The banners are coming back.
For the first time since 1999, N.C. State’s two national championship banners will soon be on display again in Reynolds Coliseum.
For many years, the 1974 and 1983 banners hung in the south end of the coliseum. When the Wolfpack’s men’s basketball team moved to PNC Arena — then the Entertainment and Sports Arena — in 1999-2000, the NCAA banners were deemed too small for the new arena, packed up and put into storage and new, larger NCAA banners hung.
Enter Dave Parker.
Parker is co-owner and stockholder of Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant on Western Blvd., a popular Wolfpack eatery since 1963. The walls are filled with the photos and other mementoes of N.C. State athletes and games that Parker has been able to borrow and collect.
The late Frank Weedon, while assistant athletic director at N.C. State and then in retirement, often allowed Parker to use photos and other items in Amedeo’s that Weedon had collected and stored through the years. In 2007, while rummaging around in Reynolds, Parker spotted a box in a closet filled with championship banners and was allowed to display them in the restaurant.
“I couldn’t believe I had my hands on them,” said Parker, an NCSU alumnus and son-in-law of Amedeo’s founder Amedeo “Dick” DeAngelis. “I knew how priceless they were to State fans and there they were just sitting in a box.”
Both the 1974 and 1983 championship banners — the originals — covered the ceiling at Amedeo’s, with the understanding Parker would return them whenever N.C. State wanted them back.
And now the university has them.
Reynolds Coliseum reopened in September 2016 after an extensive renovation that includes the Walk of Fame & History. Parker was asked to return the banners a few weeks ago and he did.
NCSU athletic spokesman Fred Demarest said the plans were for the national championship banners to be on display in the northeast and northwest stairwells at the Pack’s Heritage Game on Dec. 9 against Savannah State at Reynolds.
Demarest said in the conversation with Parker, “It was agreed the banners will be back where they belong.”
Not that Parker parted with all his banners. The red 1974 and 1983 ACC championship banners and Dixie Classic banners remain at Amedeo’s.