It’s only appropriate that when the N.C. State Walk of Fame opens at a remodeled Reynolds Coliseum in 2016, the most accomplished team in the school’s history will become apart of the hall of fame.
The 1974 men’s basketball team headlines the fourth and latest class of the N.C. State Athletic Hall of Fame. Stars David Thompson and Tommy Burleson have already been inducted, as has coach Norm Sloan, but the whole team will be honored during the fall of 2016.
The school announced its latest class on Wednesday. In addition to the ’74 team, which won the national title and ended UCLA’s dynastic reign of college basketball, Dick Christy (football), Stan Cockerton (lacrosse), Don Easterling (coach, swimming), Linda Page (women’s basketball) and Dave Robertson (multi-sport) will be inducted.
With Reynolds Coliseum, the former home of the Wolfpack men’s program, undergoing a $35 million renovation, there will be no induction ceremony this fall. Instead, when the project is done – it is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 2016 – the hall of fame will have a permanent home.
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N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow was the driving force behind creating the hall of fame in 2012, and the first class – including Thompson – was honored. The first two classes were honored in a ceremony at Reynolds and their memorabilia has been temporarily on display at the Weiseger-Brown athletic complex on campus.
Last year’s induction ceremony was held at the renovated Talley Student Center on campus. This next group will bring some diversity to the Walk of Fame, which will be in the front third of Reynolds Coliseum. The back end of the building will still be used for women’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics when the renovation is complete.
Cockerton is the first lacrosse player in the school’s hall. N.C. State hasn’t had a lacrosse program since 1982. Cockerton was one of the best goal-scorers in NCAA history, from 1977 to ’80. His 193 career goals stood as the NCAA record until 2008.
Christy, a halfback, was the ACC player of the year in 1957 and a consensus All-American that same season and led the Wolfpack to an ACC title. He died in an automobile accident in 1966 and his jersey (No. 40) was posthumously retired in 1997.
Easterling was the longtime swimming coach, from 1970 to ’95, and led the Wolfpack to 17 ACC titles — including 12 straight by the men’s team from 1971-82.
Page scored more than 2,300 points in her four seasons for Wolfpack legend Kay Yow and ranks second in school history in career scoring and points per game (23.0). She helped the Wolfpack make the NCAA tournament four years in a row and led them to the 1985 ACC title. She was also a standout lacrosse player, named to the ACC’s 50th anniversary team in that sport.
Robertson was a standout in football, basketball, baseball and track from 1909 to 1912. He became N.C. State’s first professional athlete when he made his Major League Baseball debut with the New York Giants, as a pitcher, in 1912.