The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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88 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ PACK PAST in rushing as a senior. The wiry halfback finished his career as the school's all-time leader in pass receptions. He was also a shortstop and outfielder on back-to-back College World Series teams in 1965 and '66. The Buckeyes lost in the title game in 1965, but they won the only baseball national championship in school history the following year. Rein was drafted by the NFL's Balti- more Colts and major league baseball's Cleveland Indians, but his athletics career ended with a hamstring and knee injury while playing with the Triple-A Portland Beavers in 1968. He quickly transitioned to coaching, spending two years under Holtz at Wil- liam & Mary, one year at Purdue and three years as an NC State assistant when Holtz moved to Raleigh. Rein also spent a year at Arkansas as Frank Broyles' offensive coordinator. Following the 1975 season, when Holtz left NC State for the NFL's New York Jets, Rein returned to Raleigh to become the youngest head coach in college football at just 30 years old. The Pack struggled to a 3-7-1 record in Rein's first season, but over the next three years, using his whirlybird option and veer offense that featured the block- ing of Outland Trophy-winning center Jim Ritcher and all-time ACC leading rusher Ted Brown, the Wolfpack won 24 games, including wins over Iowa State in the Peach Bowl and Pittsburgh in the Tangerine Bowl. The Pack qualified for postseason play with its championship in 1979 and was invited to the Garden State Bowl in New Jersey, but declined the invitation due to a conflict with the school's exam schedule. Rein had a no-nonsense personality that was infectious with his players. He had no problem moving players to new positions, often with them kicking and screaming, as was the case with NC State Hall of Fame center Ritcher, who was dead set against moving to the offensive line from his high school position of defensive end. There is no question he was successful, and he likely would have continued to be so at LSU. Much of Goodwin's film is based on Rein's time at NC State, with interviews from Holtz, Bill Cowher, Dave Buckey and Jerry Punch. "Bo was wise in his ways," Ritcher said. "He had great insight. Had I followed my own inclination, I would have never been a center." Rein knew what he wanted from each of his players, and he knew how to make them successful, an intuitive quality that allowed him to put the right people at the right positions. "The thing about Bo was that he did an excellent job of getting people to do the things they were capable of," said Darrell Moody, a former halfback for Earle Ed- wards who was Rein's quarterbacks and running backs coach at NC State. "If that player could do one thing well, he would find a way to put him into position to do it. You didn't have to be a complete player to be effective. "He did a lot of changing personnel, which you didn't see a lot of back then." Ultimately, Rein's story is a tragic tale of a bright future cut way too short at the age of 34. "His potential was just unlimited," said Curtis Rein, who was a wide receiver and punt returner for three years at NC State for his older brother. "Every week, we had about 12 to 16 news plays that the other team hadn't seen. The defenses had no clue what we were going to do because we changed every week. "It just makes you wonder what he could have done had we not lost him at such an early age." ■ Tim Peeler, author of the newly released Legends of NC State Basketball, is a regular contributor to The Wolf- packer and can be reached at Rein, the youngest head coach in college football when he was hired by NC State at he age of 30 in 1975, won 27 games in his four seasons in Raleigh. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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