The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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86 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY TIM PEELER W here would Bo be now? Would he be in the College Foot- ball Hall of Fame, known as one of the greatest coaches of all time? Would he have followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Lou Holtz, to become a tele- vision analyst after a successful coaching career? Would he have faded away to the for- gotten heap of other flash-in-the-pan coaches that were unable to fulfill the early potential they showed in their dif- ficult profession? Tragically, we'll never know what might have become of former NC State coach Bo Rein, who died in a plane crash on Jan. 10, 1980, on a short-hop recruiting trip from Shreveport to Baton Rouge shortly after he left the Wolfpack to become the head coach at Louisiana State. The plane soared to 40,000 feet and lost contact with air traffic control. As it slowly cruised over Raleigh and Williamsburg, Va., where Rein had been an assistant coach at William & Mary. The U.S. National Guard intercepted the plane, but there was no sign of life in the Cessna Conquest. The military pilots watched it crash into the Atlantic Ocean after running out of fuel. No wreckage was ever found. Instead of reflecting on a long and suc- cessful career on what would have been Rein's 70th birthday July 10, Charlotte- based director Brian Goodwin put the fin- ishing touches on his ESPN Films docu- mentary "The Bo You Don't Know," which will air at 9 p.m. Sept. 15 on the SEC Network. It's one of five installments in the SEC Storied series of documentaries, which are similar to ESPN's Emmy- and Peabody-winning "30-for-30" films. Goodwin, formerly of NASCAR Produc- tions, has spent the last two years working on ESPN projects and was fascinated by the tragic tale of Rein, who spent just 42 days as LSU's head coach after four years at NC State. He left the Wolfpack in De- cember 1979, just weeks after leading the team to its last ACC football championship. "We talked to a number of folks for the project who thought Bo could have been Les Miles or Nick Saban, long before those guys ever got to LSU," Goodwin said. "He was so young that had he found the suc- cess many had expected him to at LSU, he could have been the coach there for decades, celebrating numerous SEC and national championships." One of the film's most poignant mo- ments takes place at the 2014 LSU home- coming game, when the late Rein's widow, Suzanne Klang, and daughter, Linea Rein, were honored at halftime. "It was their first time actually stepping foot in Tiger Stadium, and I think it re- ally helped us hammer home the 'what could have been' aspect," Goodwin said. "I think it also helped them both find closure, nearly 35 years later, in the warm reception they received." The film also delves into Rein's athletic career as a three-sport legend at McKin- ley High School in Niles, Ohio, where the football field has been renamed Bo Rein Memorial Stadium. He was also a two- sport star at Ohio State under legendary coach Woody Hayes. As a three-year starter at halfback, Rein led the Buckeyes in re- ceptions as a sophomore and junior, and ■ PACK PAST ESPN's SEC Network To Broadcast The Story Of Former Pack Coach Bo Rein Rein spent four years as NC State's head coach and guided the Wolfpack to its last ACC title in 1979 before departing for the head coaching job at LSU. He died in a plane crash 42 days after leaving NCSU, cutting short a promising career. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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