Tim Peeler on Jimmy V: “What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?”

This is just a great (too short) retrospective by Tim Peeler, who has done a truly fine job covering State across various medias over several decades.

Read it all here.

This excerpt could be considered one — of many — that sums up why Jimmy V was endeared by so many State fans.

And on coaching in the shadow of Dean Smith at North Carolina, something that grated at Sloan, Duke’s Bill Foster and others who never got to share the same spotlight as the Tar Heels Hall of Fame coach: “Shadow? I’m 34 years old, have respect for everybody, but I won’t live in anyone’s shadow. I look forward to meeting him on the court, but I’m not worried about it. And I’ll tell you one more thing—I’m going to outlive him.”

It might have been the biggest laugh line of the day.

And, in retrospect, the saddest.


I was 11 when Jimmy V was tragically scapegoated by shameless opportunists in the Board of Governors, our own administration and the vitriolic local media, so my memories now of him are mostly a cloudy montage that seems to become a little clearer with every story told about him.

Those younger than me — and especially those much younger than me — know of Jimmy V only through stories.

That’s why so many of us keep telling the story.

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Home Forums Tim Peeler on Jimmy V: “What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?”

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    This is just a great (too short) retrospective by Tim Peeler, who has done a truly fine job covering State across various medias over several decades.
    [See the full post at: Tim Peeler on Jimmy V: “What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?”]


    Thanks for sharing! Good one by Tim.

    His thoughts of academics: “I’m not in the business of fouling kids up. I like to have a close relationship with my players. It’s important for players not to always see their coach in a three-piece suit. I’d like them to see them come over to my house and see my wife make me take the garbage out. Self-image is so important. I consider myself fairly intelligent. I like the theater. I like to read. I like to have conversation with the academic community. I like to feel good about me. Basketball is not my whole life. I want [my players] to understand that someday the cheering is going to stop. My job is to prepare them for that. When you get your first job at IBM, they don’t say, ‘Here comes No. 10, at left desk.’”

    His had this right — it just got out of whack with him being both the Coach and AD.

    What a ride with Coach V…


    Very nice and touching article. I have the distinct privilege of having his book….”Lifetime Contract….Declared me DEAD” in an MP3(4?) format. I dubbed it from cassette to CD and then converted it. I listen to it every year. Tim Peeler’s comments are the same ones he made in the taping. The book was VERY vengeful….but give the V man a microphone and he becomes a comic. He used comedy to actually cover some warts. So, when he sat down to do the Audio Book, it was more of a stand-up routine…I actually DO get teary eyed when he does the “Dean Smith….I don’t worry about defeating him….I will outlive him…” line.

    Second thing that other books points out and you get this when you listen to the V man is his definition of success. It was measured in dollar signs. Even the team managers would comment on the Coach writing down financial achievements, over a beer, on a white board. He WAS a dreamer….

    I can NOT help but throw in a comment that I made many weeks ago. Jimmy V had a DREAM. Dean (and maybe ORW) had a SCHEME…

    That sums up Jimmy V’s personality. He DID, according to most inside sources….get caught up in the “OK, you can make any side money you want….” syndrome. From motivational speeches to car commercials to whatever. Terry Gannon once quipped that he would SO glad if he could watch a re-run of “F-Troop” or some other TV show in the afternoon and NOT have Coach V hawking a product.

    BUT, he was OUR V man….I will not dwell on the things that happened to him….his “sins” were little white lies compared to mass murder….or to The Great Unpleasantness over in light blue land.

    Jimmy V recognized that he would not achieve all his dreams. YES, he did set up the V Foundation so that Pam and family would have some gainful employment as he had NOT really socked away the fortune that he knew he could make for them. BUT, that quickly became a moot point as the Foundation is TOTALLY self-endowed or sustaining. Therefore, 100% of every donation to the V Foundation is used for cancer research…..and NOT admin expenses.

    I often listened to the Jimmy V audio CD’s when I traveled and had to make speeches to groups promoting safety and environmental excellence….and that is a BORING and not really interesting topic. BUT, I would gain a LOT of insight into how he approached motivation. I used his lines….I also used his “aura” as folks all the country know Jimmy V as that crazy guy running around in ABQ after pulling off the biggest upset in NCAA history…..and having a dream….and then realizing it…

    RIP, JV….we really need to put your name on the court at the PNC….might just help those FT’s fall….even though they would have pasta sauce all over them….


    Well said Adventuroo. Could not agree more.
    It really does not seem that long ago that a red 300Z was pulling into the back of Reynolds and V would get out. He always smiled and waved even though towards the end you KNEW that was the last thing he wanted to do.

    Those of us around during your time here still miss you Coach. We always will.


    I am saddened to advise that one of Jimmy V’s Assistant Athletic Directors, Dr. Robert A. Robinson passed away today. Dr. Bob, as we his fellow choir members called him, was 91 and had developed a serious illness that his body could not stave off. Dr. Robinson was quoted many times by the local media. He was the one that quipped….or perhaps was a bit more serious….as he had a keen wit and could throw a zinger….the following…

    A story published by The News and Observer of Raleigh and an Associated Press dispatch on Thursday said Dr. Robert A. Robinson suspected that schools that boasted a 100 percent graduation rate for their athletes simply awarded them “certificates of attendance.”

    NOW, we know that Dr. Bob was indeed wrong…rarely, but this time. The folks at UNC did not even have to attend.

    Here is a link to an old article that describes his role and comments…


    Dr. Robinson’s services will be held at the Macedonia United Methodist Church in Cary. It is diagonally across from Colonial Baptist Church, where I think that Kay Yow’s services were held.

    The family has a planned visitation at 10:00 and the services will be at 11:00 this coming Saturday (11/29).

    Knowing Dr. Bob, he will probably take Jimmy V aside and have a little talk with him….and Lo and Kay will be next on his list….he was loved and respected by a LOT of folks…


    Man I’d love to have a copy of that mp3 Adventuroo.

    I really hate his life was cut short. what an amazing guy. I love listening to him speak/do stand up.


    Interesting take from someone who didn’t live in NC from 1982-1987 (arguably the glory years of V). We were getting V on TV in the northeast. NC State had as much publicity as UNC. Those were the two NC ACC teams. Duke was a bit of an afterthought and Wake was virtually unheard of. NC State though had cachet because of 1983, but more so because of JimmyV.

    We all know what happened with Duke and K. That was a perfect marriage and would have happened regardless.

    NC State though, was completely self inflicted. I won’t forgive our administration of the handling of that, and the local media for their role. When I see how they’ve handled UNC with such kid gloves, the mockery that is the NCAA is just more sickening.

    We miss you JimmyV, not just for the on court performances, but just for who you were as a person. I doubt we’ll ever have anyone close in both.

    Oh, and the 1980s and 1990s were the heyday of the ACC. We started back sliding about the time of expansion and Swoff and ESPN putting UNC/Duke above the league. Lack of double round robin and the uneven playing field that is the ACC has left our league a shell of its former self.


    “Oh, and the 1980s and 1990s were the heyday of the ACC. We started back sliding about the time of expansion and Swoff and ESPN putting UNC/Duke above the league. Lack of double round robin and the uneven playing field that is the ACC has left our league a shell of its former self.”

    Ahh, rye .. you said it, brother. I loved me some 80’s! I’m also quite partial to the 70’s (even though I was in elementary then), but the 70’s were very good to NCSU – if not the Atlantic Coast Conference – “Skywalker” David T., the ’74 Nat’l Championship, back-to-back undefeated basketball records in conference.. Ted Brown, Lou Holtz, Norm Sloan, Clyde “the Glide” Austin, Bo Rein, the ’79 football championship (last 1 for the Pack), & some damn competitive baseball and soccer teams… Good times.


    DC you left out Kenny Carr. I remember watching State vs Duke and the Kenny Carr/Tate Armstrong show. I was at courtside and loving every minute.


    Was in Raleigh two weeks ago on Friday and my wife and I rode over to Oakwood Cemetery to visit her parents’ grave sites. V’s is just a “stone’s throw away” and I always ride by it when we go there.

    Cool line, “V had a dream, while Dean and Roy had a scheme”! I’m going to have to use that one more often..

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!

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