N.C. Sports Hall of Fame announces 2014 class
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2014 inductees. The nine new members are Eddie Biedenbach, A. J. Carr, Bob Colvin, Randy Denton, Lee Gliarmis, Marshall Happer, Rodney Rogers, Bob Waters (posthumously), and Frank Weedon (posthumously).
They will be enshrined at the 51st annual induction banquet on the evening of Friday, May 9, at the Raleigh Convention Center.
“The achievements of this year’s class of inductees enrich North Carolina’s remarkable sports heritage, and they certainly earned the honor of joining the 300 men and women who have been previously enshrined,” said Fredrick Reese, president of the Hall. “This is our 51st class and we will have a program to celebrate this special time in our state’s sports history."
Banquet ticket information is available at www.ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling (919) 845-3455.
Eddie Biedenbach: Recruited by the legendary Everett Case to N.C. State University, Bidenbach was a star on Wolfpack teams loaded with stars. As a three-year starter (freshmen were ineligible then), he was a two-time All-ACC selection. Biedenbach averaged 12 points a game his sophomore year and 16.7 points a game as a junior, when he led N.C. State to the ACC Tournament title with a 21.3 average. He was his team’s MVP his senior year. A masterful dribbler and defensive player, Biedenbach was known for stealing the ball from opposing guards. He was drafted in two sports — the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA and the New Jersey Nets in the ABA, as well as the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL — and played one year in the NBA before being lured into coaching. He was a key assistant on N.C. State’s 1974 national championship and held head coaching jobs at Davidson College and UNC-Asheville. At Asheville, he led the program for 17 seasons, amassing 256 wins and taking the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament three times. A four-time Big South Coach of the Year and the winningest coach in the league’s history, he has joined the staff at UNC-Wilmington as an assistant coach.
A.J. Carr: Soft-spoken Carr is one of the most respected men in North Carolina sports. Although known as a veteran sportswriter (42 years at the Raleigh News & Observer, plus stops at his hometown Wallace Enterprise and the Greensboro Daily News), he also had a rewarding career as an athlete.
Carr was an all-conference basketball player three years at Wallace-Rose Hill High and team MVP in 1960, the same year he was all-conference in football. He was a four-year starter in baseball and team MVP in 1959. Teams on which he performed won or shared 14 regular season or tournament titles.
He holds nine state titles in Senior Games age-group basketball shooting and 12 Wake County championships. He also set or shared two state records. A member of the Guilford College Sports Hall Sports of Fame, Carr was named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year in 1978 and 2008, won three national awards for college baseball writing, and was honored by the Triangle Chapter National Football Foundation, North Carolina Tennis Association, and Raleigh Hot Stove League.
Bob Colvin: Of all the eras of dominance among North Carolina’s high school football teams through the decades, perhaps no one was more dominant than Colvin’s teams at 1-A Robbinsville High School in western North Carolina. In a head-coaching career that spanned 18 years (1966-84), he led the Black Knights to 11 state championships in a 15-year period beginning in 1969. In only one of those 11 victories did the opponent manage to lose by less than a touchdown. For his career, Colvin posted a record of 177-57-2.
Randy Denton: A Raleigh native and North Carolina resident for more than 50 years, Denton starred at Enloe High School, where his jersey was retired in 1967. As a center at Duke University, he earned All-ACC honors in all three of his varsity seasons (1969-71), when he led the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding in each, and he was named All-American as a senior. He held career averages at Duke of 19.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Four times he scored more than 20 points and had more than 20 rebounds in a single game. Denton played eight seasons professionally (ABA, NBA and in Italy). He was inducted into the Duke University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Duke University Hall of Honor in 2001.
Lee Gliarmis: An outstanding high school athlete in Wilson, Gliarmis was invited to join both the basketball and soccer teams at UNC-Chapel Hill. Yet it was back in Wilson, beginning in the early 1950s, that Gliarmis began to make an indelible mark on young athletes in his youth-coaching career that spanned multiple decades. When Fike High School had its glorious run of football success in the late 1960s, it did so with a high percentage of players who had honed their skills on Gliarmis’ youth league teams. His contributions extended to other sports that include baseball, where he led the efforts to build the North Carolina Baseball Museum at historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson. Visitors from 50 states and 14 counties have enjoyed its memorabilia.
Marshall Happer: Happer is a Raleigh attorney who served as chief operating officer and as commissioner of the Men’s Tennis Council, the governing body for the international tour. He also served the Council as its in-house attorney. As a junior player in Kinston, he was a two-time state champion who went on to play collegiately at UNC-Chapel Hill. Happer has made a major impact on the tennis scene in the state, and he has brought several pro tennis tournaments to the area.
Rodney Rogers: Rogers, a Durham native, averaged 19.3 points and almost eight rebounds per game in his career as a basketball star at Wake Forest University. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year, edging Duke University’s Grant Hill for that honor, and became the ACC’s Player of the Year in 1993. Drafted ninth in the first round of the 1993 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, Rogers went on to have a productive 12-year professional career appearing with the Nuggets, Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Celtics, Nets, Sixers, Spurs and Suns. He became known as the perfect sixth man in the pro league and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2000.
Bob Waters: (deceased) Considered the NFL’s first ever “shotgun” quarterback in his No. 2 role with the San Francisco 49ers, Waters’ pro career prematurely gave way to coaching because of a series of injuries. He became an assistant coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College, and then coached wide receivers at Stanford University. Just three years into his coaching career, Waters accepted an offer to become head coach at Western Carolina University. His first team at Cullowhee went 9-1 in 1969, and his 1972 and 1974 teams were the school's first to appear in post-season competition. His 1983 team played in the national championship game. Waters coached at Western Carolina for 20 seasons and was the school's athletic director for 15 of those years. The football field at Western Carolina bears his name. He is a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Frank Weedon: (deceased) No one has been more closely identified with N.C. State University for a half century than Weedon, who served the institution as the longtime sports information director and assistant athletic director. Born in Washington, D.C., he was a graduate of the University of Maryland. However, he cannot be identified without references to N.C. State.
“It’s sort of like Frank was born at N.C. State,” former Wolfpack coach Lou Holtz once said. “There wasn’t any past. He didn’t play golf. He loved N.C. State and he loved his mother.”
Weedon is famous for his critique of game officials, especially along the sidelines at N.C. State basketball games. But perhaps that notoriety disguised that he was also one of the classic sports information directors in the business. It has been written the he almost single-handedly successfully promoted Roman Gabriel into first-team All-American status in 1960. Weedon also sold the national media on the myth that Tommy Burleson was the tallest basketball player (at 7-feet, 4 inches) in the nation. Actually, Burleson was 7-feet, 2 ¼ inches. Weedon also created the first-ever, university-affiliated regional radio network, and the idea spread to other campuses around the state and then across the country. Weedon worked for seven athletic directors and the press box at Doak Field. N.C. State’s baseball stadium bears his name.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. The permanent exhibit N.C. Sports Hall of Fame features significant artifacts donated by inductees. The Museum of History is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the museum, call (919) 807-7900 or access www.ncmuseumofhistory.org.