Nov. 11, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - For virtually all of his life, Chuck Noe has always been in some way associated with college or high school athletics. His career in college sports began 45 years ago, playing both basketball and baseball for the University of Virginia. Noe was captain of the 1947-1948 basketball team, and that year he led Virginia in free throw percentage. During that season, he also led the Cavaliers with 332 points and averaged a team high 14 points-per-game. Successful both in the classroom as well as on the playing field, Noe received an award his senior year as Virginia's athlete with the highest grade point average.
After graduating from UVa, Noe signed with the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the Baltimore Bullets of the NBA. Unfortunately, both of his professional careers ended as a result of a severely dislocated ankle, just two days after being told to report the Red Sox. After his injury, he returned to the Charlottesville area as the head football, basketball, and baseball coach at Madison County High School. His college roommate and captain of the 1950 Cavalier football squad, "Rock" Weir, joined him as an assistant coach at Madison, and the two led the Mountaineers to a perfect 10-0 record on the gridiron.
Following coaching stints at Hopewell High School and VMI, Noe served seven seasons as Virginia Tech's head basketball coach. To this day, he still has the best winning percentage of any coach to lead the Hokies on the hardcourt. During his tenure, Tech basketball gained such popularity that the first big-time athletic facility in the state, Cassel Coliseum, was built on campus.
Although Noe held many coaching positions for several different schools, he will always remain a loyal Cavalier. "Even though I have coached at VMI, Virginia Tech, and the University of South Carolina, and our teams played against Virginia, when I'm out of the coaching business I bleed for my alma mater. I will always try to help Virginia any way that I possibly can, and there's no question about that," said Noe.
After serving as VCU's athletic director, Noe took his years of coaching and playing experience to the radio airwaves. According to the former Virginia two-sport athlete, he made his radio debut as the host of Richmond's first sports call-in show in the late 1970's. Then, in 1985, former Virginia director of promotions Todd Turner asked Noe to host a call-in show devoted to UVa athletics. Noe agreed and for the past 14 years he has served as the host for the Cavalier Call-In Show. The show provides Virginia fans the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the head head football coach George Welsh throughout the football season and with head basketball coach Pete Gillen during the basketball season. Each Sunday night from 7:06-8:00, the show supplies serious Cavalier followers good insight and knowledge about UVa teams not commonly found in other media outlets.
Though Cavalier Call-In gives its listeners an insider's view of either the football and men's basketball teams, the show is also important to the host. As a part of the radio program, Chuck Noe and his wife Barbara maintain a strong relationship with the University of Virginia. "[The Show] has given Barbara and me the opportunity to be around the coaches, the University, and the football and basketball programs," said Noe. "These are the things we truly enjoy being around, and we love being involved with UVa. Barbara and I love [the University] dearly, and that's why I continue to do [the Cavalier Call-In Show]."
In 1993, Noe received the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Superior Award for best year-round sports reporting. He admits his wife Barbara is one of the main reasons Cavalier Call-In has become a top-rated telephone talk show. She has been there every step of the way since the show began in 1985. For those who call the show, it is her friendly voice that greets them with "Cavalier Call-In, do you have question for Coach?"
"Barbara has taken every call that has come for Cavalier Call-In," said Noe. "She has probably been the most valuable part of the team. We usually have a goal of somewhere around 15 callers [per show]. She has been invaluable."
Throughout his 14 years as host of the Cavalier Call-In Show, Chuck Noe has been there for many of Virginia's great wins and tough losses. He constantly uses his years of coaching experience to relate with Coach Welsh and Coach Gillen, and he understands the rigors of coaching regardless if the team is winning or struggling. His years of athletic knowledge allow him to approach many situations concerning a team's performance in a truly professional manner. Noe wants nothing more than to expose the team's strengths and areas of concern during each football and basketball season. Each show, he attempts to do so while preserving the best interest of the coaches, players, and the University.
"I am a host who has walked in a coach's shoes, and when unusual circumstances wound players and coaches, I will get down in the foxholes and bleed with them. Coaching has always been a profession where you make your mistakes in public to be discussed and criticized. I allow legitimate and honest critiquing, but I do not allow piling on," said Noe. "Let's face it, the sports world is like the real world--some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree."
Ever since he began hosting the Cavalier Call-In Show, Noe has worked with head coach George Welsh. Though he has worked with three basketball coaches, Terry Holland, Jeff Jones, and now Pete Gillen, Coach Welsh has been at UVa ever since the show made its first airing. Through the 14 years of doing the show together, Noe and Welsh have developed a good friendship and a strong working relationship. Noe enjoys Welsh's straightforward approach and credits that personality trait as one of the main reasons for his success at Virginia.
"The great thing about Coach Welsh is that there is no phony bone in his body. What you see is what you get," said Noe. "There is no double-talk and no ducking. These are the things I like about him. He is a guy who took over a program once referred to as the "Cadavaliers" and turned it into one of college football's best blends of success both on the field and in the classroom."
Though their relationship does not span 14 years, Noe already likes what he sees of Gillen's coaching style and speaks very highly of the second-year UVa men's basketball. Similar to many Cavalier fans, Noe enjoys Gillen's dynamic personality, and he likes Virginia's new, up-tempo style of play. As a former baseball player, Noe views the acquisition of Gillen as a "grand slam".
"When Terry Holland hired Gillen, he hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded to win the game 4-3," said Noe. "Gillen is a type of coach who grabs the bat at the end of the game and swings for the fences. His style of pressure defense and fast-paced offense is the only style that will attract the best players in today's basketball world."
Chuck Noe's association with the University of Virginia spans nearly a half-century. A former standout on both the baseball field and basketball court, Noe used his playing experience at UVa as the foundation for a successful career in coaching. For the past 14 years, he has continued to offer his knowledge and services in promoting Virginia athletics. After so many years as a loyal Cavalier both on and off the field, Chuck Noe has truly given Virginia fans something to talk about.