More Highlights for Sportscasts
The last UNC Men’s Basketball game in Carmichael. UNC vs NCSU. January 6, 1985.
Carmichael was known as one of the loudest arenas in the country while the Tar Heel men played there. The architecture of the building had a low roof and a student section that ringed the court.
UNC Men’s Basketball coach Dean Smith led North Carolina to its arena-opening 82-68 victory over William & Mary in 1965. UNC player, Bob Lewis, made the first shot in Carmichael.
On January 6, 1986 North Carolina Coach Dean Smith led his Tar Heels to finish its 20-year stay in Carmichael Auditorium the way it started – with a victory. The No. 1 and undefeated Tar Heels defeated rival North Carolina State 90-79. A few weeks later, January 19, the Tar Heels started playing in the Dean Smith Center, AKA “The Dean Dome.” That first game was against Duke.
The Tar Heels record Carmichael Auditorium, AKA “Blue Heaven” was 169-20.
Who made the final basket at Carmichael? *Spoiler Alert*
NCSU basketball coach Jim Valvano made a lay-up basket after the game. He claimed bragging rights to be the last one to make a basket in Carmichael.
The 1992 NCAA Basketball Final Four tournament was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Duke University won the championship game. WRAL Sports anchor Tom Suiter was part of team coverage of all the festivities that surrounded the sporting event and of course the game itself.
This short clip shows Tom having fun imitating the iconic hat toss by Mary Tyler Moore as seen during the open of her highly acclaimed weekly CBS comedy show during the ’70s.
WRAL Sports anchor Tom Suiter retired as the primary WRAL Sports anchor on December 18, 2008.
Tom Suiter started at WRAL in 1971 and worked under legendary sportscaster Nick Pond. He worked his way up in Sports and joined the 6 PM anchor team in 1981 … a position he held for nearly 28 years. In 2008, Tom went part-time and continued to play a major role by continuing his signature franchises – Football Friday and the Extra Effort Award. WRAL Sports director Bob Holliday presents Tom with his own Extra Effort Award at the end of the sportscast.
Surrounded by the WRAL News and Sports staff, Tom thanked the viewers for letting him into their homes, via television, every evening.
Tom Suiter, worked at WRAL in sports for 45 amazing years. Tom started at WRAL in 1971. He worked his way up in Sports and joined the 6 PM anchor team in 1981 … a position he would hold for nearly 28 years. In 2008, Tom went part-time and continued to play a major role on our Sports staff. His signature franchises have truly stood the test of time. Football Friday and Extra Effort have been going strong for 35 years!
This video commemorates his retirement from the sports anchor chair in 2008. It was produced by Bob Holliday, long time WRAL Sports Anchor.
Tom Suiter, a native of Rocky Mount, joined WRAL-TV as a sportscaster in 1971. He had just graduated from Erskine College located in Due West, South Carolina. The rest, as they say, is history!
Suiter was hired by his hero of sportscasters, Ray Reeve. Under Reeve, and then later Nick Pond, he honed his sports delivery and developed a unique style which included the addition of new words like, “Jamburger” and “Crunchburger.”
The first interview Tom Suiter ever did as a paid sports journalist was with legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden. The last interview he conducted as WRAL –TV sports anchor was with Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, in 2008.
Suiter is best known for “Football Friday,” a segment of the sportscast that featured video highlights of the games and final scores. The segment grew from coverage of eight games to 50+ games, and from a segment in the sportscast to a thirty minute program that aired after the late newscast.
“The Extra Effort Award” is another segment developed by Suiter to recognize high school student -athletes. Throughout the school year, he would honor one person – nominated by schools – each week who excels not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and in the community.
Suiter was elected to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He has also been named the winner of the annual Media Representative of the Year by the NCHSAA and was honored by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a place in the Silver Circle. He has been nominated for 17 regional Emmy’s, winning two, and was named the NC Sportscaster of the year in 1990 by the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association.
This interview was produced in 2006 for the 50th Anniversary of WRAL. David Crabtree, WRAL news anchor, is the interviewer. Note that the video is in raw form, meaning that it had not been edited for final production. You will see camera adjustments that would have been covered with other camera angles.