Sports Legends of the Carolinas

Over nearly 30 years at The Charlotte Observer, columnist Scott Fowler has built an unparalleled rolodex of hardwood heroes, gridiron greats, hall-of-fame coaches, and sports media luminaries throughout the region. Now, thanks to access fans won’t get anywhere else, Fowler sits down with icons from the area — including Muggsy Bogues, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jay Bilas, and more — to hear the unfiltered, untold stories of their journeys to becoming Sports Legends of the Carolinas.

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26
Armanti Edwards
Armanti Edwards, the former once-in-a-generation quarterback at Appalachian State, talks about the Mountaineers' colossal win over Michigan, “the darkest time in my football career" in the NFL, and his redemption in the CFL.
54 min
27
Mike Krzyzewski
Alex Zietlow interviews Coach Mike Krzyzewski, or Coach K.
61 min
28
Debbie Antonelli
52 min
29
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon discusses his early days as a breakdancer (yes, seriously) and his rivalry with Dale Earnhardt Sr.
42 min
30
George Shinn
George Shinn, who conceived the Charlotte Hornets and brought the NBA to Charlotte, remains a busy man at age 81, although he now is out of the ownership business.
47 min
31
Tyler Hansbrough
Tyler Hansbrough talks about his favorite win at UNC and his new sports passion, which gets him more nervous than basketball ever did.
42 min
32
Cedric 'Cornbread' Maxwell
Cedric Maxwell discusses how he got the nickname “Cornbread,” the 49ers’ run to the Final Four, playing with Bird, the fight he got into with Charles Barkley and how he found out who his biological father was only a few years ago.
57 min
33
Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen, the former Pro Bowl tight end for the Carolina Panthers, and now celebrated color commentator on FOX, discusses Tom Brady; the upcoming Super Bowl; his son T.J.'s continued improvement after his heart transplant in 2021; and why Carolina’s loss to Denver in Super Bowl 50 still haunts him.
37 min
34
Bonus: Season 1 in Review
The Sports Legends team comes together to review the first season of the show.
62 min
35
Steph Curry
Steph Curry, the all-everything point guard for the Golden State Warriors, is already a “Sports Legend of the Carolinas.” In this deeply personal retrospective, Curry offers never-before-heard details about his high school career; leading Davidson College to the Elite Eight in 2008; the challenges for Curry of following in the NBA footsteps of his famous father, Dell; and the one thing that could get Curry to leave Golden State.
39 min
36
Roy Williams, Part 2
This week on “Sports Legends of the Carolinas,” legendary former UNC men’s head basketball coach Roy Williams talks about the fellow Tar Heel namesake for his son, Scott; his current role as a doting grandfather; and why it seemed like he never used those dadgum time outs.
21 min
37
Roy Williams, Part 1
This week on “Sports Legends of the Carolinas,” legendary former UNC men’s head basketball coach Roy Williams reflects on his sudden retirement, his rivalry with former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and consoling Marcus Paige after the heartbreaking 2016 title game loss to Villanova.
43 min
38
Charlotte Smith, Part 2
Charlotte Smith, the all-time winningest coach at Elon University and hero of the 1994 NCAA title game for the University of North Carolina, looks back at the road to her “blessed place,” Elon; getting posterized in the movie Juwanna Mann; and the immense strength she has found in asking for help.
20 min
39
Charlotte Smith, Part 1
Charlotte Smith, the all-time winningest coach at Elon University and hero of the 1994 NCAA title game for the University of North Carolina, talks about overcoming fear to meet the moment on the court; the life-changing role of coaches off the court; and being a pioneering slam dunker in the women's game.
32 min
40
Jay Bilas, Part 2
Jay Bilas, ESPN’s 58-year-old leading college basketball analyst, talks about the toughest opponent he ever faced on the hardwood, and the leap of faith that made his broadcasting career a reality.
26 min
41
Jay Bilas, Part 1
Jay Bilas, ESPN’s leading college basketball analyst, talks about his start calling Duke basketball games for $200; his role today as, in many ways, the conscience of college basketball; and a highlight of Bilas' legal career: a courtroom battle with Barney the purple dinosaur.
34 min
42
Phil Ford, Part 2
Phil Ford, one of the best players in UNC basketball history, looks back at following in the footsteps of fellow "Sports Legend of the Carolinas" Charlie Scott; playing against other collegiate greats; and the loss he can't forget.
17 min
43
Phil Ford, Part 1
Phil Ford, one of the best players in UNC basketball history, looks back at being recruited by Dean Smith, making the Four Corners famous in Chapel Hill in the 1970s, and the injury and alcohol addiction that ended his NBA career.
28 min
44
Judy Rose, Part 2
Judy Rose, the trailblazing athletic director who oversaw 70 league titles in 14 sports at UNC Charlotte, reflects on fundraising in the modern era of college sports; name, image and likeness endorsement deals for current athletes; and the hardest change in head coaches she ever had to make.
25 min
45
Judy Rose, Part 1
Judy Rose, the trailblazing athletic director who oversaw 70 league titles in 14 sports at UNC Charlotte, looks back at how Title IX changed college sports; her early efforts to recruit for UNC Charlotte's women's basketball team; and tension with male coaches she had to navigate during her time as AD.
40 min
46
Bob McKillop, Part 2
Former Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop talks about retiring, and when he knew it was time to leave "Camelot," as he calls Davidson; and what comes next for him.
24 min
47
Bob McKillop, Part 1
Former Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop looks back at his playing days as a scrappy young guard, his recruitment of a wiry high schooler named Steph Curry, and the coaching philosophy that led Davidson to nine NCAA Tournaments.
55 min
48
Dawn Staley, Part 2
Dawn Staley, who has had one of the most sensational careers in women’s basketball history, talks about sharing pieces of her national championship nets with Black coaches and journalists; her 5-year-old gray-and-white Havanese rescue dog, Champ; and how she motivates players who have already won a national title.
17 min
49
Dawn Staley, Part 1
Dawn Staley, who has had one of the most sensational careers in women’s basketball history, looks back at her road to South Carolina; the possibility of someday coaching in the NBA; and why her former players think she's going soft.
23 min
50
Wesley Walls, Part 2
Wesley Walls, a star for the Carolina Panthers from 1996 to 2002, reflects on concussions and the wear and tear of his football career; his one regret from his playing days; and the gifts of humility and gratitude.
35 min