'He means everything to Wolfpack nation': Avent passes 900-win mark at NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Wednesday night, former NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon threw the first no-hitter of his career with the Chicago White Sox. Rodon's success like that of many other Pack pros is thanks in part to the culture created by longtime NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent.

Wolfpack baseball and Avent go hand in hand.

Avent, the winningest coach in NC State history, recently earned his 900th win at NC State.

"It obviously means a lot," he said. "It would mean a lot more to me if my dad was here than without him, but it's special, no doubt about it because I love this school."

NC State pitcher Dalton Feeney said Avent is "the face of Wolfpack baseball."

"To go that many years at one program, that just means you're doing really good things, whether it be on the field or off of the field," Feeney said. "As the type of person he is, he deserves it more than anything."

Avent said the thing that hit him the most about the milestone is how many people including former players took notice and congratulated him.

"When those people reach out to you, it shows to me the most important thing is how connected players that played here still are to the program," Avent said. "How proud they are to the program and the responsibility of whoever is here to keep this tradition going because it's a proud tradition."

Avent is in his 25th season as the Wolfpack's head coach. He's taken NC State to the NCAA tournament 18 of the past 24 seasons - but most importantly players say it's what he's done for them off the field - calling him a player's coach.

"It just kind of tells you the person he is and how he treats every player as a family member," Feeney said. "He's meant a lot. I've been here for five years and been with him through the thick and thin. As a coach, I love him to death. He always works us as hard as he can and prepares us to be the best team that we can be but personally he's always been there for me."

Avent said retirement is in his near future but there's one more thing he wants to check off his list before leaving and that's upgrading the stadium.

And after a slow start this season, the Wolfpack appears to be back on track at 15-11, 8-10 in ACC play. The Pack rolled past North Carolina A&T, 10-4, on Wednesday night in Raleigh to extend its win streak to six.

Another postseason run could be looming. And every one could be Avent's last as one of NC State's most enduring coaches.

As Feeney put it, "he means everything to Wolfpack nation."
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