda; and his grandchildren Roman and Lunden.