Local News

Former Top Cisco Exec In Triangle Buys Stake In New Pro Soccer Team

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

CARY, N.C. — F. Selby Wellman, who managed Cisco System’s rapid growth at its Research Triangle Park campus, is getting into the professional sports business.

Wellman and his son, Brian, have bought an ownership stake in the Carolina RailHawks, a new soccer team that will be based in Cary.

Brian, who has been a restaurateur in Florida, will join the management team of the RailHawks as assistant general manager. He also will direct the team’s youth soccer initiatives, the RailHawks said in a statement.

Selby Wellman, a former IBM executive, was one of the best-known tech executives in RTP during the telecom and “dot com” boon years of the late ‘90s. Wellman was Cisco’s RTP site executive. He left Cisco in 2001.

He also served on the board of directors at both Red Hat and MCNC.

“My son and I are very excited to be joining the RailHawks family as its latest investors,” Wellman said in a statement. “My family has always had a passion for soccer, and we want to see soccer succeed in the Triangle area. We are committed to building a winning organization that North Carolinians can be proud of, on and off the field.”

Wellman remains active in technology, sitting on the boards of Workscape, a human resources software firm, and Vandalia Research, a biotechnology company.

Wellman first joined Cisco in 1994 and led Cisco’s RTP efforts to create a campus. He returned to RTP in 1997 to run the campus after an interim Cisco posting as one of the company’s top officers. Wellman had spent 15 years at IBM before joining NetEdge Systems.

A graduate of Marshall University, Wellman established a foundation that has provided educational software from SAS for use in grades 8-12 at West Virginia schools. Wellman is from West Virginia.

Brian Wellman, a former college soccer player, operated Wellman’s Grand Finale Restaurant in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We are excited to have Selby and Brian join the RailHawks ownership team," said Chris Economides, RailHawks president and general manager, in a statement. "Selby brings a wealth of local business experience that will help our organization connect with the community.”

The RailHawks will play in the United Soccer League. The team will play home games at the SAS Soccer Park in Cary.