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NC STATE ANNOUNCES 2020 ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME CLASS

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RALEIGH, NC — An Olympic gold medalist, a No. 1 NFL Draft pick and four of the top performers in the first 50 years of the Atlantic Coast Conference highlight the 2020 class of the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame, along with a barrier-breaking athlete who changed the course of competition for both his school and conference.

The six-member class is the sixth overall since the establishment of the Hall of Fame in 2012 and will be inducted at a gala in Reynolds Coliseum on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

“The 2020 Hall of Fame class is made up of remarkable athletes who not only made significant contributions to their sports, but also had a historical impact on our campus and in the community,” said Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan. “We look forward to celebrating and honoring their achievements at the induction gala next year.”

Irwin Holmes was a varsity tennis player during his college days under head coach John Kenfield Jr., but that’s not what made him special. As one of the school’s first four African American undergraduate students in the fall of 1956, the native of Durham, North Carolina, helped fully integrate the institution.

In 1957, he and Manuel Crockett became the first black athletes to participate in an ACC-sponsored event during a freshman indoor track meet against North Carolina. Holmes later joined the tennis team as a three-year varsity player. In 1960, he became the first African American captain of a varsity sport at an ACC school and the school’s first black graduate, when he received his degree in electrical engineering. He retired after a long career at RCA, IBM and other pioneering electronics companies. NC State dedicated Holmes Hall, previously known as the University College Commons, in his honor during Homecoming 2018.


Mario Williams, the first player in ACC history to be selected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, was a dominating force for Chuck Amato’s Wolfpack defense from 2003-05. He set school records for single-game, single-season and career sacks and tackles for loss and is still the school leader in three of those categories. A two-time All-ACC performer, Freshman All-American and then first-team All-American, the Richlands, North Carolina native, was a key reason the Wolfpack led the nation in total defense in 2004. 

After being drafted by the Houston Texans, Williams went on to become a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro while playing for the Texans, Bills and Dolphins. He set a Buffalo Bills franchise record with 4.5 sacks in a game. In his eight-year NFL career, he recorded 97.5 sacks.

One of the most decorated players in the history of NC State men’s soccer, Henry Gutierrez led the Wolfpack to the Final Four and the ACC Tournament title in 1990, while being named tournament MVP. The three-time All-American still ranks fifth in school history in points (114), seventh in goals (41) and fourth in assists (32). He was named to the ACC’s 50thanniversary team.

The Hoboken, New Jersey native, who grew up in Miami, was twice named ACC Player of the Year – one of only five players in conference history to win the honor multiple times.

He earned one cap as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, but played 87 games with the MLS Miami Fusion. He currently lives in the Triangle and is a coach for the North Carolina FC Academy.

Considered the nation’s top defender during her collegiate career, Thori Staples Bryan led the Wolfpack to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a school-record 19 wins. The only four-time All-ACC performer in program history, she was named Soccer America’s Freshman of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year in 1992, and the North Carolina Female Athlete of the Year in 1994. 

A member of the ACC 50thAnniversary Team, Staples played for the U.S. National Team from 1992-99, for the 1995 FIFA World Cup team, and was an alternate for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team.  She played for WUSA’s San Jose CyberRays from 2001-04 and helped her team win the league title in 2001. Following her successful playing career, she now operates the Thori Bryan Soccer Academy in Wake Forest, North Carolina. 

John Sadri’s collegiate career may be best remembered for a single match, but his career performance is one of the best in the history of the NC State men’s tennis program. A two-time ITA All-American (1977, ’78), Sadri won two ACC singles titles and two ACC doubles titles – all at No. 1 in the lineup. He still owns the top singles and doubles winning percentages in school history (.860 and .849 respectively) and led the Wolfpack to the 1978 ACC team title. 

But it was a match he lost that remains legendary in college tennis. At the 1978 NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia, Sadri competed against a freshman from Stanford named John McEnroe in what is still considered one of the top amateur matches ever played. Only one point separated the two players after five sets (144-143). 

Sadri reached as high as No. 14 in the world professional tennis rankings in 1980 and went on to win two professional singles and two professional doubles titles. He was the runner-up in singles at the 1979 Australian Open and finished second twice in doubles at that event. He was also named to the ACC’s 50thAnniversary Team. A retired teaching professional, Sadri lives in his hometown of Charlotte.

David Fox is among the most prolific performers in the storied history of NC State Swimming.  He won championships at every level during his career, as a seven-time ACC champion, an NCAA champion and an Olympic gold medalist. The three-time All America selection (1990, ’91, ’93) was named ACC Swimmer of the Year in 1993 after winning the national title in the 50 freestyle and was twice named ACC meet MVP (1991, ’93).

Another member of the ACC’s 50thAnniversary team, Fox won gold at the 1996 Centennial Olympics in Atlanta as a member of the 4×100 freestyle relay team. He held the NC State record in the 100 freestyle for 19 years before it was broken in 2012. . A member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (2016), Fox resides in Atlanta where he works as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs.

Tickets for the 2020 Hall of Fame event will go on sale at a later date. Stay tuned to GoPack.comfor more information.


NC State Football

Payton Wilson is the 1st Freshman to Lead NC State in Tackles Since 1988

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Redshirt Freshman Payton Wilson led NC State in tackles in 2019, with 69 total tackles and 5 tackles for loss.

According to my best reading of the Media Guide, Wilson is the first Freshman to lead the Wolfpack in tackles since Jesse Campbell did so in 1988.

Also, if my research is correct, since tackles began being recorded in 1977, Wilson is only the 2nd player in NC State history to lead the Pack in tackles in his first year on the field.

What makes this even MORE IMPRESSIVE, is the fact that Wilson only started ONE game this season.

 

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NC State Promotes Tony Gibson to Defensive Coordinator

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NC State fired Dave Huxtable on Monday after serving as the Defensive Coordinator for the Wolfpack the past 6 years, and Head Coach Dave Doeren promoted Tony Gibson to take his place today. He will also serve as the Linebackers coach as Huxtable did.

“I look forward to building our defense with Tony Gibson as the leader,” said Doeren. “He has a strong vision for what we need to do on defense and his knowledge of our personnel and recruits will help us design the structure of our defense around our talent.” (GoPack)

Gibson served as the Co-Defensive Coordinator this year in Raleigh, and also coached the Safeties. He was influential in the institution of the 3-3-5 defense, and is much more familiar with running it.

Prior to arriving in Raleigh, Gibson served as the Defensive Coordinator at West Virginia from 2014-18.

In 2016, Gibson was named the Big 12 Defensive Coordinator of the Year by Athon as his defense led the Big 12 in scoring defense and total defense.

In 2015, the Mountaineer defense ranked second nationally in interceptions, fifth in turnovers gained and 11thin 3rddown defense ,while leading the Big 12 in rushing defense, INTs and ranking second in the league in scoring defense and total defense.

Known for reopening the “Pittsburgh Pipeline” while recruiting for WVU, Gibson spent a year as the assistant head coach at Arizona (2012) and spent the 2011 season as the secondary coach at Pitt, where he mentored two All-Big East performers and recruited the nation’s top running back.

From 2008-10, he was the assistant head coach and safeties coach at Michigan, where he recruited and signed eventual Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Denard Robinson.

From 2001-07 he coached defensive backs on the WVU staff that posted a 58-14 record and advanced to two BCS bowl games. The Mountaineers won or shared four Big East titles during his first stint.

Gibson recruited 32 players on the 2005 team that won the Big East title and the Sugar Bowl and 40 players on the 2007 Big East Champ/Fiesta Bowl Championship team.

Gibson began his career at Glenville State in 1996, coaching defensive backs and the kickoff teams.

In 1997 and ’98, Gibson worked at Cumberland (Tenn.) University, coordinating the program’s special teams and recruitment in addition to mentoring the team’s defensive backs. His career then carried him to West Virginia Tech, where he spent two seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator (1999-2000).

Gibson graduated from Glenville State in 1994. He was a defensive back from 1991-94 and was a part of two WVIAC championship teams.

The Van, West Virginia, native began his coaching career at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, West Virginia, in 1995, where he was head coach and interim athletic director.

He and his wife, Kerry, have two children, son Cody, who is a member of the Illinois football coaching staff and daughter, Ashton.

Year by Year Coaching History
Year Position School

2018 – Co-Def. Coor. & Safeties – NC State
2016 – 2017 – Assoc. Head coach/Def. Coor. /LB – West Virginia
2014 – 15 – Def. Coor./LB – West Virginia
2013 – Safeties – West Virginia
2012 – Asst. Head coach/Safeties/Def. Special Teams – Arizona
2011 – Secondary/Pass Game Coor. –  Pitt
2008 -10 –  Asst. Head coach/DB/Special Teams – Michigan
2001 – 07 – DB  – West Virginia
1999 – 00 – Def. Coor. – West Virginia Tech
1997 – 98 – DB/Special Teams – Cumberland Univ.
1996 – DB – Glenville State (Link)

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Punter Trenton Gill Breaks NC State Single-Season Record

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Redshirt Sophomore Trenton Gill was a walk-on before the season began, and was encouraged to earn a scholarship in Fall Camp prior to the 1st game.

He walked off the field after the last game of the season as the 2019 ACC leader in Average Yards per Punt (47.6), and the new single-season record holder at NC State, breaking Johnny Evans record set back in 1975.

2019 ACC Punt Leaders

NC State Single-Season Leaders

Gill is the new record holder with a booming average of 47.6.

Gill is the 7th Wolfpack punter to lead the ACC in average yard per punt.

In my opinion, it was a crime that Gill earned 3rd-Team All-ACC honors, but from Walk-On to any All-ACC honors of any kind is an amazing story.

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Could Jake Bentley Transfer to NC State?

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South Carolina Quarterback Jake Bentley announced yesterday that he would be transferring from South Carolina.

Bentley got his career started as a True Freshman, and played extremely well against NC State as a Sophomore, when the Gamecocks beat the Wolfpack 35-28. In that game in 2017, Bentley was 17 of 29 for 215 yards with 3 touchdowns (1 interception).

In the first game of this year, Bentley suffered a season ending foot injury. Since he has yet to use a redshirt year, Bentley is able to be a Graduate Transfer, playing somewhere immediately in 2020.

Ironically, NC State’s current Quarterbacks Coach Kurt Roper served in that position in South Carolina for Bentley’s first two seasons, including the defeat of the Wolfpack.

NC State just wrapped up a 4-8 season, and one of the biggest flaws of this years squad was poor play at the Quarterback position. Matt McKay started the year, and has since transferred. Bailey Hockman had his chance, and was benched. Devin Leary was given the reins, but by no means showed that he was a guarantee to turning the ship around in 2020, and the ship has to be turned in a quick manner.

Could NC State be where Bentley lands?

247Sports lists the Wolfpack as 1 of 6 schools that could snag Bentley.

 

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