What the pair started, now grown to unimaginable proportions, helped to define the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The better-known pioneer was N.C. State coach Everett Case, a masterful promoter whose program’s competitive excellence shaped and elevated basketball in the new conference. But as the ACC and corporate partner ESPN shamble toward the debut of a league-centric cable network, it’s also worthwhile recalling Castleman D. Chesley, the visionary entrepreneur who married the fledgling conference to television, then an emerging and little-appreciated tool.
“His place in history is unmatched in a lot of ways with the foundation that it set,” John Swofford, ACC commissioner since 1997, says of C.D. Chesley, “and what it meant to this league and to the development of fans in this league and the prominence of basketball in the league.”