Former NC State QB: I lost sleep over rivalry games
Posted October 30, 2013
Former NC State football player Tol Avery is an assistant principal at his high school alma-mater, South Johnston.
He's responsible for a much bigger huddle now than the one he commanded at NC State. From 1980-82, Avery was the starting quarterback for the Wolfpack under the direction of Monte Kiffin. The coach who once rode in on a white horse and is now the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
"Very innovative. Creative coach," Avery said about Kiffin.
The defensive coordinator during Avery's time at NC State was Pete Carroll, current NFL head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
"Everytime I see them I have chills in my body. Just think back to the days and listen to some of the things they say now, when I get a chance to hear them. Not too many things have changed," Avery said about his former coaches.
If there was one thing Avery would like to change, it's the three losses he had against North Carolina. In 1980, Avery was hit so hard by Lawrence Taylor that his facemask broke.
"Actually I didn't know that at the time, that he broke his facemask. But I do remember the hit," Avery said. "When he ran through me it was almost like I wasn't even existing."
The hit left Taylor with a nose injury, leaving it open for Avery to claim he once broke Taylor's nose.
"I can, I can," said Avery laughing.
In 1981, Avery completed a touchdown toss in the first half and the Wolfpack led Carolina 10-0 at halftime. To start the 2nd half, Kiffin called for an onside kick that was recovered by the Tar Heels.
"They gather momentum and that momentum took them into the second half and they never stop," recalled Avery.
North Carolina too the 21-10 win.
A loss that didn't sit well with Avery.
"I lost enough sleep those first couple of years that last for a lifetime but we deal with it," said Avery.
Playing sports gave Avery a wealth of experiences that he now shares with his high school students.
"You overcome adversity, you deal with it, you find coping skills, you find strategy and just pass that along to our students," Avery said. "I can relate to what's going on. I just didn't happen to wake up and now here I am. I walked across some of those same bricks, was in some of those same classes and had some of the same trials and adversities that they have."