The Wolfpacker

March-April 2024

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 51

50 ■ THE WOLFPACKER NC State Basketball Great Vic Molodet Receives An Overdue Honor Tim Peeler is a regular contributor to The Wolfpacker and can be reached at PACK PERSPECTIVE BY TIM PEELER W hen I last spent time with former NC State All-America basketball guard Vic Molodet, it was for a story in The Wolfpacker's 2022 "Where Are They Now" edition. At the time, I suggested that it strained credulity that the former Everett Case favorite was not yet in the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame. Happily, that can now be updated. In November, Molodet and six other former Wolfpack coaches and athletes were chosen by the election committee to be a part of the hall's seventh class since it was founded in 2012. This is the first class to be elected since 2020. At the age of 90, Molodet is the oldest living person elected to the hall. When he and the others are enshrined on April 20, it will bring the total number of honored Wolfpack elite to 53. A guard for Case's early ACC dynasty, Molodet was first-team all-conference as a sophomore and junior and won most valuable player honors at the league tournament as a senior, when he took over scoring duties for injured All- America forward Ronnie Shavlik. Molodet didn't know how good it was to be part of such an elite program in the premier college basketball league's founding years. "To tell you the truth, I didn't know how to appreciate it," he said from his home in Greensboro. "We always won the championship, and that's what we continued to do during my career. "It wasn't easy. To win it just one time was hard, but to win it three times in a row is something I continue to just be so proud of." Case's teams won nine combined Southern Conference and ACC cham- pionships in his first 10 years, an era of success matched later only by UCLA (1967-79) and Kansas (2005-2018). After Molodet left, however, the coach won just one more title, in 1959, and retired two games into the 1964- 65 season. He was on the bench with no coaching responsibilities when that final team won the 1965 title for head coach Press Maravich. Molodet, a native of East Chicago, Ill., joins Case and his players Shavlik, Dick Dickey and Lou Pucillo among the hall's inductees. Pucillo, a member of the elec- tion committee and a 2014 selection to the hall, was a driving force in making sure Molodet finally earned his place in Wolfpack athletics history, offering up endorsements of their time together and a letter of recommendation from one of Molodet's longtime fans, four-term North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt. Molodet is now a member of the Indi- ana Basketball Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame. Joining him in the class are five other outstanding athletes, and a coach, Rollie Geiger, who has overseen the men's and women's cross county and indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Geiger is perhaps the most decorated mentor of any sport in ACC history, with 40 ACC Coach of the Year awards in his tro- phy case. He joins his wife in the Hall of Fame; cross country runner Betty Springs Geiger was inducted in 2013. High-scoring forward Sam Okpodu, a native of Warri, Nigeria, was elected as the third international-born athlete to enter the hall, joining fellow soccer player Tab Ramos of Montevideo, Uru- guay, and lacrosse star Stan Cockerton of Oshawa, Ontario. A three-time All- American and four-time All-ACC per- former, Okpodu still leads the ACC with 191 points and 78 goals in his career. Record-setting pioneer Beth Har- rell became the first women's swimmer elected to the hall and the fourth of head coach Don Easterling's swimmers to be inducted, along with Steve Gregg, Steve Rerych and David Fox. In her career, the versatile long- and short-distance swimmer won a total of 26 All-America honors in the early days of women's col- lege athletics. Volire Tisdale Brown is the first vol- leyball player chosen for the hall. In the 1980s, she was a superstar on the court, earning first-team ACC honors and ACC Tournament MVP recognition in 1987 and being named the 1988 ACC Player of the Year. Women's basketball star Trena Trice- Hill not only helped the Wolfpack win two ACC Tournaments and a regular- season championship, she played nearly 15 years in the WNBA. Perhaps her big- gest honor, however, was being selected as one of the few former Wolfpack play- ers to serve as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow, which Trice-Hill did until Yow's final season on the side- line. Finally, defensive end Bradley Chubb became the 11th Wolfpack football player (12th if you include NCAA champion basketball coach Norm Sloan, who had a brief football career during the days of the Red Terrors) to be elected to the hall. Chubb was a highly decorated player with the Pack and a first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2018. He's currently with the Miami Dolphins. Surely, there are even more former athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors who have not yet been rec- ognized. If you have a name in mind, nominations are open for the class of 2026 at hall-of-fame-nomination-form. ■ Molodet was an All-America guard who helped lead the Wolfpack to three conference championships during his time in Raleigh. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - March-April 2024