February 15, 2011
Hey guys, just checking in from Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Valentine’s Day. We’re out here doing all kinds of wild stuff in the snow. I’ll update you all about this trip once we get back to North Carolina, but I wanted to tell you about something I got to do on Friday night.
I had the honor to be a part of a special event through N.C. State and the Wolfpack baseball program, thanks to N.C. State coach Elliott Avent and former Wolfpack standout and National Agents Alliance up-and-comer Marcus Jones.
Coach Avent, who started the N.C. State Baseball Hall of Fame three years ago, invited my daughter Haleigh and me to join him for a dinner at the downtown Raleigh Marriott-City Center Hotel. We got to sit with Coach Avent and some current and former N.C. State players and some of the inner circle, who help Avent run a successful program. It was a neat deal all around, and to be a guest of Coach Avent’s really was such an honor.
So Friday, we eat with Coach Avent and Marcus Jones. The cool thing was that we were invited to sit at a table with Coach Avent.
There were hundreds of Wolfpack supporters there and I got to rub elbows with our new director of athletics Debbie Yow, who is doing a fantastic job so far. She’s one of the neatest ladies in all of NCAA sports. She’s the younger sister of the late Kay Yow, who my family thought the world of, and she’s also the first female athletic director in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference – first at Maryland and now at N.C. State.
Yow talked about all the changes going on and filled us in on some of the leadership she’s providing in her new role as athletic director at N.C. State. It’s always fun to be able to talk to her. We got some insights from her as to how the Wolfpack teams are going to go back to just the “STATE” look across the front of all of our uniforms like in the 60s and 70s. It’s a more traditional look and it’s more the look of what I saw growing up as an N.C. State fan. That’s going to come out this fall when football starts back up, so I’m excited about that.
Of course, we had to spend some time talking to Bobby Purcell, the president of the Wolfpack Club. He’s a super guy and I always enjoy our conversations.
Baseball was my favorite sport growing up, even though I love hockey now because my son Spencer loves hockey. But, Haleigh loves baseball; she’s a big baseball fan. I even thought about playing baseball when I was at N.C. State, but I knew that was not the best idea in the world.
Being around baseball people was a neat thing for me and it took me back to my playing days, listening to the stories and the characters we’ve enjoyed at N.C. State.
It’s also fun to watch these guys get recognized, see their heritage and where they came from and see the pride they have in the Wolfpack and N.C. State University. These are some of the school’s best baseball players ever, so it’s important that we don’t forget the contributions they’ve made to N.C. State athletics.
Real quick, I want to mention this year’s class: Tom Sergio, Turtle Zaun and Brian Bark. They got inducted Friday and they joined the two previous classes – which included the inaugural class Sam Esposito, Mike Caldwell and Chris Cammack and second class Doug Strange, Dan Plesac and Steve Martin – as members of N.C. State’s only athletic hall of fame.
It’s nice to get invited to things like this because of superstars or good guys that you have in your organization. In fact, we are going to be recognizing people in the National Agents Alliance family this year that are leading us. It’s going to be people that were successful before they joined us in sports or whatever they were doing prior to coming to National Agents Alliance. It’s going to be called: “NAA, let’s grow together.” I think you will enjoy that, and Marcus Jones will be one of those we profile. We’ll have different athletes, veterans and people from different walks of life that have excelled in previous endeavors and are successful with National Agents Alliance now.
Again, it’s always fun to hang out with Haleigh at another N.C. State function and being able to enjoy it because of the network we’ve been able to build. Thanks Athletic Director Yow, Coach Avent, Bobby Purcell and Marcus Jones for taking special care of us. Haleigh and I had a lot of fun and we can’t wait to catch some baseball this spring in Raleigh.