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Athletics Legend Weedon Dies

Frank Weedon, colorful publicity director and long-time administrator for NC State athletics, died on Monday at his home in Raleigh. He was 82.

For more than five decades, he was responsible for publicizing student-athletes, organizing events and handling day-to-day administration under three different Wolfpack athletics directors. With unbounded emotion, energy and passion for NC State, Weedon and his late wife Janice attended more university-sponsored events–athletic, cultural and academic–than nearly any couple in the 125-year history of the institution.

Born on May 11, 1931, in Washington, D.C., Weedon graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism in 1954. After two years as the sports information director at Lehigh and three years as a European counter-intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, Weedon came to NC State on July 1, 1960 and was loyal to the university until his passing.

Launched First Wolfpack Radio Network

Weedon with files

Frank Weedon consults his files. Weedon was the caretaker of the university’s athletics archives for many years.

As NC State’s sports information director for 12 years, Weedon promoted the accomplishments of Wolfpack stars in all sports. Prompted by what he thought was biased coverage on local airwaves, Weedon put together the first Wolfpack Radio Network to broadcast NC State football and men’s basketball games.

After moving into athletics administration in 1971 as Willis Casey’s only assistant director, Weedon was on the hiring committees for accomplished coaches like Lou Holtz, Kay Yow, Bo Rein, Jim Valvano and Dick Sheridan. He taught them all how to bleed Wolfpack red.

His proudest professional moment came in 1982 when he accepted on behalf of legendary basketball coach Everett Case a posthumous induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Most Familiar Face

Married in 1989 to the former Janice Bunn Nixon, long after Weedon had made generations of Wolfpack athletes his family, he was the most familiar face in the athletics department.

“Frank Weedon was a legend among collegiate sports media circles for decades,” said Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow. “His competence and generous hospitality will be remembered by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Though he officially retired as an athletics department administrator in 1996, Weedon still showed up every morning for the next 15 years as a senior associate athletics director emeritus to serve as NC State athletics unofficial historian and walking anecdote mill.

“Nobody has been a better Wolfpacker than Frank Weedon,” Wolfpack Club Executive Director Bobby Purcell said of his long-time friend.

Weedon did a bit of everything during his tenure at NC State. He was the media director for the final Dixie Classic and for a half dozen ACC Tournaments played at Reynolds Coliseum. He was the official scorer for the 1966 Final Four, when long-shot Texas Western shocked Kentucky for the national championship. And he was with the Wolfpack when it beat UCLA and Marquette in the 1974 Final Four and Georgia and Houston in 1983 when it won the school’s two men’s basketball national titles.

He was tournament manager for five NCAA men’s basketball tournaments at Reynolds Coliseum and served as chairman of the ACC wrestling, tennis, soccer, women’s basketball and men’s swimming committees.

Impact Beyond Athletics

His association with NC State went beyond athletics. He was perennial member of the “Friends of the College” concert series and committee member for the fundraising efforts to restore both Thompson Theater and Reynolds Coliseum. He was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt in 1996 and the NC State Alumni Association’s “Award of Merit” in 1997.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Friday at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church with burial following at Raleigh Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wolfpack Club, P. O. Box 37100, Raleigh, NC 27627-7100 or to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.

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Tim Peeler

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Responses (1 Comment)

  • Leroy Wilkins

    Frank will be missed, I am sure with the job he did his absence is highly missed within the Athletic Department.

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