Wolfpack fans will be happy to know that Coach Sidney Lowe will be wearing his popular Red Jacket tonight when the Wolfpack battles the Duke Blue Devils at 7pm. (Link)
Sidney Lowe, NCSU’s head coach, says he’ll be wearing his red jacket — the one that has stirred up a light-hearted debate among Triangle basketball fans — for the game.
The jacket has a love-it-or-hate-it appeal that probably has more to do with school rivalries than with good taste.
Coach Lowe’s wardrobe has been quite a topic this season and was even featured in this great blog entry.
Spend 20 years in the NBA, and you’re bound to own a good suit or two. With his own tailor and a wardrobe that would impress Mr. Blackwell, Sidney Lowe has taken sartorial splendor to another level.
Lowe has wowed the ACC with an array of pin stripes and polka dots (see pictures below) but his signature piece is the red sport coat he donned in the win over UNC.
The red jacket is quite a statement for Coach Lowe and his program. It signals a coach who is both proud of and extremely connected to a progam steeped in tradition while not being fearful of the expectations that tradition helps create. Some of the best comments about the Red Jacket came in this great entry in which you my be very interested in reviewing. I highlight the following that was written by one of our community’s best members after State knocked off Carolina in the RBC this year:
“Wearing the red jacket on Saturday took a lot of guts.”
“getting blown out by UNC on our homecourt in the RED jacket would have given people more ammunition to take shots at Sidney.”
“But instead of being afraid, he wore the jacket anyways.”
Wearing the BRIGHT red jacket at first just seemed kind of cool, but, if we had been blown out, Sidney would have been made to look like a clown (just ask Chuck Amato).
As Mr O has pointed out, for Sidney, this game, this moment, everything went much deeper than that.
Everyone expected us to lose by 40, so Sidney COULD have just gone conservative with his pinstripes and taken the beating everyone predicted with little personal damage (hell, Herb got beat by 24 in year 10 with a bunch of seniors by a much worse UNC team out, and the media didn’t think he needed changing).
But, no, this guy lays it ALL on the line. This guy says, yep, this game means more than any other. This guy says, yep, I’m wearing the BRIGHT red jacket, and you can put all the spotlight on me, good or bad, I can take the hits and keep on fighting.
This should not come as a surprise to any of us, of course. We saw him carry himself the same way as a player. When the whole media was trashing our program, he jumped right back into school and charged back to Raleigh despite all of the personal attacks on him (hmmm, not running away from personal attacks? Refreshing…). When he hit the recruiting trail late, he similarly laid it on the line in going after some big names…And, on Saturday, instead of downplaying the game or trying to hide in the background of what all expected to be a boring blowout, Sid Lowe raises the gauntlet for himself and comes out like Mel Gibson in Braveheart with face paint on before pulling up his red blazer mooning Jimmy Dykes…(That didn’t happen? Hmmm. Would have been pretty cool…although I guess just the red blazer will do for now…)
I don’t what the Lowe era holds for us all in the future, but I do know that Sidney Lowe has IT. Character, confidence, guts, balls, whatever you want to call it. And that’s a real change and a real start.