NC State’s game against Indiana tonight as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge brings to mind the Wolfpack’s connection to basketball in Indiana and a new book about the early years of ACC basketball.
The Indiana connection, of course, is legendary coach Everett Case. And the book is ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which describes Case as “the man who made ACC basketball.”
The book, by historian J. Samuel Walker, recounts how NC State came to hire Case to improve it’s basketball progam. “He had been hired in 1946 with no head coaching experience at the college level but with an exceptional record as a high school coach in Indiana, a breeding ground of basketball mania.” The book describes how Case led the “Hot Dogs” of Frankfort High School to four state championships in the 1920s and 30s before going on to coach as a U.S. Navy officer during World War II.
When NC State leaders were looking for a coach, they were told the “best basketball coach in the country is a lieutenant commander in the Navy.” State hired Case for $5,000 a year.
Look for more about Case — and an interview with Walker — in the upcoming winter issue of NC State magazine.
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It used to be that this time of year in the ACC, every fan of one of the Big Four schools — NC State, UNC, Duke and Wake Forest — was scrambling to secure a ticket to the Dixie Classic.
It was an annual tournament that was the brainchild of Wolfpack basketball coach Everett Case, and it brought a handful of nationally ranked teams to Reynolds Coliseum every Christmas season to take on the Big Four. As last week unfolded and all the tournaments wrapped up in the Bahamas, Las Vegas and Maui, Case was probably smiling down at his legacy.
Bethany Bradsher, a journalist who lives in Greenville, N.C., has captured the story of the Dixie Classic in The Classic: How Everett Case Brought Big-Time Basketball to the South. The book traces the tournament’s life, from the maneuvering Case used to make it a reality to the scandal that helped bring it to its end in 1961.
Bradsher will be at NC State Bookstores, currently located in Harrelson Hall, on Friday, Dec. 2, to discuss her book and the Dixie Classic. She’ll be appearing from 5-9 p.m.
Also, be sure to look in our Winter 2011 issue for a Q&A with Bradsher as a part of a larger look at Case’s legacy.
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Kyle Blakely ’07 graduated with a degree in textile and apparel management, springing him into a career with Under Armour in Maryland. Since graduating, he has participated in many projects, engineering fabrics for athletes and teams, including the University of Maryland, our opponent on Saturday for our last game of the season. As an alumnus doing interesting work in the area, we spoke to him about his job, NC State’s prospects for a bowl bid, a season-ending win, the opponent, and of course, how Blakely’s experiences at State have affected his life today.
What do you do for a living? I am a Materials Development Manager at Under Armour… the athletic sportswear brand. I engineer, source and develop textiles for UA apparel. I work on everything from underwear, baselayer and jackets you find in the store to the uniforms that all of our colleges wear. In fact, I’ve engineered a lot of the fabrics worn by Under Amour schools (particularly basketball and football) including Maryland’s fabrics.
What brought you to the area? I moved to Maryland so I could work for Under Armour. It was a rare opportunity that I had to take – the UA headquarters are located at Tide Point in downtown Baltimore. It’s an incredible company –I’m very fortunate to be here and glad NCSU helped prepare me to be successful.
Do you ever go to Maryland games? What’s the campus like? What are the fans like? I go to Maryland games all the time (it’s only a short drive)–basketball, football and baseball. I typically just attend the games when they are playing NCSU. The campus is similar to NCSU in that it is fairly sprawled… It seems to be pretty nice although in recent years there has been a lot of renovation going on, especially at the football complex. …The fans seem to be engaged but the tailgating scene is nothing like the Fairgrounds, and people usually don’t start showing up until two hours before the game.
Is it tough to be an NC State graduate in that area? It’s actually not too bad being an NCSU graduate here because of the network of NCSU alum. We have 15 NCSU graduates that work at Under Armour alone and the Baltimore alums always get together for game watches, etc. In many instances at work, I feel like we really outnumber the Maryland people, although there are quite a few alums from MD here as well – including our CEO. Typically, since neither university is particularly excelling at football, we kind of have a unique bond – it’s not very contentious – we understand each other I would say.
This is the last game of the season – do you think we’ll get a bowl bid? Well, if I was to analyze the trends I would be very nervous this week… We blank UNC and then lose to a lack-luster Boston College team… we torch #7 Clemson – the pattern speaks for itself. But I think being at home will help and O’Brien always seems to get just enough done when people start whispering about this job, so I am optimistic about this week. I will say, selfishly, I’m hoping we do get a bowl bid in Washington, DC – the drive is a little easier! Last year’s trek down to Florida from Maryland was pretty brutal (but worth it!).
Who do you think will win – State or Maryland? Score? I’ll predict a win, but it will be ugly. 24 to 17, NCSU squeaks it out.
Do you ever interact with NC State through Under Armour? I do, quite a bit actually. The NCSU College of Textiles is a world-class textile program with world-class resources, and we try to utilize those resources as much as we can. The faculty and staff are very open and helpful – I’m very proud to be interacting professionally with the college I graduated from.
Can you tell me about a favorite football memory? I have so many, but I would have to say beyond the countless tailgates, it has to be Philip Rivers’ last game in Carter-Finley–even though we lost (to who else, but Maryland) the atmosphere and the way the fans reacted and appreciated him for everything he did–I couldn’t have been prouder in that moment to be a part of the Wolfpack.
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A new pair of Wufs made their debut at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday — in the form of a coloring book.
The new Wufs are geared toward younger Wolfpack fans, ages eight and under. NC State’s Trademark Licensing division recently approved the new kid-friendly images of Mr. Wuf and Ms. Wuf, and they may eventually be used on clothing, toys and other novelties.
But, for now, they can be found in a coloring book on sale at NC State Bookstores.
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Kenneth Redmond. Courtesy of NC State Athletics.
Brothers Kenneth Redmond ’96 and Jonathan Redmond ’01, were sitting in the Rockola Cafe in Raleigh. They were on their recruiting trip to NC State, and head football coach Dick Sheridan had taken them out to dinner. But because they had grown up in Seneca, S.C., the only school they knew anything about was Clemson University, NC State’s Homecoming opponent on Saturday.
“I kind of nudged Jonathan and asked who are these people,” Kenneth says. “He said, ‘That’s the head coach, Kenneth.’”
Jonathan Redmond. Courtesy of NC State Athletics.
The two laugh about the story now, but they say it speaks to how insulated their world had been growing up in South Carolina. “I remember my official visit, we didn’t know if they were the Tar Heels or the Wolfpack. I had to ask on my visit.” Jonathan admits. “We were just old country boys. We had a lot of learning to do.”
The Redmond boys did commit, and brought their strength — and coon dogs they’d take hunting while everyone else Jonathan Redmond. Courtesy of NC State Athletics.
partied — to Raleigh to help anchor State’s offensive line. Though Kenneth is a year older than Jonathan, they say they told all colleges who recruited them, including Clemson and Ole Miss, that they would be a package deal. Sports Illustrated recounted the story in 1995.
NC State was the first school to honor their wishes. “If we can’t be the corn, we sure ain’t going to be the shucks,” Jonathan remembers thinking. “Everything we had was ‘ours.’ When we got a Christmas gift, it was to Jonathan and Kenneth. We pulled out of the same underwear drawer for years. ”
Once at State, the brothers shined beside each other on the offensive line, Kenneth playing center and Jonathan playing guard. Their mother, who worked third shift in a cotton mill, missed only one game. She would work all night on a Friday night, drive from Seneca to Raleigh in the morning, go to the game and catch a couple of hours of sleep on their dorm room couch. Then she would drive back to Seneca to be at work at midnight.
While a lot of their teammates developed a hatred for their in-state rivals, UNC-Chapel Hill, the ire of the Redmond boys ire always turned back to Clemson. That was their “in-state” rival. “If there’s one thing we enjoy watching, it’s watching the Tigers cry,” Jonathan says. “I wouldn’t pull for Clemson under any circumstances.”
Kenneth is a bit more reserved with his feelings — for good reason. In 1994, after NC State defeated Clemson, 29-12, in Death Valley, Kenneth met the woman who would become his wife. She was the roommate of Kenneth’s childhood friend who was dating a Clemson player. Kenneth talked to his friend and his future wife, and the rest is history.
The Redmonds still love NC State — and root against Clemson. Kenneth owns Oakway Farm and Garden Center, a livestock, garden and farm feed store, in Westminster, S.C. Jonathan owns Redmond Boys, which sells fresh produce, in Seneca. The one thing they’ve never sold is the country in both of them.
“Look back and find our senior salutes somewhere,” Jonathan says. “You’ll see I wanted a country store where I could sit back and chew tobacco and swap stories.”
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Tommy Kane interviews Mr. Wuf
Keep an eye out on campus and throughout Homecoming Weekend. Former NC State basketball player Tommy Kane ’93 will be prowling the grounds visiting classes and filming spots for his award-winning show, “ACC Road Trip.”
Kane, who earned his degree in mass communications from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been immersed in the world of sports broadcasting since graduation. An unpaid internship at Turner Sports in Atlanta evolved into a 14-year career doing on-air promotions and creative services for Fox Sports South. He’s emceed a steady stream of ACC gigs and even developed his own video production company, PACK 30 Productions, LLC.
Tommy Kane helps introduce the Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium
But in the fall, Kane spends each week traveling across the country to report on the game day traditions at ACC football games. Kane said the trips are a blast, particularly when the producers suggest that he partake in some off-the-wall traditions. This year, he painted himself from head-to-toe in glitter following the lead of two iconic Florida State fans known widely as the Glitter Guys.
“We definitely push the envelope a little bit,” Kane said in a phone interview this week. He still finds gold glitter lurking in his hair now and again.
Kane is starting his campus visit with a trip to the NC State-Princeton basketball game tonight, followed by a meeting with CHASS Dean Jeff Braden and speaking in Jim Alchediak’s video production class. He’ll later meet with the coaches and do a radio interview.
No word on exactly what or where he’ll be filming in Raleigh on Friday and Saturday in advance of the NC State-Clemson football game, but he said there’s one place where the cameras will definitely be rolling — at the tailgating parties at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“When it comes to tailgating and the big atmosphere before the game, NC State ranks in the top one or two schools in the league,” he said. “Clemson’s experience is also among the best in the ACC. When you get the two together, it ends up being an exciting place to be. I can’t wait.”
– Diana Smith
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It’s Homecoming week, and the Clemson Tigers are coming to town this weekend to take on the Wolfpack. We recently spoke by email with Derek Hodgin, a 1989 NC State grad who lives in Clemson, S.C., about what it’s like to live and work among Tiger fans (Hodgin is the owner and president of Construction Science and Engineering Inc.), his memories of his time at NC State and his prediction for this weekend’s game.
What brought you to Clemson? I moved my family and business to Clemson to be close to the mountains, to be proximate to a research university, to enjoy outdoor recreation and a small town environment.
What are Clemson’s fans like? Do you ever go to Clemson’s games? Clemson fans are enthusiastic, but respectful and nice. My family (as well as CSE team members) attends Clemson games as much as we can fit into our schedule.
Your prediction for the game? Unfortunately, I think Clemson will likely beat the Wolfpack in a convincing manner. Score: Clemson 38, NC State 14
Does your NC State heritage take a beating in another ACC town? My NC State heritage is always a source of fun conversation with local Clemson fans. I also catch grief from my oldest daughter, a sophomore attending Clemson University.
What’s your favorite memory of NC State? I always enjoyed homecoming week at NC State because of the extra spirit and energy around campus. I started my NC State career in 1984; one year after the NCSU basketball team won the national championship. I always enjoyed attending basketball games and the high energy that Coach Valvano exhibited. I remember leaving basketball games at Reynolds Coliseum soaked with sweat and little to no voice left. Go Wolfpack!!
– Jeannene Lang
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Robert “Bob” Geolas ’87 has been named new president and chief executive officer of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. Geolas comes to the body, which manages the Research Triangle Park, from Clemson University, where he served as executive director of the International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and as associate vice president for economic development.
RTP is the leading and largest advanced research and science park in North America. Geolas is charged with continuing RTP’s place among the elite locations for technology and applied sciences.
“What Bob brings to RTP is a solid understanding of the types of close collaboration among universities and private sector activities that allow each to leverage talent and joint research that will strengthen RTP’s competitive position and enable RTP to continue to grow and innovate in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Bob Ingram, incoming Chairman of the Board Directors of the Research Triangle Foundation. “He has the perfect skill set to lead the Park as we embark on our next 50 years.”
Geolas has spent the last seven years honing those skills with CU-ICAR. He conceived of developing a research campus where academia, the automotive industry and government organizations could work collaboratively on advanced-research technology. CU-ICAR was recently recognized as the Emerging Research/Science Park by the Association of University Research Parks.
In addition to being an NC State alumnus, Geolas also led the university’s Centennial Campus and Centennial Biomedical Campus from 1995-2004. So this is somewhat of a coming home for him.
“Leading RTP at this critical juncture is an important role for all of North Carolina,” he said in a press release last week. “My entire educational and career experience is an expression of the Park’s original mission to move North Carolina forward by engaging the talents of local universities, their graduates and citizens.”
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Army Lt. Gen. William Ingram, a 1970 graduate of NC State, has been named the director of the Army National Guard.
Ingram’s nomination to the post was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week. The Senate also confirmed Ingram’s appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, which brings a third star.
Ingram is a former adjutant general of the N.C. National Guard and current special assistant to the Army vice chief of staff.
As director of the Army National Guard, Ingram will be responsible for developing and coordinating all programs and polices affecting the more than 350,000 citizen-soldiers in the Army National Guard.
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Compiegne. Courtesy of Sister Cities of Raleigh.Photo by Stephane Aubry.
Countless accounts chronicle the celebrations around the globe on Nov. 11, 1918. That day, Compiegne, a city in northern France, stood at the center of world as the location of the final chapter of World War I. At 5 a.m., in a railroad car in Compiegne’s forest, the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice that ended the war.
A little of Compiegne will come to NC State this week during the university’s Veterans Day Run and Ceremony.
In the mid-1980s, Gretchen Chapman was teaching middle-school French in Wake County. Chapman and her husband, George, who was Raleigh’s planning director at the time, started taking student groups to Compiegne, which later became a sister city of Raleigh.
The Chapmans have long been involved with the Sister Cities Association of Raleigh, and Gretchen Chapman is president of the organization today. Over the years, multiple exchanges have taken place between Raleigh and Compiegne.
On Friday, M. Le Chatelier, whose wife is a former vice mayor of Compiegne, will be at NC State’s Veterans Day celebration at the Bell Tower. And at the same time, Compiegne’s mayor will place a wreath donated by the Sister Cities of Raleigh honoring the French dead of World War I.
The event will be symbolic on many levels, George Chapman says. “The ROTC here are some of the oldest in the country,” he says. “The celebration at the Bell Tower is one of the oldest in the country. We hope as time goes on it will become more well known as a commemorative celebration of those who died in World War I and the connection to the city where the Armistice was signed.”
Sister Cities of Raleigh also have relationships with other cities, including Kingston Upon Hull, England; Rostock, Germany; and Xiangfan, China.
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