The Wolfpacker

May/June 2022

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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20 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER ew families have the long- lasting, deep ties to NC State athletics like the Speights. The association traces back to 1949 when Bobby Speight stepped on the bas- ketball court for the Wolf- pack. Starting in 1950, Spei- ght played three varsity seasons for Hall of Fame coach Everett Case. Speight was a double-double ma- chine and would tally 1,430 points and 1,057 rebounds while being named an All-American in 1952 and 1953. His No. 80 is honored in the rafters of PNC Arena. Nearly 70 years later, Speight remains fourth all-time in rebounding in school history. He is not the only Speight family member to make history in Wolfpack athletics, however. Speight's daughter, Elizabeth Speight Cooley, was the first female student- athlete to receive scholarship money at NC State. She was signed on a par- tial scholarship by Peanut Doak, who coached the women's basketball team for its first season in existence in 1974- 75. Doak then turned over the program into the capable hands of Hall of Famer Kay Yow, who would lead the Pack for 34 years and pile up 737 wins. Cooley's brother, Bobby, also played college basketball for a year, but the lure of going to NC State proved stronger than participating in smaller-school athletics, and he soon transferred to Raleigh. One of NC State's former basketball coaches, Norm Sloan, was a valued fam- ily friend of the Speights. Fifty years after "Storming Nor- man" was on the sideline of Reynolds F FURTHERING A FAMILY LEGACY The Speights Continue A Lifelong Commitment To Supporting Wolfpack Athletics Elizabeth Speight Cooley (left) is paired as a mentor with rising sophomore women's basketball player Jessica Timmons (right) through the Wolfpack Club's ImPack Program. Cooley's brother, Bobby Speight, is teamed with Timmons' classmate, Sophie Hart (center). PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS

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