Woodberry Coach Harry W. "Red" Caughron Dies...
Harry W. “Red” Caughron, longtime head
football coach and athletic director at Woodberry Forest School, died in
Orange, VA, on May 28, 2010. He was eighty-eight years old.
Red came to Woodberry in 1960 and became athletic
director the next year. During his thirty-one seasons as Woodberry’s
head football coach, he compiled a record of 217 wins, fifty-six losses,
and seven ties—one of the best among Virginia high school coaches. His
teams, eight of which were undefeated, earned fifteen conference
championships. By the time of his retirement in 1992, he had been named
Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year eight times. Red and his wife,
Cathy, founded Woodberry’s highly popular Sports Camp in 1967.
He received All-State, All-Southern, and All-American
honors during his playing career. He was inducted into the William &
Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
Red is survived by his wife, Cathy, who lives in
Orange. He also is survived by daughters Cindy Kemper, and her husband,
Jeffery Kemper, of Madison County; and Deb Follo Caughron, and her
husband, Michael Follo, of Woodberry Forest. Deb, a 1974 Woodberry
graduate, has directed the school’s outdoor program since 2000. Michael
Follo teaches science at Woodberry. Red is also survived by a
granddaughter, Michelle Mumfrey, and her husband, Mario Mumfrey, of
Newport News; and a great-granddaughter, Mariana Mumfrey.
A memorial service was held 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 2,
at Johnson Stadium on the campus of Woodberry Forest School.
All potos by db
Harry “Red’ W. Caughron, 88, of Woodberry Forest, died Friday,
May 28, 2010 in Orange, VA. He was born on January 7, 1922, in
Sevierville, Tennessee, to the late Lester and Myrtle Kerr Caughron.
“Virtually the epitome of everything noble one could
ask in a tackle,” and “the very best of the principles that should imbue
sport” say admirers of Red Caughron when describing the All Conference
tackle for the College of William & Mary and longtime head football
coach and athletic director at Woodberry Forest School. In recognition
of many years of athletic excellence, Coach Caughron was inducted into
the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in April, 2009.
A native of Sevierville, Tennessee, Caughron played
freshman football at William & Mary before joining the United States
Army in 1943. He served with the 78th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion,
and the 84th Infantry Division. After the war, he returned to William &
Mary, where he co-captained the squad that defeated Oklahoma State in
the 1948 Delta Bowl, and completed both undergraduate and graduate
Caughron became head football coach at James Wood
High School in Winchester, Virginia, in 1950.
He later coached at George Washington High School and
Hammond High School in Alexandria before joining Woodberry Forest in
1960. He became athletic director in 1961, and founded the Woodberry Forest Sports Camp with his wife, Cathy, in 1967. The
Caughron's retired in 1992.
Over 31 seasons as Woodberry’s head coach, Caughron
compiled a record of 217 wins, 56 losses, and 7 ties, one of the best
among Virginia high school coaches. His teams, eight of which were
undefeated, earned 15 conference championships. He was an 8-time
Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year.
Asked to describe Coach Caughron, his former players
do not dwell on his winning record. Instead, they talk about what he
meant to them as a coach, a mentor, and a man. “I marvel,” writes a
player from the 1960’s, “at how such a physically powerful man
could, at the same time, be equally good, even gentle and empathic.”
“Often I found him watching me, in the halls and on the practice
fields,” writes another former player, “and I always felt that his
attention gave me special powers. I knew that if Coach Caughron valued
me so highly that he was interested in my success, then I really must
have had something special to offer.” A former player who went on to
play safety for the Virginia Cavaliers in the 1980’s says, “No one other
than my parents has made as big of an impact on my life as Red
“Red was widely recognized by countless Woodberry
graduates as a modest man who, while committed to winning, was even more
invested in developing young men of sterling character who played by the
rules and exhibited good sportsmanship,” said Woodberry Headmaster
Dennis M. Campbell. “He and Cathy are beloved across the Woodberry
One of his former players, who quarterbacked for
Virginia in the 1970’s, notes that Coach Caughron did not tell any of
his colleagues at Woodberry when he was about to be inducted into the
William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984. He simply took the day off
and drove to Williamsburg to accept the award.
Thanks to the efforts of many Woodberry alumni,
parents, and friends, the school has been able to honor Red and Cathy
Caughron in numerous ways. In 1992, Woodberry established an endowment
in their honor to support and enhance its athletic program. The school
is currently raising funds to name its athletic facilities for Coach and
Mr. Caughron is survived by his wife, Catherine Jane
Jones Caughron; two daughters, Cindy Caughron Kemper and husband,
Jeffery, of Syria, Virginia and Deb Folio Caughron and husband, Michael
Follo, of Woodberry Forest; granddaughter, Michelle Mumfrey and husband,
Mario; great granddaughter, Mariana Mumfrey; sister-in-law, Dorothy
Jones; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Grady B.
Caughron; and sister, lmogene Caughron Smalling Lovelace; and
brothers-in-law, James Irwin Jones and William Francis Jones.
The family wishes to thank Joe & Mary Coleman,
Wallace Hornady, Faulkner Sgro,
Janet Lewis, Bill Watson and Found &
Sons Funeral Home for helping with arrangements.