Everett Norris Case
“Old Grey Fox”
N.C. State coach, 1946–64
Never played game, but brought big-time basketball to North Carolina after winning 726 games and 4 Indiana titles at Frankfort High School. Motivator and promoter brought an up-tempo, crowd-pleasing style to N.C. State. Finished third in 1950 NCAA tournament. Won 15 consecutive games against UNC, prompting it to hire Frank McGuire. Won 10 league titles (4 in ACC). Three-time ACC Coach of the Year. Went 377–134, with 11 20–win seasons. Expanded Reynolds Coliseum plans, making it largest college basketball arena in the Southeast and site for first 13 ACC Tournaments. ACC Tournament MVP award bears his name.
9 –League championships in his first 10 seasons as N.C. State coach (six Southern Conference, three ACC)
73.9–Winning percentage as Wolfpack coach
March 8, 1947
N.C. State 50, North Carolina 48; Southern Conference Tournament final; Duke Indoor Stadium, Durham. In his 26–5 debut season, Case’s Red Terrors, the school’s nickname until later that year, won State’s first Southern Conference title in 18 years — and the first of six consecutive titles — behind Pete Negley’s 18 points. After the game, his team followed the Indiana high school tradition of cutting down the nets, a practice that soon became popular around the country.
March 6, 1954
No. 18 N.C. State 82, Wake Forest 80 (OT); ACC Tournament final; Reynolds Coliseum.
The No. 4-seed Wolfpack, after beating No. 1-seed Duke 79–75 in the semifinals, topped the No. 3-seed Demon Deacons to win the inaugural ACC tournament in the first of three consecutive titles. On the way to the title, the Pack beat No. 5 North Carolina 52–51 in the first round in a controversial finish. Mel Thompson led the Pack in the final with 29 points, Ronnie Shavlik added 18 and Herb Applebaum nearly had a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists). The Deacs’ Dickie Hemric, who scored 26 points, helped them erase a
16-point third-quarter deficit (yes, they played quarters) to force overtime.
Dec. 30, 1958
No. 4 N.C. State 69, No. 2 Cincinnati 60; Dixie Classic semifinals; Reynolds Coliseum.
Oscar Robertson, the nation’s leading scorer, had 29 points but they weren’t enough as the Wolfpack gets 26 points and 15 rebounds from John Richter to upend the previously 6-0 Bearcats. After watching Cincinnati rout Wake Forest 94–70 in the first round, Case mused that he didn’t think it was possible for his Pack to beat the Bearcats. Case was carried off the court on the shoulders of his players even though it was a regular-season game.
March 7, 1959
No. 10-ranked N.C. State 80, No. 5 North Carolina 56; ACC Tournament final; Reynolds Coliseum.
The Tar Heels, ranked No. 1 during the season, gave the regular-season champion Wolfpack its only two league regular-season losses (72–68 and 74–57), but revenge came in convincing fashion. Senior Lou Pucillo scored 23 points in his final college game (probation kept the Pack from playing in the NCAA tournament) and Richter added 15. State called a timeout with four seconds left, which Case contended he had nothing to do with, to pause and savor what would be Case’s final league title.
(There are a few seconds of this game early in this video)
“Every game was a championship game, every meal was a banquet while he was here. He was a little dynamo. He just cackled with energy. There was nothing routine or average about anything he undertook.”
Norm Sloan, N.C. State coach, 1966–80, quoted in ACC Basketball: An Illustrated History
“Simply put, without him, ACC basketball doesn’t end up being what it is. The Indiana native brought the passion for the sport from his home state and it took root in a big way here. He may be largely forgotten today, but he has to be in the first class.” –ACC Hall of Fame voter Stephen Schramm