William M. Shelton was an elite three-sport athlete, competing in football, baseball and basketball at East Carolina Teacher's College from 1936-1939.
In 1938, he was the third highest scorer in North Carolina in basketball. That same year, he also had an 85-yard punt against William and Mary (from the 12 yard line to the 3 yard line). For his outstanding play in 1939, he was voted the Pirates' Most Valuable Player.
The 1939 season was also good for Shelton in baseball as he won the baseball batting crown with a .426 average.
After graduating from ECTC in 1940, Shelton enlisted into the Air Force where he eventually earned the rank of Colonel in May of 1958. Colonel Shelton also received numerous awards and decorations during his 29 years of service, the most notable being the Distinguished Flying Cross for his flight missions during World War II and the Bronze Star during Korean War.