Aug. 21, 2014
Purchase tickets | 2014 Hall of Fame Class
RALEIGH, N.C. - Danny Peebles ran his first-ever track meet when he was nine years old, ironically on the track at his favorite school, NC State. At this meet, he won every race he competed in-while wearing blue jeans.
Prior to that meet, he knew nothing about the world of track or the art of competitive running.
He remembers when he was at school and a man named Bob Baxter came to his class, recruiting runners for his local track league, the Junior Striders. Baxter asked his teacher who of her students could run fast. She wasn’t sure so she had the class run to a fence and back outside the school building.
Peebles ran remarkably faster than the rest of his classmates. Baxter was so intrigued by his speed he handed Danny a flyer about his league and the upcoming meet they were competing in, telling him to give the flyer to his parents.
“When I gave the flyer to my parents, my father said no to me running in the track meet, but my mother was fine with it, so she took me over to NC State (the site of the meet),” Peebles said.
“I ran just about everything I could run in and I won every race-in blue jeans! That’s how little I actually knew about running back then, I just wore what I normally did every day,” Peebles said.
“That was the day I fell in love with running, and I also consider it the day my track career was born.”
The love Peebles developed for running bled into his ability to play football and play positions on offense where speed is key.
Peebles’ football career started when he was 11 years old, when he was finally of age to play on an organized football league. He was predominantly a running back until high school, when he made the switch to wide receiver.
Peebles’ speed on the field caught a lot of Division I football coaches’ attention, but of all the schools that recruited him, only two schools recruited him to play offense; the rest wanted to switch him to the defensive side of the ball.
“Being from Raleigh I originally didn’t want to go to NC State, only because I lived so close to campus, even though I was a Wolfpack fan growing up. Plus, the rest of my friends were trying to go further away to college, which made me want to as well,” Peebles said.
“In the end though I realized that choosing NC State would be the best plan for me to accomplish what I wanted to do. I also wanted to continue playing offense, and NC State was one of only two schools that recruited me to play offense.”
Peebles used his time well at NC State, accomplishing everything he wanted to do and more.
On the track, Peebles was a two-time ACC Track and Field Championships Most Outstanding Performer, winner of the Kennett Award as NC State’s top male athlete in 1989, a nine-time track and field All-American and nine-time ACC champion, a member of the 1985 NCAA 4x100 relay championship team, a four-time All-American in the 4x100 relay and a four-time All-American in the 200 meters.
On top of his track and field accolades he holds the second fastest 55-meter time, the third fastest 200-meter time and the fifth fastest 100-meter time in school history.
As a football player, Peebles is most notably known for making the top catch in Carter-Finley stadium history when he caught a 35-yard pass from Erik Kramer in the 1986 game versus South Carolina. He ranks eighth in program history in yards per catch at 16.71 per reception. Throughout his career he caught 65 passes for 1,086 yards and was a second-round draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1989 NFL draft, playing three seasons until a severe neck injury ended his career.
He created a legacy for himself among the track and field programs and made a statement in NC State football history. The impact that Peebles made in his time at the university has earned him a spot in the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame 2014 Class.
“When I got the call that I was chosen to be inducted, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I think of all the other athletes that have come through this school and how many did great things in their time here,” Peebles said.
“It is an honor for others to think that what I did was good enough to be nominated for the third hall of fame class.”
It is evident that Peebles only sought out to be a student-athlete because of the passion he had for football and track.
“I played sports because I loved it and had the God-given ability to do them. I never did it for the accolades; I only ever thought about winning the race or helping my team win the game.”
His passion for athletics and the Wolfpack has carried over 26 years later; Peebles now serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Wolfpack track and field teams under coaches Chris Coleman and Tamara Ards. The 2014 season will mark his second season as a member of the staff.
Peebles also coaches with the Carolina Elites, a local track and field club, over the summers.
Peebles and his wife, Monique, who is also an NC State graduate, have four children: Damiya, 28, Danny IV, 26, Dylan, 16, and Jada, 13. Dylan has taken after his father and plays football and runs track, while Jada plays basketball. Dylan and Jada’s athletic talents have already put themselves on college coaches’ recruiting radars.
“All four of my kids were athletic, but the younger two are more focused than the other two were at their age. Its good for them that they are getting the attention from colleges; being a college athlete is something they want. They are both very gifted and they do it for the love, not the accolades.”