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Caulton Tudor 2017

A native of Angier, Caulton Tudor has been a sports writer for almost 50 years – the past four years with of Raleigh and the previous 44 years with The Raleigh Times and The News & Observer newspapers.

A 1999 inductee into the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame and two-time former President of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, Tudor grew up in Angier and actually did his first media work as a volunteer correspondent for The Harnett County News Weekly and The Fuquay-Varina Independent newspapers. He applied for and landed those two jobs on the advice of the late Christine Johnson, a remarkable woman who was then an English teacher at Angier High School.

When The Raleigh Times ceased publication and was officially merged with The News & Observer on Dec. 1, 1989, Tudor’s role as a columnist and assistant sports editor changed somewhat, but he attempted to maintain the writing style he learned as a young reporter out of East Carolina on a small afternoon Times sports staff led by Bruce Phillips.

As the weakest link on a talented Angier High basketball team in 1963-64, Tudor had a role in one of the most famous games ever played – Boone Trail High’s win over Angier in 13 overtimes at Buies Creek in what then was Campbell College’s Carter Gym.

The “longest game” was for the championship of the Harnett 1-A Conference and was played on Feb. 29, 1964 (Leap Day).

The same 10 players went the entire distance. Neither coach – Al Black of Boone Trail and Rudy Brown of Angier – substituted. Boone Trail played Frank Stewart, William Brown, Dennis Walls, Ralph Hester and Gene Wright. Angier played Robert Hall, Johnny Gardner, Ron Ashley, Phil Ferrell and Tudor.

As a sports writer, Tudor has won numerous state and national awards in reporting and column categories. He’s a three-time winner of the North Carolina Sports Writer of the Year and was the 2012 recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award.

In 1974, Tudor was fortunate enough to cover more than 20 of N.C. State’s 31 games, including the memorable ACC title win over Maryland in Greensboro and the Final Four wins over UCLA and Marquette, also in Greensboro.

In 1982, Tudor was equally fortunate to cover UNC and Dean Smith’s drive to his first NCAA title win that culminated with victories over Houston and Georgetown in New Orleans.

The following year, Tudor covered the final 10 games of another State season that ended with a title win over Houston in Albuquerque, N.M., and Jim Valvano running feverishly around a court nicknamed “The Pit.”

Later in his career, Tudor was blessed to cover another Smith title, two more by Roy Williams at UNC and four of Mike Krzyzewski’s five championships at Duke.

But if Tudor was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time for many important sports events, he’s been even luckier to have worked with and around so many talented people in the media. Those people are too numerous to mention individually, but he is eternally thankful to all of them, both in the newspaper and electronic divisions.

And, of course, he could not have accomplished much of anything without his wife Diz, the world’s greatest amateur copy editor and tennis player.

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