The support for Everett Case was overwhelming. As someone from a distant era, we have to rely on historical information, rather than ESPN telecasts. So here is what the Raleigh Hall of Fame has to say about Case:
Born at the turn of the 20th century, Case, a legendary high school coach in Indiana, had a vision of what college basketball could be and he brought that vision to Raleigh. Where others saw a partially built Reynolds Coliseum, Case saw an arena that would hold 12,500 fans. While others saw football as the major college sport, Case saw arenas full of cheering, loyal, rabid basketball fans.
At first, Case recruited out-of-state basketball players who knew the nuances of the game. Even so, he spent many hours visiting North Carolina high schools and civic clubs, encouraging cities and towns to build better gymnasiums, so North Carolina lads could eventually compete for college basketball slots. He wanted to see hoops tacked up on pine trees, and backboards and baskets on almost every vacant lot. Within five or six years he did.
Case’s first 10 years at N.C. State have to be among the greatest of all time. His teams had 267 wins against 60 losses, six consecutive Southern Conference tournaments, three straight Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments. They won six of seven Dixie Classics. Tired of being doormats to N.C. State, the 1950s found nearby colleges hiring top caliber coaches, and recruiting quality players from around the country, eventually making college basketball “King” in North Carolina.
In addition to being a legendary coach, Case was a skilled promoter. The Dixie Classic, a Case brainchild, was the forerunner of today’s many popular holiday tournaments. Case introduced such practices as cutting down the nets after a championship and shining a spotlight on players as they were introduced. The installation of an applause meter in Reynolds Coliseum, the invitation to high school coaches for clinics, and his open-door policy to the media were other Case trademarks.
Case resigned from N.C. State in 1965 and died in 1966. He was the first basketball coach enshrined in the State of North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Naismith Hall of Fame adds that Case was “largely responsible for popularizing basketball in both the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and in North Carolina.”
There was some support for Tab Ramos, Phillip Rivers, and Roman Gabriel, among others. But Case was influential in North Carolina State developing into the basketball school that it is today.
The Final North Carolina State Mount Rushmore: David Thompson, Jim Valvano, Kay Yow, and Everett Case.