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Dick Sheridan, former N.C. State football coach, dies at 81

File photo of Dick Sheridan, who died Thursday, July 6, 2023 near his home in Garden City Beach, South Carolina, after a brief illness.
Courtesy NC State
Dick Sheridan died Thursday, July 6, 2023 near his home in Garden City Beach, South Carolina, after a brief illness.

Dick Sheridan, who turned around the North Carolina State football program while leading the Wolfpack to six bowl appearances in seven seasons as their coach, died Thursday, the university said. He was 81.

Sheridan died near his home in Garden City Beach, South Carolina, after a brief illness, the school said, citing his family.

Sheridan, who never played college football, took over at N.C. State in 1986 after a successful run at Furman. The Wolfpack were coming off three straight 3-8 seasons but went 8-3-1 in Sheridan's first year, earning a Peach Bowl berth.

N.C. State went 4-7 in 1987 but did not have another losing season under Sheridan, winning the Peach Bowl in 1988 and winning nine games in both 1991 and '92. Sheridan resigned in the summer before the 1993 season, citing health reasons. He went 52-29-3 with the Wolfpack and never coached again.

"I have such great respect for coach Sheridan and am saddened to hear this news," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. "He did so much to build the football program at N.C. State and impacted many players, coaches and staff during his time as coach. I enjoyed getting to know him during my time here."

Sheridan won the Bobby Dodd College Football Coach of the Year award in his first season at N.C. State and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

He coached at Furman from 1978-85, going 69-23-1 and winning eight Southern Conference championships. He made an impression in Raleigh by beating the Wolfpack twice in his final three years.

"He was just a remarkable coach," said Mike O'Cain, who played for Sheridan in high school and succeeded him as the Wolfpack's coach. "He believed in his role as a strict disciplinarian and he was a perfectionist. We would practice a play 150 times a week."

After his retirement from coaching, Sheridan owned several sporting goods stores and worked in real estate in the Myrtle Beach area.

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