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Today I continue our series called “Losing Their Shirt” where I will look at the Redshirt Freshmen on the NC State football roster.  Fans can be so focused on the stars they have returning, who they lost on their roster, and the incoming freshman recruiting class, that they forget entirely about the class of redshirt freshmen.  Allow me to help introduce you to the NC State redshirt freshmen.  The second player featured in “Losing Their Shirt” is Defensive Tackle Coult Culler.

A lot has changed since Coult Culler first committed to NC State back on December 6th, 2013.  Back then Culler was a linebacker for Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The three-star recruit tallied 135 tackles his Senior season, and earned All-State honors.  Culler chose to run with the Wolfpack over offers from in-state foes East Carolina and UNC.

Coach Doeren had this to say about Culler after he signed his national letter of intent in February of 2014:

“I know a lot of coaches down in the Wilmington area are glad he’s gone.  You talk to them (and they say) he’s a tackling machine.  He had multiple games where he had 20-plus tackles,” said Doeren. “We’re really excited about what he brings, not only as a player but his attitude, his demeanor, the way he was raised, his toughness. He’s going to do a lot of things for us here.” (FayObserver)

Culler redshirted last season, and within his first 6 months of being a part of the program, he gained 30 pounds.  This winter the NC State coaches decided to move Culler from linebacker to defensive end.  Between the winter and Spring ball, the coaches had changed their minds once again.  Culler was sitting at defensive tackle on the 2-deep depth chart for the Kay Yow Spring Game in April.

Coach Doeren explained the decision to move Culler to DT at Media Day, and spoke very highly of the redshirt freshman:

“We moved him from linebacker to defensive tackle.  He’s doing really well.  He’s getting better and better.  He went from 240 to 285.  A lot of eating and a lot of lifting.  He spent last year as a redshirt.  He played linebacker, and it was just apparent at the end of bowl practices that he wasn’t moving like a linebacker anymore.  We thought he was an aggressive tough kid, and I think he was trying to keep his weight down a little bit. We told him that we thought that we needed to let nature take it’s course. He’s a big guy. His dad was a big man. He bought in right away. When I recruited him he told me ‘I’ll play wherever you want me to play. You’re my coach, and I’m your player. What do you need?’  I appreciate that about him. He has a great team attitude. He’s done a lot of good things. In the Spring he was thinking a lot, but you can see now he’s just being aggressive. He has a smile on his face and it’s fun to watch him” (Media Day)

Junior Year Highlights

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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NC State Basketball

Matt Chazanow Joins NC State as New Voice of the Wolfpack

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RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties, have announced that Matt Chazanow has been named the Wolfpack’s Director of Broadcasting and will serve as the play by play announcer for football and men’s basketball. The veteran broadcaster was chosen for the coveted role following a national search that included more than 150 applicants.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,’” said Corrigan. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

Chazanow becomes just the fifth play by play announcer since the Wolfpack Sports Network was formed in 1961. He replaces Gary Hahn, who was behind the microphone for 34 years, and will also enjoy a variety of additional roles for NC State and Learfield in Raleigh.

Hailing from Westfield, N.J., Chazanow joins the Wolfpack after serving as the Director of Broadcast Operations for Learfield at Washington State since 2015.  During his tenure in Pullman, he served as the play-by-play broadcaster for Cougar football, basketball and baseball, hosted and designed weekly hour-long coaches shows, and created and hosted videos and podcasts. He also coordinated efforts with sales staff and helped with donor relations.

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

Chazanow has also served as a national play by play voice for Westwood One Radio (since 2022) and Learfield (since 2008), covering football, men’s basketball, baseball and the NCAA Regional semifinals and finals for women’s basketball. Much of his national work has been covering ACC and SEC games.

No stranger to the state of North Carolina, Chazanow’s years of experience include seven years as Learfield’s Senior Network Manager based out of Winston-Salem. In that role, he managed the network broadcasts for eight schools (Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, Washington and Washington State).

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A 2006 graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse, Chazanow began his career as the play by play announcer for High Point women’s basketball, ironically calling his first game in Reynolds Coliseum as HPU faced Kay Yow’s Wolfpack. He also worked briefly for UNC Greensboro before being hired by ISP (now Learfield).

Chazanow is married to the former Ashley Randleman, a native of Jonesville, N.C., and they have a three-year-old son, Nathan. Ashley won two state volleyball titles in Reynolds Coliseum while playing for Starmount High School in 2003 and 2004.

About Learfield 

Learfield is a diversified and influential media and technology company powering college athletics. Through its digital and physical platforms, Learfield owns and leverages a deep data set and relationships in the industry to drive revenue, growth, brand awareness, and fan engagement for brands, sports, and entertainment properties. With ties to over 1,200 collegiate institutions and over 12,000 local and national brand partners, Learfield’s presence in college sports and live events delivers influence and maximizes reach to target audiences. With solutions for a 365-day, 24/7 fan experience, Learfield enables schools and brands to connect with fans through licensed merchandise, game ticketing, donor identification for athletic programs, exclusive custom content, innovative marketing initiatives, NIL solutions, and advanced digital platforms. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.

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NC State Football

NC State Football is 1 of the Top-25 Most Winningest Power Conference Teams in the CFP Era

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NC State’s Football team has been one of the Top-25 most winningest Power Conference teams in the College Football Playoff Era (2014-23), ranking 21st with 78 wins in that timespan.

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The Wolfpack’s 78 wins are the 3rd most in the ACC in the CFP Era.

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NC State Baseball

NC State is 1 of 3 Schools to Ever Go to a Bowl, the Men’s & Women’s Final Four and the College World Series in 1 Year

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NC State is truly having one of the most special years in the history of College Athletics.

In the 2023-24 Athletic Year…

NC State’s Football team went to a Bowl Game.
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team went to the Final Four.
NC State’s Women’s Basketball team went to the Final Four.
NC State’s Baseball team has advanced to the College World Series.

NC State is 1 of 3 schools to ever check off all of those boxes in an Athletic Year. They join Texas (2003) and Louisville (2013).

Let’s compare the three special years for each school.

Louisville (2012-13)

The Cardinals defeated Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl.
The Cardinals won the Men’s Basketball National Championship, but has since been vacated.
The Cardinals lost in the Women’s National Championship game against UCONN.
The Cardinals went 0-2 in the College World Series.

Texas (2002-03)

The Longhorns defeated LSU 35-20 in the Cotton Bowl
The Longhorns lost 84-95 to Syracuse in the Men’s Final Four.
The Longhorns 69-71 to UCONN in the Women’s Final Four.
The Longhorns went 1-2 in the College World Series.

NC State (2023-24)

The Wolfpack lost 19-28 to Kansas State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl.
The Wolfpack lost 50-63 to Purdue in the Men’s Final Four.
The Wolfpack lost 59-78 to South Carolina in the Women’s Final Four.
The Wolfpack ________ in the College World Series.

 

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NC State Football

According to ESPN’s FPI, NC State has the 20th Easiest P4 Schedule Heading into the 2024 College Football Season

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According to ESPN’s FPI Rankings, NC State’s Football squad has the 20th easiest schedule out of all Power 4 teams.

1. Syracuse
2. Virginia Tech
3. Rutgers
4. Kansas
5. UNC
6. SMU
7. Utah
8. K-State
9. Texas Tech
10. Pitt
11. UCF
12. Oklahoma State
13. Duke
14. Cincinnati
15. Arizona
16. Iowa State
17. Baylor
18. Wake Forest
19. Notre Dame
20. NC State
21. Miami
22. BYU
23. Arizona State
24. TCU
25. Colorado

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