Ted Brown has held onto something for 34 years, and there are no signs he’ll be forced to let go of it any time soon.
Brown, who played football for the Wolfpack from 1975-78 and will be inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, holds the record as the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,602 yards and 51 touchdowns, the most in league history.
After he left NC State, Brown continued his production for the Minnesota Vikings for eight seasons after he was a first first-round pick in the NFL. For the last 17 years, he has worked as a juvenile probation officer in Minnesota.
We asked him about his honor this week and what NC State has meant to him.
What does the Hall of Fame honor mean to you? It means a great deal. First of all, being one of the first being inducted in the Hall of Fame means that you’ve accomplished something that they think was great. And I’m proud of that.
Which accomplishment of yours at NC State stands out as the one you think about the most? It was all about the experience. The kids that don’t go four years don’t get the experience of college. If you go to school for one year, two years, you can’t build that. If you go for four years, you can build that. There’s nothing like that.
I’m still proud to say that I’m the top running back to have been at State. Records are made to be broken. And that record has been around a long time. It still is amazing that no one hasn’t broken it.
Looking back, what made you such a great running back, maybe the best the ACC has ever seen? Vision and balance. And being able to study and knowing what each and every player on my offensive line was doing. I was running the ball, and I knew what they were going to do. If you know what they’re doing, it makes it easier for you to do what you need to.
Why do you think your ACC record has lasted so long? Kids leaving early. And you don’t see the veer type of offenses that concentrate on running the ball. …If you look at the Super Bowl winning teams, they are mostly run teams. If you really want to win championships and win a lot of games, run the football.
What sticks out to you as the most important thing that NC State gave you? It gave me a lot of things. It taught me how to be a man. It taught me how to take responsibility, how to be a part of the team. It was a great experience and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. It’s a wonderful time. A time for growth. A time for young men to become men.