One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for January 18, 2015.
In 1980 I met an Athletic Trainer at Western Carolina University that became good friends with not only me but my wife. His name was Fred Cantler. Fred came to WCU in 1978 after graduating from Western Kentucky University. One of the unique things about Fred had to be the car he drove. Never met anyone else who drove the same type of car Fred had which was a Renault LeCar.
His car was silver and has nothing to do with his story on his friend Dean Biasucci but it made Fred driving around in Cullowhee, NC unique. A picture of a LeCar is found below. Renault is a French company tha has been in existence since 1899.
Cantler devoted over 33 years in athletics administration at Western Carolina. He served as the senior associate athletic director for internal relations before retiring in March of 2011. In late October 2011, Dr. David Belcher, Chancellor of the University, asked Cantler to serve as the interim director of athletics as the institution conducted a national search, where he served for just over two month before returning to retirement.
Itwas the second time in which Cantler had served as the interim athletic director at WCU. In 2004, former WCU chancellor Dr. John Bardo named Cantler to the position as the department looked to replace former AD, Jeff Compher.
In his role of senior associate athletic director for internal relations, Cantler was the primary sport supervisor for football, women’s soccer, men’s basketball and baseball. In addition, he served as the department’s compliance and eligibility officer, a duty he held from 1995 until his retirement. He also was responsible for game-day management, scheduling and supervising the maintenance of athletics facilities, organizing and scheduling athletics summer camps, serving as a liaison between athletics and other departments on campus, and overseeing the training, weight and equipment rooms.
During his career as a sports administrator, Cantler helped develop the Catamount women’s soccer program from scratch in 1999. Two years later in 2001, the program captured the first of its three Southern Conference tournament championships. Also, the Catamount baseball team won both the regular season and tournament titles in 2003 and won the regular season in 2007, advancing to the NCAA regional tournaments.
From 1978 -1995 Fred primary job was Athletic Trainer at Western Carolina. In that role especially his first ten years he developed friendships with a number of student athletes including Dean Biasucci. Dean was the kicker for the WCU Catamounts from 1980-83. After graduating he kicked in the NFL for 11 seasons Colts 84-93 and Rams 94. His career longest FG was 55 yards.
Dean Biasucci currently lives in the Charlotte, NC. He actually got into film after his NFL career and had a bit part in the film Jerry McGuire.
The Friend -FRED CANTLER
The Friend of the Friend-DEAN BIASUCCI
Fred’s story on Dean Biasucci having an intruder in his apartment-Cullowhee CSI
In the summer of 1982 WCU was having its annual summer basketball camp with nearly 500 campers and 60 plus counselors. A small handful of those counselors were not affiliated with WCU. This small group were usually Jr. HS coaches looking for summer camp employment. On the first night of camp we took a picture using the official WCU photographer. The next morning he would bring the negatives to the Basketball Office so we could get prints developed for each counselor.
In 1982 Dean Biasucci was in Cullowhee that summer living in a WCU Apartment/trailer adjacent to campus with his girlfriend. On the first night of camp he and his girlfriend were asleep in their place when Dean’s girlfriend thought she heard a noise and asked Dean to go check it out. He stumbled into the kitchen and saw a male wearing a purple t-shirt dart out his back door. They contacted campus police and they did a search of campus looking for the suspect but didn’t find anything. They told Dean they would send an officer out the next morning to start a criminal investigation.
Dean saw me early the next morning before the police arrived at his apartment and told me what happened. He said all he saw was a tall dude running out his back door wearing a purple T-Shirt with a Converse logo on the back. I immediately got concerned and told Dean that all of the counselors working at WCU Basketball camp were issued a purple t-shirt last night for a photo and those shirts had a converse logo on the back. I left Dean and headed off to work the camp.
Apparently soon after I left Dean one of the older overweight campus police officers came to Dean’s Apartment to get a statement and as Dean would say later “start doing some real police work”. Dean told the campus police officer what he saw the previous night. Dean also gave the officer the tip that WCU Basketball Counselors had their picture taken last night. He also said they were wearing purple shirts with a Converse Logo on back.
The officer told Dean I will be back in touch.
The officer immediately went to the WCU Basketball Office and approached Assistant Coach Dan Kenney. He asked Dan if they took a picture of the camp counselors last night. Dan told him yes. He asked if he could see a photo and Dan told them they had not been developed yet all he had was the negative.
The officer got excited and told Dan he wanted that negative. Dan asked him why. The officer said with a photo I only can see the counselors face. With the negative I get to see the back of his shirt.
Dan was befuddled and said I don’t understand what you mean you will see the back of his shirt. The officer proudly told Dan everyone knows a negative is a reverse image. The photo will show me the burglar’s face and the negative will show me each counselors back and prove they were wearing a purple t-shirt with a converse logo on back.
Dan handed over the negative and Cullowhee CSI was in operation. Unfortunately the case went unsolved.