About Chris Hobbs (updated)
Chris Hobbs — whose family moved from Mooresville to Catawba County in 1964 — is an award-winning sports journalist best known for his coverage of high school athletics, primarily focused in Western North Carolina.
Hobbs worked for five newspapers – The Hickory Daily Record (twice), The Lenoir News-Topic, The Gaston Gazette, The Charlotte Observer and The Salisbury Post – in a career spanning 42 years and five different decades.
He was a staff sportswriter at The Record (five years) and The Charlotte Observer (just shy of 14 years), assistant sports editor at The Gaston Gazette and Sports Editor at the News-Topic (at age 21) and at The Post before returning to The Record as sports editor in 1997.
Hobbs was sports editor in Hickory for 19 years and then an assistant editor who also continued to supervise the sports department before being a “reduction in force” last February after nearly 20 years there.
His career in sports includes coverage of NASCAR racing, college basketball (Davidson beat writer for five seasons), a Super Bowl, an NCAA Final Four, multiple NCAA basketball and football games and ACC basketball tournaments, major league and minor league baseball and feature writing on subjects such as Dale Jarrett for national magazines. He also developed a state Top 100 recruiting football list for many years for several national publications and was a North Carolina contact for high schools for — among other publications — USA Today and many high school-related national internet sites.
Hobbs is one of the few national high school journalists listed for his contributions to the National High School Record Book, and several of his innovative approaches to covering high schools — developing career coaching records for coaches among them — have become the norm among North Carolina media since he began that in the mid-1980s.
A stickler for accuracy and information that provides context for sports accomplishments, Hobbs has some of the most extensive record-keeping for high schools in the Piedmont North Carolina that includes more than 200 bound notebooks in his home office that chronicle the history of many high schools in the region (up to complete football history and scores, etc, on many schools) for the past 35-plus years.
During his career, Hobbs has received these local and state honors:
- The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Media Person of the Year in 1992.
- Media representative who contributed the most to Region 6 in 1996, an award annually presented by the NCHSAA, the N.C. Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) and the N.C. Coaches Association (NCCA).
- A Distinguished Service Award from the NCHSAA in 1999 for his contributions to high school athletics statewide.
- Media Person of the Year from The N.C. Baseball Coaches Association (NCBCA).
- First place for sports columns for newspapers with circulations of 15,000-34,999 by the North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) in 2002.
- By the NCPA for producing one of the state’s top three sports sections (same circulation category) eight times over an 11-year period, including a No. 1 in the state for papers of that size in 2005.
Hobbs lives in Denver, N.C., with his wife, Myra, and their sidekick “Sneaky” the cairn terrier and a new kitten (Sweetie) … and, as of Saturday, Oct. 14, he’ll miss the almost nightly visits — while working on the website — from our other sidekick — Pepper, the black cat, who often provided a break on many a tough night by requesting/demanding a break to receive some petting. RIP, sweet girl.