The Johnston County School Board has voted unanimously to name the new basketball court at Princeton High School after Coach Sugg. The request was made in September by Principal Kirk Denning. The school board requires a 60 day waiting period before approving the naming, which the formally approved on Tuesday.
Sugg was born in Princeton in 1923. He participated in Princeton High sports playing baseball and basketball before graduating in 1940. Sugg was drafted in 1943 into the Army where he earned two Purple Hearts, the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and 5 battle stars.
After returning home from WWII and earning a degree at Atlantic Christian College, Sugg started teaching in 1949 at a small school near Chapel Hill. At the same time he began a 5 year professional baseball career as a starting pitcher in Greenville. He met his wife, Betsy Hellen, in Greenville at the baseball stadium and they were married in 1950. In the fall of 1951 he returned to his hometown of Princeton while continuing to teach and play professional baseball in Elizabeth City and Mooresville.
While coaching basketball and baseball at Princeton High from 1951 to 1959, Sugg had winning seasons in each sport he coached. Among the highlights were a boys baseball championship in 1952, runners up in boys basketball in 1953, runners up in girls basketball in 1955, and runners up in baseball in 1958. The 1958 boys basketball team won the conference championship that year with 30 wins and no losses. However, the team lost in the state championship regional finals game.
Sugg later co-founded the Princeton Little League in 1961 on land donated by his mother. He was also a charter member of the Princeton High Booster Club.
Correction: JoCoReport previously reported the school gymnasium would be named after Mr. Sugg when in fact the naming is for the basketball court only.