Edringston Receives UNC Staff Award

North Carolina A&T’s Billy Edringston received the Erskine Bowles Award at the General Assembly Building in Chapel Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Edringston, the associate athletics director for game operations and facilities, was presented the award by the UNC System Staff Organizations. He received the recognition thanks in part to his efforts with making N. C. A&T’s Irwin Belk Track a popular destination for non-institutional track events.

Irwin Belk Track will mark its 10th anniversary this spring. In past 10 years, A&T has hosted the 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship meets. In addition, A&T has also opened its doors to the New Balance Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the International Friendship and Freedom Games (which featured Olympians), the United States Junior Olympics (2009 and ‘13) and the State Games.

In 2006, A&T became the first historically black college or university to host an NCAA track and field event when it became the site for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round. A&T’s hospitality and professionalism under the guidance of Edringston led to the NCAA returning in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Edringston has served as the meet coordinator and facility contact for each meet since the track opened. He is the main liaison between A&T and the city of Greensboro and the meet coordinators from the various non-institutional organizations. His responsibilities also include working with officials, timers, parking attendants, ticket-takers, custodial staff, volunteers, coaches and sponsors to ensure meets are conducted to the highest of standards.

“A championship event may have 80 officials, twice as many volunteers and 7,000 athletes,” said Earl M. Hilton III, director of athletics at A&T. “The events run from early in the morning until late in the evening, usually beginning on Thursday or Friday and running through Sunday in the hot summer sun. Billy is there when it opens and there when it closes.”

According to Greensboro Sports Commission estimates, non-institutional track meets at A&T generated more than $38 million in economic impact in 2013. Edringston’s professionalism helped establish the track and field facility as a viable location for world-class events and aided the city of Greensboro in landing the AAU National Outdoor Youth Track and Field Championships – the largest youth track meet in the country – at Irwin Belk Track in the summers of 2019 and 2024.

“The championship track meets bring thousands of elementary and high school aged children and their families to our campus each year,” said Hilton. “While here, these future college students are exposed to the benefits and opportunities A&T offers.”

“It makes A&T look good and it is good for the city of Greensboro,” said Edringston when asked why he is willing to give up four or five weekends out of his summer. “None of this would be possible without the leadership of Chancellor Harold Martin and Athletics Director Earl Hilton. And I couldn’t do what I do without the help of the outstanding staff over at the physical plant in the DeHuguley Building.”
“Yes, it is four or five days of hard work for our staff, but when it is over everyone gets to see what a wonderful event it was and that A&T put its best foot forward,” he added.

Edringston began working at A&T as a student athletic trainer in 1981. In 1986, he became an assistant women’s basketball coach and in 1994 the Aggies became the first women’s team from the MEAC to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Edringston became the facilities director in 1997.

The award is named after former UNC President Bowles who served at the helm of the University of North Carolina system from 2005-10. In 1997-98, Bowles served as the White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton.