Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Charles Wallace Nuttycombe, 90, retired football and track coach at Menchville High School

Charles Wallace Nuttycombe
Charles Wallace Nuttycombe

NEWPORT NEWS — Charles Wallace Nuttycombe, 90, passed away Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Charles was born in Charlottesville to the late Hopkins Pearre and Elizabeth Miller Nuttycombe.

He graduated in 1950 from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond and attended VMI in 1950 before marrying Elizabeth Browning West of Richmond in 1951. He then went on to graduate from Randolph-Macon College in 1956 and received a master’s degree from Old Dominion University in History.

He is survived by Elizabeth, his beloved wife of 69 years; children, Edward (Diane) Nuttycombe of Madison, Wisconsin, Charles Jr. (Deborah) Nuttycombe of Montpelier, Stephen (Johnise) Nuttycombe of Newport News, Pamela Nuttycombe (Wayne) Kirby of Asheville, North Carolina, Graham (Susan) Nuttycombe of Newport News and Jennifer Nuttycombe (Michael) Wilson of Newport News; sister, Elizabeth VanValkenburg of Richmond; 15 grandchildren, Carolyn Nuttycombe, Kent Nuttycombe, and wife, Amber, Meredith, Stephanie, Sarah and Charles Nuttycombe III, Jessica Curran, and husband, David, Morgan Mann, and husband, Wesley, West Nuttycombe, Hannah Kirby, Hamilton Kirby, and wife, Crystal, Elizabeth Feagans, and husband, Andrew, Alex Nuttycombe, and wife, Taylor, and Erin and Graham Wilson; 11 great-grandchildren, Charlie, Teddy, Falcon, Nora, Henry, Palmer, Penelope, Bronx, Hudson, Beckett and Berkley.

Where do we begin to tell you how much our father was adored? He will always be our hero. Yes, he was renowned for his countless career achievements, many people knew him simply as “Coach Nuttycombe,” but we knew him as Dad. He always put others first, leading by example with his kind words. He cared deeply for his family, students, athletes and anyone who came into his life. He was a true mentor who was passionate about doing the best job possible.

He gave so much of himself and touched so many lives with his pearls of wisdom. If he were here, he would not tell you about his accomplishments, but he would humbly tell you about the people that touched his life. Funny and compassionate, with a wicked sense of humor, he was a true gentleman. Fascinated with history and maps, he was often referred to as our walking roadmap. He could tell you the exact mileage from most anyplace when you were getting ready to take a trip, and he could give you the latitude and longitude of any major city in the world.

In high school at Thomas Jefferson, he was the “Outstanding Athlete” in his senior class while competing in football and track, earning a state championship in the broad jump. Upon graduation, he attended VMI on a football scholarship before transferring to Randolph Macon College, where he lettered in three sports (football, track, and basketball). He was the 1955 football team captain and three-time track team captain. Throughout his college career, he earned 13 state champion titles in various events.

Dad began his teaching and coaching career in 1956 at Newport News High School. During his 14-year tenure, he was able to maintain a high level of excellence as established by his mentor, Coach Julie Conn.

As head track coach, his teams won a combined 14 state championships. In 1961, Dad took over as head football coach. His football career for the Typhoons was highlighted by his undefeated team in 1962 (9-0-1). He moved to Menchville High School in 1970, where he stayed until retirement in 1990. At Menchville, he started the football and track programs from scratch. As a head football coach, his teams had a record of 150-108-18. He had five athletes who went on to play in the NFL. As head track coach, his teams produced a record of 125-3-2 in dual meet competition and he was involved in 21 state track team championships.

He personally coached state champions in every event indoor and outdoor, but one. Dad had the good fortune of coaching each of his four sons when they attended Menchville. Coaching and teaching were Dad’s gifts. He created a special bond with his athletes and students that continued for all the years of his life.

During his career that touched five decades, he received numerous local and state honors, including the 1990 Virginia High School Coaches Distinguished Service Award. On the national level, he was awarded the inaugural United States National High School Track Coach of the Year Award in 1975. In 2005, he became one of only four high school coaches to be inducted into the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

In 2014, his son Ed (University of Wisconsin) followed his father into the Hall of Fame and they remain the only father-son combination. He is also a member of the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame (1992), Menchville High School Hall of Fame (2005), Newport News Public School Track and Field Hall of Fame (1991). In 2014, he became a member of the Lower Virginia Peninsula Hall of Fame and a member of his Randolph Macon College Athletic Hall of Fame (2015).

Without fail when receiving career accolades, he would always acknowledge our mother for her lifetime of support.

Dad would often say:

“Practice with persistence to perform to your potential.”
“Do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it.”
“It does not matter about the wins or losses, what matters is how you impact the lives you touch and to see their success years later.”

You are one in a billion, Dad. We are blessed to have had you as our father. You are truly loved and will be deeply missed.

And to all his students and athletes he would say…Mission accomplished!

There will be a Charles Nuttycombe Memorial Scholarship Fund established at Menchville High School.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Share online condolences with the family at Weymouth Funeral Home.

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