UPDATE: The following was written in the hours before news broke that Mark Gottfried would be NC State’s new men’s basketball coach. It’s still interesting to note the blunt nature of Debbie Yow and how she has presented the NCSU coaching job. Â It shows that she does not want to “lure” anyone to a position they don’t feel capable of fulfilling. Â Regardless of what is said or not said, Mark Gottfried is fully aware of the condition of the NCSU head coaching position and should be fully aware of what challenges lay before him. Â Enjoy.
Yow’s letter sent last night to the fanbase sent shockwaves throughout the NC State fanbase. It appeared as if NC State AD Debbie Yow was confirming everyone’s suspicions that the NC State men’s basketball coaching search was coming up awry.
There have been telephone conversations with successful coaches that did not develop into meetings â€” sometimes because we did not wish to pursue those coaches further and sometimes because the coach involved is happy where he is.
The reaction last night, for those living under rocks, was one of complete panic and total meltdown. We had been â€˜turned downâ€™ by Greg Marshall (Witchita State) and Shaka Smart (VCU), our two primary â€œmid-majorâ€ coaches and Mick Cronin (Cincinnati) announced he was no longer on the market. This was damning since all indications were that Arizona head coach Sean Miller and Texas head coach Rick Barnes were not interested in the NC State job which is estimated to come with a compensation of up to $3+ million and give a coach the opportunity to cement themselves on a national stage in the ACC against well-respected competition.
In the midst of all this, it appears that we may have lost the bubble on what we want our AD to be doing to promote our coaching position. Many fans were torn to hear their Athletic Director admitting that the NC State basketball program was in â€œpoor shapeâ€ and that it would be â€œa challengeâ€ to rebuild our reputation in the league and nationally. To have the captain of your ship admit that you were sinking was pretty demoralizing. But, to all those who read that and are claiming the sky is falling, I say this: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU EXPECTING HER TO SAY?
Seriously, when you think about everything Debbie Yow has been to this point, she has been direct, professional, and brutally honest with the media. Let me first ask this: does anyone think we are in great shape? Any takers? Did she say anything that wasnâ€™t true? What she is doing is letting the coaching candidates know EXACTLY what they are getting into, and for good reason:
Finding a coach with the fight and fire to do this job has been a challenge. That said, we will find an excellent college coach who shares the vision of what State Basketball can become and is up for the challenge.
When NC State finds a coach, that coach should be 110% aware of exactly what challenges they face because only then will they know how to bring us back to where we need to be. Yow doesnâ€™t seem to be admitting defeat or letting the fanbase know we are failing, but instead letting us know what her expectations are and that she has goals for our menâ€™s coaching position.
So when you look at the facts, all we know are two things: (1) several candidates are off the market and (2) Debbie Yow is being brutally honest with candidates to ensure we have a good â€œfitâ€. Should we be worried? Weâ€™re NC State; you bet your ass we should be worried. But at the same time, it seems like based on what we know, all we can be assured of is that NC Stateâ€™s coach will know what theyâ€™re up against and has agreed to take on the challenge. Brutal honesty is a foreign concept to us NC State fans after the past several years of bad administration and incompetent ADs, but hopefully we can all be patient enough, without losing our minds, to see if brutal honesty is the way to go.