An outstanding athlete in every sport he touched while growing up in Pittsburgh and attending Edgewood High School Eddie Biedenbach starred in basketball, baseball and football. He was signed to a basketball scholarship at North Carolina State University, where he initially played on the freshman team coached by former Wolfpack All-American Lou Pucillo. He played for three Hall of Fame coaches (Everett Case, Press Maravich and Norm Sloan) in his three varsity seasons and also played baseball for legendary Wolfpack coach Vic Sorrell.
Biedenbach quickly became a fan favorite at Reynolds Coliseum, known as a speedy defensive guard who had uncanny hand and foot quickness, great ball-handling skills and an innate knack for the game. Sportswriters bestowed upon him two nicknames – the “Pittsburgh Pickpocket” and the “Pittsburgh Pirate” – due to his propensity to steal the basketball.
His N.C. State varsity career included two years as the team’s leading scorer. He also was a two-time All-ACC selection and a two-time All ACC Tournament selection. As a senior, he was named a preseason co-captain; At season’s end he was honored as the Wolfpack’s MVP. In 2003, when N.C. State voted on its all-time men’s basketball teams, Biedenbach was voted Player of the Decade for the 1960s.
Drafted by four different pro sports teams, Biedenbach was first selected by the St. Louis Hawks (drafted after his redshirt senior year, which he missed due to major back surgery). Three teams drafted Eddie following his basketball senior year – the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the ABA’s New York Nets, and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. He played briefly with the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns before returning to N.C. State to begin what became a long and rewarding coaching career.
As an assistant coach he was instrumental in recruiting the players that brought N.C. State national championships in 1974 and 1983, and he also served as an assistant to Hugh Durham when they led the Bulldogs to the 1983 Final Four.
As a head coach, Biedenbach took Davidson in the Southern Conference from last place to first in just three years. Later, in winning a school record 256 games – most in Big South Conference history – in 17 seasons at UNC Asheville, he led the Bulldogs to a combined nine regular season and tournament championships. Four times he was named Big South Coach of the Year.
Biedenbach’s contributions to college basketball and campus life extend off the court as well. In 20 years as a head coach, his teams posted an impressive 95 percent graduation rate. His endless energy, engaging personality and his Eddie Biedenbach Celebrity Golf tournaments have led to more than $5 million being raised for student scholarships, college facility upgrades and local charities.
His years and many successes in several sports were recognized by his Pittsburgh roots in 1998 when he was inducted into Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh East Boros Sports Hall of Fame. Later through his coaching success Eddie was inducted into 4 additional sports hall of fames that included the Western North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the University of North Carolina Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame, the Big South Conference Hall of Fame and the North Carolina State Athletic Hall of Fame (as Assistant Coach in the team induction of the 1974 Men’s Basketball National Champions).
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