Sep 3, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - Frank Weedon, colorful publicity director and long-time administrator for NC State athletics, died on Monday night at his home in Raleigh.
For more than five decades, he was responsible for publicizing student-athletes, organizing events and handling day-to-day administration under three different Wolfpack athletics directors.
With unbounded emotion, energy and passion for NC State, Weedon and his late wife Janice attended more university-sponsored events – athletic, cultural and academic – than nearly any couple in the 125-year history of the institution.
Born on May 11, 1931, in Washington, D.C., Weedon graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism in 1954. After two years as the sports information director at Lehigh and three years as a European counter-intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, Weedon came to NC State on July 1, 1960 and was loyal to the university until his passing on Monday. He was 82.
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
As NC State’s sports information director for 12 years, Weedon promoted the accomplishments of Wolfpack stars in all sports. Inspired by what he thought was biased coverage on local airwaves, Weedon put together the first Wolfpack Radio Network to broadcast NC State football and men’s basketball games.
After moving into athletics administration in 1971 as Willis Casey’s only assistant director, Weedon was on the hiring committees for accomplished coaches like Lou Holtz, Kay Yow, Bo Rein, Jim Valvano and Dick Sheridan. He taught them all how to bleed Wolfpack red.
His proudest professional moment came in 1982 when he accepted on behalf legendary basketball coach Everett Case a posthumous induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Married in 1989 to the former Janice Bunn Nixon, long after Weedon had made generations of Wolfpack athletes his family, he was the most familiar face in the athletics department.
“Frank Weedon was a legend among collegiate sports media circles for decades,” said NC State director of athletics Deborah A. Yow. “His competence and generous hospitality will be remembered by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Though he officially retired as an athletics department administrator in 1996, Weedon still showed up every morning for the next 15 years as a senior associate athletics director emeritus to serve as NC State athletics unofficial historian and walking anecdote mill.
“Nobody has been a better Wolfpacker than Frank Weedon,” Wolfpack Club executive director Bobby Purcell said of his long-time friend.
Weedon did a bit of everything during his tenure at NC State. He was the media director for the final Dixie Classic and for a half dozen ACC Tournaments played at Reynolds Coliseum. He was the official scorer for the 1966 Final Four, when long-shot Texas Western shocked Kentucky for the national championship. And he was with the Wolfpack when it beat UCLA and Marquette in the 1974 Final Four and Georgia and Houston in 1983 when it won the school’s two men’s basketball national titles.
He was tournament manager for five NCAA men’s basketball tournaments at Reynolds Coliseum and served as chairman of the ACC wrestling, tennis, soccer, women’s basketball and men’s swimming committees.
His association with NC State went beyond athletics. He was perennial member of the “Friends of the College” concert series and committee member for the fundraising efforts to restore both Thompson Theater and Reynolds Coliseum. He was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt in 1996 and NC State Alumni Association’s “Award of Merit” in 1997.
He served the community as the president of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Bill Dooley/Triangle East Chapter of the National Football Foundation. In 2008, he received the Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association in recognition of notable achievement and service to the media covering ACC sports.
For four decades, Weedon was a member of the West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, serving as both elder and deacon during his membership. Throughout their marriage, Frank attended Sunday services at West Raleigh while Janice went to First Baptist in downtown Raleigh. Unfailingly, they met for lunch afterwards at a local cafeteria.
Career Accomplishments and Honors:
• More than a half century ago, Weedon was displeased with how local radio shows chose to cover NC State football and basketball games. He pushed a telephone call-in campaign with NC State fraternities, which led to Raleigh radio station WPTF AM-680 becoming the flagship station of the state’s first radio network. The Wolfpack Sports Network celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. Every other school in the state and around the southeast has developed a similar network to the one first instituted by Weedon at NC State, generating millions of dollars for their athletic budgets.
• For 12 years, Weedon was the sports information director at NC State. In addition to running a one-person media relations office, his duties included being the tournament manager for the Dixie Classic and the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament when it was played at Reynolds Coliseum.
• Promoted the careers of five first-team football All-Americas during the 1960s.
• Was official scorer in football, basketball and baseball for all NC State games, for many ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament games, including the 1966 NCAA title game between Kentucky and Texas Western.
• Promoted to assistant athletics director in 1971, one of two administrators in a department of 26 varsity sports. Spent two decades as NC State’s senior associate athletics director, working for Willis Casey, Jim Valvano and Todd Turner. Continued to serve as senior associate athletics director emeritus and unofficial athletics department historian under Les Robinson and Lee Fowler.
• Instrumental in organizing the first national telecast of an ACC regular-season basketball game (1973 NC State-Maryland game in College Park, Md., on Super Bowl Sunday), which helped land the ACC its first television contract for men’s basketball.
• Served on various search committees during his time as an associate and senior associate athletics director at NC State, including those that recommended hiring Lou Holtz, Kay Yow, Bo Rein, Jim Valvano and Dick Sheridan.
• Officially retired in 1996, but remained in the department for another 15 years, providing historical context and institutional knowledge.
• For many years, was the athletic department’s biggest donor to the Wolfpack Club. The press box at Doak Field at Dail Park is named in his honor, thanks to a major gift to the building campaign. He and Janice also established an endowed scholarship fund.
• Past president of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Bill Dooley/Triangle East Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
• Weedon was the 2008 recipient of the Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award, in recognition of notable achievement and service to the media in the coverage of ACC sports.
Weedon's Five Decades of Bleeding Red - Published March 13, 2008