The Wolfpack has lost a dear friend and one of its most ardent supporters, as Frank Weedon, a former NC State senior associate director of athletics, has died.
Weedon, a native of Washington, D.C., held several posts in the athletics department and did just about anything imaginable to help Wolfpack athletics flourish.
After graduating from the University of Maryland and serving for three years in the U.S. Army, Weedon joined NC State in 1960 as the department’s sports information director, a post he held for 12 years. He became an assistant athletics director and then a senior athletics director in an administrative career that spanned 23 years.
He was a fixture at NC State sporting events. He was the mind behind listing NC State basketball legend Tommy Burleson’s height at 7-foot-4, making him more of a headline as the tallest player in the country, even though Burleson was closer to 7-foot-2. He was the one who suggested Kay Yow’s name when Willis Casey wanted to hire the first woman to coach in women’s athletics at NC State. Weedon once even collected a technical foul at a Wolfpack basketball game. And he created the Wolfpack Radio Network so fans across the state could tune in to listen to games.
Even though he retired from the university in 1995, Weedon remained heavily involved in athletics. He became the keeper of Wolfpack sports history, gathering memorabilia for the Hall of Champions inside the Murphy Center.
Weedon, who was 82, had been declining in health in recent years, the News & Observer reported today.
Joe and Ginger Taylor never studied at NC State, but they have become strong advocates of the university and major financial supporters of the work being done at NC State.
So Joe and Ginger Taylor will be recognized during Sunday’s basketball game against Maryland as honorary alumni of NC State. The designation, approved by the board of directors of the Alumni Association, has been given to only 14 people. Joe Taylor is an attorney and partner in Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC in Wilmington. Ginger Taylor is a former high school teacher.
The Taylors have also donated — and encouraged others to donate — environmentally sensitive land to the university as part of their effort to preserve North Carolina’s natural resources and to promote environmental education and sustainable agricultural economic polices.
“The Taylors’ generosity has inspired landowners to contact our College in the hope of preserving their lands for the benefit of all North Carolinians, while generating income and tax incentives,” Wynne wrote in his nomination of the Taylors. “Joe and Ginger are leading this monumental effort, which is Joe’s innovation. We believe the potential is tremendous, and we have seen a great increase in activity that can be directly attributed to Joe and Ginger’s work in this area.
“Lands contributed by and because of the Taylors are used to further the research, teaching and extension programs that form the mission of our land-grant university.”
While the Taylors did not attend NC State, their son and daughter both graduated from the university. “The personal attention and mentoring provided to their children here is one reason for the Taylors’ strong devotion to our university,” Wynne wrote.
Previous recipients of the honorary alumni designation:
1997 – Jeff McNeill
1988 – Frank Grainger, Sam Lee
2001 – Sue M. Daughtridge
2002 – Kay Yow
2003 – George Worsley
2004 – Dick Robb, Robert A. Barnhardt, Shirley Barnhardt
The News & Observer on Sunday posted a nice story and video about Frank Weedon, NC State’s senior associate athletics director emeritus. If you’ve ever met Weedon and talked with him, you know he’s an all-around good guy and a walking encyclopedia of Wolfpack sports. He came to NC State in June 1960 and, as The N&O says, “He hasn’t left yet, although technically he retired in 1996.” He’s seen most of the last 50 years of NC State sports from the front row:
Standing in the upper bowl of Reynolds Coliseum, John Franklin Weedon Jr. can see almost 50 years of N.C. State history as clearly as if it were happening right now.
He can point to where David Thompson tumbled over a teammate and smashed his head on the court during an NCAA Tournament game in 1974. He can reminisce about the old noise meter, operated by a student running a block of wood over a row of light switches. He can describe how, for many winters, he oversaw the conversion of Reynolds into a rink for the Ice Capades. And he can pick out his seat on press row, a vantage point from which he harassed officials for decades.
My favorite quote about Weedon comes from former NC State football coach Lou Holtz:
“It’s sort of like Frank was born at N.C. State. There wasn’t any past,” former N.C. State football coach Lou Holtz says. “He didn’t play golf. He loved N.C. State, and he loved his mother.”
NC State magazine contributing editor Tim Peeler ’87 is working to preserve the memorabilia and other NC State sports treasures Weedon has collected over the years. The Alumni Association will give Weedon an honorary alumnus award at its annual alumni awards gala on Jan. 29.