For 42 years at The News & Observer, A.J. Carr chronicled the achievements of dozens of athletes, coaches and sports figures who are in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
In May, Carr will join them. He is one of nine new inductees into the N.C. Hall of Fame who were announced Monday and will be enshrined May 9 at a ceremony at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Eddie Biedenbach, Bob Colvin, Randy Denton, Lee Gliarmis, Marshall Happer, Rodney Rogers, the late Bob Waters and the late Frank Weedon will join Carr in the new class.
Carr, 71, retired from The N&O in 2009. He wrote about or worked with seven of the new inductees. He covered some of the biggest stars and biggest sporting events in the states history for the newspaper.
There were some great games, great athletes and great coaches but the thing I enjoyed the most was the relationships, Carr said. I enjoyed whoever I was covering.
Universally respected by the people he covered and admired by the people he worked with, Carr possesses a unique kindness and an ability to deliver eloquent prose on deadline.
As Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said when Carr retired in 2009: When you talk about honest, trustworthy and good, A.J.s picture comes up.
Carr grew up in Wallace and had an outstanding high school athletic career in basketball, football and baseball. He started working at The N&O in 1966 and was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year in 1978 and 2008.
As usual, the class has its share of basketball greats. Biedenbach was a two-time first-team All-ACC guard for N.C. State in the late 1960s. He was drafted by three different pro leagues the NBA, ABA and NFL and returned to N.C. State as an assistant coach for the 1974 national title team and under Les Robinson in the 1990s. More recently, Biedenbach won 256 games at UNC Asheville and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament three times.
Rogers was one of the best high school basketball players in state history for Durham Hillside before going on to a stellar career in the early 1990s at Wake Forest. A prolific scorer, the power forward was the ACC Player of the Year in 1993 and went on to a 12-year career in the NBA.
Denton, from Raleigh, was an All-ACC and All-America center for Dukes basketball team in 1971 and averaged 20.4 points and 12.8 rebounds as a senior. He had an eight-year pro career.
Colvin led Robbinsvilles high school football team to 11 state titles in a 15-year period beginning in 1969. Gliarmis had a successful athletic career in Wilson, and at UNC in basketball and tennis, and was a youth coach for decades. He was also instrumental in the creation of the North Carolina Baseball Museum in Wilson.
Happer, a Raleigh lawyer, brought several pro tennis tournaments to the Triangle with the Mens Tennis Council and had an outstanding playing career in Kinston and at UNC.
Waters, who died in 1989, played quarterback for San Francisco in the early 1960s, went on to a long, distinguished coaching career at Western Carolina.
Weedon, who passed away in September, was an institution for five decades at N.C. State as the longtime sports information director and assistant athletics director. Weedon was ahead of his time in player promotion and marketing.