Jason Buel

“…students rallied around the Wolfpack’s heroics as a way of escaping, if only momentarily, from the increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam.”

Jason Buel, Ph.D., CRDM
Lead Researcher
Wolfpack Football 1967 (1968)

16mm film (orig.)
color, sound
6:45 minutes (excerpts)

Wolfpack Football 1967 documents a watershed year for NCSU athletics. At its best, the football team was ranked third in the nation by the AP College Football Poll. That ranking remains the highest ever achieved in school history. The Wolfpack earned their first ever bowl victory over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, thanks in large part to the stalwart play of the “White Shoes” defense featured in this film. Dennis Byrd anchored that defense, and he became NC State’s first ever consensus All-American for his play in the 1967 season. He remains the only defensive player to have his number retired by the team. Coach Earle Edwards was named NCAA Coach of the Year for 1967. He would go on to become the longest-tenured coach in team history.

As important as 1967 was in terms of Wolfpack Football history, it was also a time of dramatic social change throughout the nation and around the world. The front pages of The Technician shown here attest not only to the team’s success, but also to the more general spirit of the times: students rallied around the Wolfpack’s heroics as a way of escaping, if only momentarily, from the increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam. But the 1960s also saw progressive social change in the form of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1967, such progress made itself manifest on the football field as the Wolfpack finally broke the color barrier—doing so notably later than many other ACC schools. Marcus Martin, a student attending NC State on an academic scholarship, earned himself a position on the team as a walk-on. As significant as this event seems today, it is worth noting that Martin is not featured in this film.

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Related documentation:
The Technician, October 2, 1967.
The Technician, October 16, 1967.
The Technician, December 5, 1967. Credit: Courtesy of Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries.

Marcus Martin, North Carolina State defensive back, 1967-1969. Credit: Courtesy of Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries.