He wore red. He breathed red. He lived red. He loved red. And red loved him back.
C.A. Dillon Jr., who died last Thursday at 91, was the announcer at N.C. State University basketball games for half a century. That’s a remarkable run for a fellow who ran a family business, Dillon Supply, was active in his community and church and had five children and 16 grandchildren.
But all those years, with but two exceptions, Dillon was courtside becoming the “soul of Reynolds Coliseum.” It all started in 1946 when State basketball coach Everett Case asked Dillon to take the microphone for Wolfpack basketball games. (Dillon also worked football games.)
But it was no hobby. Before games, Dillon would check with coaches on players’ names, so as not to mispronounce them. He would open each event with, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to William Neal Reynolds Coliseum ...”
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Dillon developed along the way an encyclopedic knowledge of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, and of course the Wolfpack greats. But he tried to stay impartial — though no one expected him, in his red blazer, to employ that baritone in breathless praise for NCSU’s opponents.
Dillon was a rare man, so active for 50 years with the Wolfpack, so active in Raleigh, a city to which he was devoted. Many thousands of basketball fans will not forget their early experiences in Reynolds, and the voice that guided them.