RALEIGH, N.C. – National Agents Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright was a special guest of North Carolina State University baseball coach Elliott Avent’s at the Rally Club’s First Pitch Banquet, which enshrined three former players into its Wolfpack Baseball Hall of Fame Feb. 11 at the Raleigh Marriott-City Center.
Albright, a 1986 graduate of N.C. State, and his daughter Haleigh sat at a table with Avent, who has won more than 500 games in 14 seasons at the school, former and current players and administrative staff with the program.
Avent said people like Albright were critical to N.C. State athletics.
“Having the support of somebody like Andy Albright is important for the N.C. State Wolfpack baseball program,” Avent said. “His love for the Wolfpack is clear and we wish there were more people like him supporting all our athletic teams. Andy and National Agents Alliance understand what it takes to put a winning team on the field and we’re happy that the Albrights are proud to be a part of the Wolfpack nation.”
Tony Riggsbee emceed the event and introduced new N.C. State Athletics Director Debbie Yow and Avent, who were the featured speakers, in addition to the inductees.
Yow spent 16 years as director of athletics at Maryland, where the Terrapins won 20 national championships and consistently graduated student-athletes – with upcoming federal graduation rate report reflecting an all-time high of 80 percent at the school.
Yow told the crowd that N.C. State athletics should never reach the point where its alumni and fans accept the status quo.
“We can be whoever we want to be,” Yow said. “The only limitations we have are those we put on ourselves. Go Pack!”
Avent talked about the state of the baseball program, introduced the current team and spoke about each Hall of Fame member.
“N.C. State has always had a sense of pride,” Avent said. “Play hard, play tough. Those are the things I think about when I think about N.C. State, not necessarily blue collar just so much pride that you are going to do whatever you can to represent your university and the people that have spent so much time and energy to make it possible for you to be where you are.”
Former Wolfpack standouts Turtle Zaun, Brian Bark and Tom Sergio joined the two previous classes – which included inaugural class Sam Esposito, Mike Caldwell and Chris Cammack and second class Doug Strange, Dan Plesac and Steve Martin – as the newest members of N.C. State’s only athletic hall of fame.
Sergio, now the baseball coach at Kennedy-Kenrick High School in Philadelphia, was remembered as the ultimate leadoff batter who had fun off the field. He set the N.C. State record for hits in a career.
Zaun, now a dentist near his hometown of Mechanicsburg, Va., hit 47 home runs in his final two seasons at N.C. State and was recognized as a team leader and student-athlete, who gave up a chance at playing professional baseball after being accepted into dental school.
Bark, a record-setting hitter and pitcher, is considered one of the best all-around players in school history.
Albright said spending time with some of the Wolfpack’s top athletic leaders was important to him.
“I love being around the coaches and leaders that care about N.C. State University as much as I do,” Albright said. “Haleigh and I really enjoyed ourselves at the Hall of Fame induction, and we can’t wait to watch the Wolfpack play baseball this spring. I grew up loving baseball and the Wolfpack, so that is a great combination for me and I love being around the coaches and team whenever I can.”
ABOUT N.C. STATE ATHLETICS
The mission of the N.C. State University Athletics Department is to prepare student-athletes to compete at the highest level and to inspire them to be leaders now and for the future by providing the best environment to achieve their athletic, academic, and personal aspirations as well as providing support for the professional development of our coaches and staff, all within the role of the greater institutional relationship to the University.
ABOUT NATIONAL AGENTS ALLIANCE
National Agents Alliance is an innovative lead generation and marketing organization that sells life insurance, annuities, and other financial services products through more than 7,000 active independent sales representatives in 50 states. Focused on serving middle-income families, National Agents Alliance is the No. 1 United States provider of mortgage protection insurance and offers a broad array of other affordable products from highly regarded companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Foresters, and ING. Since its inception in 2002, National Agents Alliance has helped more than 670,000 families successfully apply for more than $78 billion in life insurance coverage.
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