1/29/2013 2:54:00 PM Surface, Lee, Gray join NC Hall of Fame Trio will be inducted Thursday at banquet
Courier-Times Staff Report
A longtime school administrator, a former football coach and a three-sport athlete are the newest electees to the New Castle Athletic Hall of Fame.
Two of them, John Lee and Mark Surface, are still living. They will be honored at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the New Castle-Henry County Public Library. The third new member, Jay W. Gray, died in 1989.
Jay W. Gray
A 1946 graduate of New Castle High School, Gray earned eight varsity letters in his high school career: two in football, two in basketball, two in baseball and two in track.
In football, the two-year letter winner was recorded as one of the best kickers in the state his senior year. He was also named third-team all-state.
In baseball, Jay earned two varsity letters. He recorded a .487 batting average his senior year.
In track, the two-year letter winner once scored 11 points in one meet.
Gray is considered to be one of the top all-around athletes in the storied athletic history of New Castle High School. After his graduation in 1946, Jay attended Wabash College on a football scholarship. Before suffering a career-ending knee injury, Jay played halfback, defensive back and also punted for the Little Giants. Jay graduated from Indiana University in 1952, with a Bachelor's degree in Education.
Jay was extremely involved in his community of Bay Village, Ohio.
A 1960 graduate of New Castle High School, Lee earned five varsity letters in his career: two in basketball, one in baseball, one in football and one in golf.
In basketball, the two-year letter winner was All North Central Conference his senior year. He was also named to the Indiana North All-Star team. Lee holds the New Castle sectional scoring record for most points in a game at 52. He also has the second highest scoring average in school history at 19.1 points per game.
John was also captain of the state finalist golf team in 1960.
After his graduation in 1960, Lee attended Ball State Teachers College and played basketball from 1961-1964. He returned to his hometown in 1981 to serve as an administrator at Parkview Junior High School until 1999. John continues to be an avid Trojan fan to this day.
Surface, a native of Lafayette, was a 1963 graduate of Lafayette Jefferson High School. He earned a degree in education from Ball State University in 1968. He was on the BSU football team that opened Scheumann Stadium in 1967 with a 65-7 victory over Butler.
After experiencing success elsewhere, Mark served as the head coach of the football Trojans from 1977-1984. During that time he accumulated a record of 45-36 (28-28 in North Central Conference play.) He guided the Trojans to a North Central Conference championship in 1984. Mark was also named NCC Coach of the Year that season. Mark Surface ended his coaching career at New Castle with the second highest win total in school history.
Over the course of Surface's 39 years of coaching, he amassed 257 wins, numerous conference championships and two state final appearances. In 2007, Mark was awarded the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Distinguished American Award and was a 2012 inductee into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Mark and his wife, Jill, recently returned to New Castle to enjoy their retirement years. They are in-laws of Calvin and Donna Duff.
Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by:
I was honored to accept the NCHS Sports Hall of Fame recognition for my late father Jay W. Gray, class of '46 from Brandon Becker, athletic director this week. Our family is very proud of Jay, and proud of our NC roots. We thoroughly enjoyed the Thursday banquet and Friday night's game presentations. Special thanks to Mr. Jim Cole for his efforts with nominating Jay, and his support of Trojan sports heritage. Sincerely, Barry Gray - Deerfield, IL