Morgan Wootten is one of the most successful coaches in high school basketball history. Those from the Washington metro area may remember him for the legendary success of his DeMatha Catholic High School basketball team. During his close to 50 year tenure, DeMatha won more than 1,200 games and never lost more than two in a row. One of the most historic moments of his career was the team’s unexpected win up against a powerhouse team led by a player we now know as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Filmmaker Bill Hayes and college basketball assistant coach Dereck Whittenburg sat knee-to-knee on a commuter jet together six years ago on a three-hour flight up the East Coast. When they landed, the two had pledged to produce a documentary together about legendary DeMatha basketball coach Morgan Wootten, one of the most successful coaches in the high school history.
In their documentary, Morgan Wootten: The Godfather of Basketball, they explore the legend behind the first high school coach to be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Producer Bill Hayes spent his childhood working hard on his father’s 300-acre tobacco and dairy farm in Mount Airy, waiting for the day when he could leave small-town North Carolina to make it big.
Mount Airy native and North Surry High School grad Bill Hayes reached a milestone in his career recently, with his 1,000th television program on the air.
Many know Mayberry as the idyllic town that was home to the fictional Andy Griffith show.
A new film highlights the characters of the true Mayberry: Mount Airy, North Carolina. Filmmaker Bill Hayes, a Mount Airy native, captured the characters and places that make Mount Airy a representation of “Hometown USA.”
The mythical television town of Mayberry, a peaceful, folksy burg presided over by the amiable, homily-dropping Sheriff Andy Taylor, was based on Mount Airy, in Surry County, N.C., the hometown of Andy Griffith. It’s also the hometown of Bill Hayes, the producer-director of this documentary about Mount Airy and its residents, both past and present.
Mount Airy has had its version of a Hollywood premiere, which produced rave reviews about the documentary “The Real Mayberry.”
The Earle Theatre downtown was packed for its debut Saturday night, when admission was by invitation only.
After a career spent creating non-fiction television programs that have aired around the world, Mount Airy native Bill Hayes realized the most compelling story needing to be told was right in his own backyard.