The Wolfpacker

January 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 29 of 87

30 ■ THE WOLFPACKER HOLMES IRWIN W H E R E AR E T H E Y N O W ? BY TIM PEELER I rwin Holmes never really intended to be a two-sport athlete during his academic career at NC State. He was never completely convinced he would be able to compete in one, let alone two, given that no Atlantic Coast Conference school had ever had a black student-athlete in any sport when he matriculated in the fall of 1956. But the Durham native and three other Triangle-area high school students were admitted to NC State shortly after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in a 1955 decision that the state's public colleges could consider African-American applications. All four were accepted into State College's School of Engineering. Holmes wanted to study electrical engineering, thanks to a Holmes, who had been ranked as high as the No. 2 African-American tennis player in the country in high school, joined the Wolfpack tennis team in 1958 to become NC State's and the ACC's first African-American athlete. During his senior year, he was elected one of the team's co-captains. PHOTOS COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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