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.