The following excerpts are from February 16, 2004’s edition of The Wolfpacker magazine’s Q&A with NC State Athletics Director, Lee Fowler:
Question: What are your goals as an athletics director for the upcoming year, in terms of improving athletic programs and in improving facilities? How will those goals be measured? – Herb, Archdale, NC Class of 1987
Fowler: My goals are the same as when I came to NC State three years ago: we want to be top-25 program in all sports. I maintain that goal, and I feel it is very reachable. I think we are moving in that direction in most sports…
…We have to ask our coaches to take their programs toward those levels. But we also have to provide the facilities for them to at that level if we are going to demand those results. And I think that ‘t what we are doing.
By the end of ’05, we will have most of our programs in the types of facilities that coaches can be held accountable to. I don’t think that was the case when I first got here. I think we had teams competing against people with a lot more assets than we had.”
Question: How do you determine and measure what levels of success each program reachs? Does this vary from program to program? When and how is this barometer evaluated?” – Mo, Greensboro, NC
Fowler: “Every sport is judged by their wins and losses, and how they compete on a national level. I also consider if they are competitive against teams on their own level, and see what they do against teams that are already where you want to be. As an administrator, my job is to not be quite as emotional as fans, even though I go up and down like the fans do with wins and losses of different teams. I have to step back and observe the progress of the program.
In most situations, I try to look a couple of years back and a couple of years forward. I try to see where we’ve been the last couple of years and where we’ll be in the future. I’ve even gone as far as to check up on recruits and see how good they are – and not just in our major sports of football and basketball, as well. I have to make good, rational decisions.
I think the longevity of coaches is really important. Stability is really important to get the program up and running. Sometimes, by making a move too quickly you can set yourself back about five or six years. I can’t be as emotional as other people are about wins and losses from game to game, I have to try to look at the overall picture – at what kind of team we have returning, at what kind of recruits we have coming in and at how the coach interacts with the team.”
Question: What are your expectations for the men’s basketball program and coach Herb Sendek for the future? – Alan, Raleigh
Fowler: While I am monitoring all the sports, I know that the main one that people are concerned about right now is basketball. Some people want to talk about things that happened eight years ago, but there have been significant changes since then. For instance, we didn’t have the RBC Center and some of the things that we have now. I think there has been an improvement over the last couple of years, and I’m looking at the recruiting for next year. I’m trying to look at the last couple of years and also picture what the next few years will look like.
I can’t get involved with what happened 10 years ago, even though it is wasy to lump it all together and make an argument. I’m trying to do what is best for NC State. A couple of years ago I stood up and said that Herb was our coach, and our coach of the future. I’ve been basically looking from that point on, and not before that. I think that’s what we have to do in order to make sure that our program is heading in the right direction.
I’m evaluating constantly. I’m watching recruits and trying to get a picture of how we’ll be in the future. It’s not just about one night and how we played someplace. It’s an overall picture of where the program has been the last couple of years and where it is heading.
That’s where I have to make my decisions from – not from the emotions of one loss where we shot the ball poorly or something like that.”