Janet August Harwood Collins

February 28, 1939 - January 14, 2024

02/28/1939 - 01/14/2024

MURFREESBORO, NC – Janet August Harwood Collins, age 84, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2024 at the Gates House Assisted Living of Gatesville, NC. She was born on February 28, 1939 in Richmond, Virginia to the late James Coleman Harwood, Jr. and Katherine August Harwood. Janet worked as a Professor & Coach for Chowan University.

Janet was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, Westhampton College of the University of Richmond, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for one year. She began her employment with Chowan University teaching in the Department of Health and Physical Education. Janet quickly began to organize a program for female students. During the time 1964-1975 she was responsible for women’s basketball, softball, volleyball, women’s intramurals, majorettes, and Bravettes. In 1978 her responsibilities focused mainly on coach volleyball, with many winning seasons and producing three All Americans and two Academic All Americans. During this time she managed to complete additional studies through UNC-Greensboro, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Rocky Mountain College, Texas Women’s University, George Williams College, Texas A & M State University, and Wake Forest University. In 1991 she was inducted into the Chowan Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1994 she was awarded the North Carolina Governor’s Award of Excellence for Coaching and Administration.

Janet was a devoted member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church serving actively for many years. Along with her love of Chowan and her church, Janet enjoyed swimming, bowling, sports, and traveling.

Along with her parents, Janet was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 60 years, Clifton Shell Collins, and many friends.

She is survived by many cousins and a brother-in-law.

A celebration of life funeral service will be held on Wednesday, January 31, at 11:00 am at the Riverside Cemetery, Murfreesboro, NC, with Dr. Mark Gaskins officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Chowan University, Office of Advancement, One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855; funds may be designated to the Collins Memorial Scholarship or the Janet Harwood Collins and Clifton Shell Collins Volleyball Endowment or online by clicking here or Murfreesboro Baptist Church, 200 W. Main Street, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 or online by clicking here

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Murfreesboro Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Collins family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com

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April Davis
1 month ago

Janet You Be Misssed At The Gates House….

Steven Howington
1 month ago

Mrs Collins was a very nice lady, i’ll always remember her, she taught me how to swim

Bettie Jo Darden Perry
1 month ago

Deepest Condolences to the Collins Family on the loss of Coach Collins. She was a great Volleyball Coach I had the honor of being her Volleyball manager in 1978-1980 at Chowan College. She was the best. Praying for the Family.

Mary Harris
1 month ago

May the good Lord place his loving arms around each of
you for comfort and peace.

Beverly Wolfe Fergusson
1 month ago

Janet was my volleyball and basketball coach for two years, 1966-68. I went on to Guilford College and played volleyball and basketball there. Her coaching ability, as I look back, prepared me for my success at Guilford. She was a tough coach (which we needed!) but also a compassionate one. I probably remember her more than any other mentor during my time at Chowan. A life well lived!

Elizabeth Harrell
1 month ago

Janet and Cliff were my neighbors for many years. She taught me swimming lessons for several years and allowed me to help her with classes too. Sending thoughts and prayers to the family.

Meredith Long
1 month ago

Coach Collins touched the lives of many and created a space for women’s sports at Chowan. She was a true trailblazer in the industry. I hope that she and Mr. Collins have reunited. They both lived lives dedicated to the service of others.