*Note: Robin writes in first person plural because she works at NC State.
Poor NCSU, no one wants to coach us. In 2006, the last time the Wolfpack was searching for a head basketball coach, they were turned down by two candidates. You might know them: Rick Barnes and John Calipari. And yet here we are in 2011, not too far removed from the resignation of Sidney Lowe (the brave soul who took the gig in ’06 and NCSU alum) and rumor is that, again, we’ve been turned down twice…so far. This time around it’s Josh Pastner of Memphis and Dave Rose of BYU. What gives?
There’s Debbie Yow, the athletic director. I like Debbie. She does big things and she does it her way. Some folks don’t like that but she gets results. We all know she didn’t get along with Gary Williams at the University of Maryland but he’s a butthole (and honestly he needs to change up or be given the boot). This is what people seem to focus on about Debbie instead of the coaches she hired (Brenda Frese and Ralph Friedgen), the championships that were won during her tenure (20), and getting the athletics department budget balanced. That is no small feat in 16 years. Yet, because she is about business and expects results she is supposedly a difficult person to work for. Ok, whatever. I’d want a boss like that on my side.
Along with the boss comes compensation. I’m pretty sure NC State is not offering the same amount as our Tobacco Road brethren, UNC and Duke. But UNC is the state’s flagship, Duke is private, and we’re the agriculture college. Yep, studying cows and horses clearly means we got the big bucks. So how can we compete against the big dogs down Interstate 40 with less? This is where I’m stumped and I think that is why we get turned down so often. It sucks and it hurts because I’d like to see the Wolfpack do better.
It all boils down to how does State battle those powerhouses down the road? How can you compete with the likes of Coach K and Roy Williams? Whoever decides to step in and put on those mammoth size shoes as head coach at NCSU definitely has a monumentally enormous task to face and plenty of pressure. The students, the athletic director, the chancellor, the fans, the alumni (just to name a few) want success. This is the ACC after all and basketball is king, even more so in the Triangle area of North Carolina. The university pride in this area rivals that of Alabama and Auburn.
So the Wolfpack Nation patiently waits, hoping to hear the newsbreak of an excellent coach with a great record signing on to take us to greatness. I’m just concerned with two rejections will State be settling (again)? Are we even going to try to get Shaka Smart of VCU or Brad Stevens of Butler? Are they even budging? Too many questions and factors to consider but the bottom line is the Wolfpack needs wins. Won’t someone help us get there?