Fowler: Unfortunately, success isn’t always a straight line

You just knew that Fowler couldn’t wait for someone at the N&O to interview him after the UNC loss. IKB (alias I know basketball) gave his “I am 100% behind the coach” quote, which is the correct thing to say at this point. He also throughout this gem “Unfortunately, success isn’t always a straight line”, as lifelong NC State fans we know this first hand.

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General NCS Football

23 Responses to Fowler: Unfortunately, success isn’t always a straight line

  1. Blaire 09/27/2005 at 11:35 AM #

    There seems to be a trend in Raleigh of standing behind people who may not deserve the support. Fowler standing behind Amato
    and Amato standing behind Jay Davis. It is time for some change in this football program. The supporters of this program
    more than what we are getting. It is my belief that Lee Fowler needs to go, followed by Amato, and perhaps even Sendak.

  2. Slader4881 09/27/2005 at 11:45 AM #

    Fowler has had his foot out the door the entire time he has been here. It seems like everytime an AD job opens his name is part of the search. We as NC State fans just have to accept that we are the “red headed step child” of the big 4 over the past 20 years. Even Wake has had some flashes of good basketball teams with Duncan, Childress, and Paul. We have had nothing but problems on and off the field and the AD job has been a mess the entire time.

  3. site admin 09/27/2005 at 12:56 PM #

    Wake has a great AD.

  4. Alpha Wolf 09/27/2005 at 12:57 PM #

    The current state of State’s major sports off the field is that our players are generally good citizens. Or, if you prefer, they do not get into trouble. Since TA’s ticket for underage drinking, I cannot recall anyone else brushing against the law. Blame Fowler for real problems, not imaginary ones.

    As for Fowler having his foot out the door, he has yet to leave, and in my estimation, no one has offered to hire him either. Perhaps that’s because they know Fowler shies away from the hard decision, and cannot muster up the gumption to replace a volleyball coach on a 64 game losing streak, much less a mediocre one from the major sports.

    In other words, if you look to Fowler to make a personnel change, unless it involves dead bodies or young children, do not count on it. Wins and losses have nothing to do with your job appraisal in Fowler’s office and he has said as much in various interviews — especially where Herb Sendek is concerned.

  5. BJD95 09/27/2005 at 1:09 PM #

    In the future, when we try to pinpoint the reasons for why everything went to hell in a handbasket, we will point to the decision to hire Lee Fowler ahead of Bobby Purcell for the AD job. Winning is just a nice possible side benefit to him, not a prerequisite for continued employment.

  6. site admin 09/27/2005 at 3:17 PM #

    It is funny that Fowler wants to be an AD in the SEC where they pull the trigger quick on
    coaches. Imagine his how well his “jive” would play at Alabama or Auburn.

  7. Sacco 09/27/2005 at 4:45 PM #

    Fowler deserves his criticism fully because of his unwillingness to look at each coaching situation truthfully and make a tough decision. Fowler, however, cannot be praised for letting one coach stay too long and then villified by not geting rid of another quickly enough. I don’t personally care for Lee Fowler but I think that his willingness not to turn the athletic department over and shake loose the crumbling program is admirable. Regardless of the situation in any sport with a coach or a losing streak, Fowler is still a better AD than Baddour and is twice the AD that Robinson was. Also, let’s end the innane conversation about volleyball. No one cares other than the players and that’s fine by me. I would hope that a coach and a team could win a game here, but be realistic. The consistency, albeit self-indulgent and erroneous, is still consistency.

  8. site admin 09/27/2005 at 4:46 PM #

    I think the 64 consecutive losses in volleyball is the perfect micrcosm of Lee Fowler

  9. Sacco 09/27/2005 at 4:57 PM #

    One more tertiary comment, the Sendek conundrum no longer flies considering that the basketball program is and has been on a steady plane of progress to an previously undetermined goal. With Amato’s brashness and arrogance that he could turn this program into a national contender was noble but misguided. Regardless of Sendek’s record, marked with bad losses to bad teams just like Amato’s, Sendek is forever wallowing in the abyss between penthouse and out-house. Despite Fowler’s short-sighted support, Sendek never promised anything (especially in terms of national prestige or recognition) AND Sendek’s teams have played much better in conference play. Amato’s six seasons have yet to produce anything that would resemble the ACC Tournament of 1997. Let’s keep the proper perspective on BOTH sports and not let our angst for one let us lose sight of the other.

  10. Alpha Wolf 09/27/2005 at 6:51 PM #


    YOU may not care about volleyball, and it may not be a money-generating sport, however, Fowler’s refusal to replace Coach Byrne with someone competent (because the last time I checked, sports are measured in wins and losses) remains salient. It certainly is not inane to point out that Fowler does not replace a coach whose performance is obviously below par. It only underlines what Fowler has said in the past — that he does not really include team performance in his evaluation of a coach. The volleyball issue is essentially a metaphor of what to expect in basketball or football.

    Fans, whether they are volleyball or men’s basketball fans, DO care about wins and losses. This is something that apparently escapes Mr. Fowler.

    The bottom line is that Lee Fowler will not make an easy, self-apparent and non-controversial replacement, then it is quite unlikely that he would recommend that a tougher replacement ever be made.

  11. Lumberpack 09/27/2005 at 8:28 PM #

    Top to bottom our sports program is 12th in a 12-team league.

  12. newswolf 09/27/2005 at 8:46 PM #

    “Sendek’s teams have played much better in conference play”

    That isn’t true.

  13. Sacco 09/27/2005 at 8:50 PM #

    Not sure I agree with the assessment that our sports program is 12th in the league. I think all of the conference schools have their pros and cons with each individual sport. Site Admin mentioned above that Wake has an excellent AD. And he’s correct. Ron Wellman has done a very good job at Wake Forest. BUT, is Wellman’s success comparable to success at say Virginia or Chapel Hill? Let’s face it. Wake’s overall sports program is its basketball team. Period. Is that the sort of “high-ranking” program we should aspire to? Yes, WFU also has an outstanding field hockey team but regardless of that minor success, Ron Wellman’s staying power cannot be measured on fringe sports. Same with Fowler. If he should be fired, and I’m not completely against the idea, Fowler should be measured on football and basketball, not on women’s volleyball.

  14. Lumberpack 09/27/2005 at 9:57 PM #

    Wake’s baseball team has been very good over the last ten years, if I had to rank programs in the
    league it would be:

    UNC-undisputed top to bottom champ

    Miami-next tier

    Va Tech
    BC-next tier

    NCSU-the bottom

  15. Lumberpack 09/27/2005 at 10:08 PM #

    Think about it like this-in the three men’s money sports we have not finished 3rd or better in football in over a decade no championship since 79, no basketball championship, regular season first place or final 8 finish since 89, no baseball championship since Tanner, in women’s basketball we have not not done much in a decade. To be considered sucessfull in non-revenue sports you need national finishes that matter such as Duke, UNC, UVA in soccer, MD, UVA in lacross, etc.

    Wake’s baseball and basketball teams have been much better than ours over the last decade, but lets get real we have fallen to a point to where we compare favorably to a small private University with
    an enrollment that is about 8,000 compared to our 28,000.

  16. BJD95 09/28/2005 at 8:26 AM #

    I agree that the situation is relevant not b/c I care about volleyball so much (although I DO have aproblem with nonrevenue sports being embarrassing from a competitive standpoint), but as a microcosm of how Lee Fowler’s mind works. He’s not going to fire a coach for losing, b/c he’s coached before, and gosh darn it, he knows it’s hard. He must have lied through his teeth to get the job, given the standards for victory laid down by former Chancellor Fox.

  17. Cardiac95 09/28/2005 at 11:50 AM #

    Somebody cue JB’s blog, “We’re #51!”. Our athletics department has been completely inept since the V scandal.

    Its goals have been clearly outlined… 1) Good Citizenship, 2) Competitiveness, 3) Progress

    Wins & Championships are irrelevant.

    That said, Fowler really had no other option at this point. But it doesn’t change the fact that we all known his
    stance will not change no matter how the season develops.

  18. Slader4881 09/28/2005 at 4:51 PM #

    I would argue the list to be:

    #1 unc – overall top to bottom tough to argue with (men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, and baseball are decent yr in and yr out) No wonder they get the largest amount of $$ from alumni of any pubic school

    #2 FSU – tough in football, baseball, and softball, basketball always seems on the verge

    #3 Miami – Football and Baseball; basketball looked better last yr.

    # 4 GT – Baseball, football, and basketball have been up and down but never seem to all be up at the same time. Golf team has been good in the past.

    #5 Duke – this school is very one sided basketball rules it, but soccer is decent along with other smaller sports.

    #6 Wake – probably has made up the most ground in the last 20 yrs. Baseball,basketball, soccer, and field hockey are all tough. Football should be better with their coach.

    #7 UVA – soccer, football, lacross,soccer, struggled in basketball badly lately

    # 8 BC – I honestly don’t that much about them other than football and basketball seem to always be decent.

    # 9 NCSU – Baseball has gotten a lot better, basketball is on the upswing, football may have peaked. Swimming got some good press this summer (Cullen Jones?) Track is decent. Soccer and Volleyball is horrible much worse than it should be.

    # 10 Va. Tech – Probably the most one-sided school, basketball was a surprise last yr., but seems like everything is poured into the football program.

    # 11 Maryland – Football had one fluke yr, basketball seems to be tough all the time, soccer and lacross are under the radar.

    #12 Clemson – Golf and baseball; football and basketball are up and down

    I think the middle of the pack could be shifted a lot and some were ranked higher because of how recognizable they are (ie DUKE). The ones at the top are pretty good at the major sports or excel in a lot in at least two. GT could be higher they have been good recently in all three. But once again we are middle of the road, nothing great but somethings are horrible.

  19. Sacco 09/28/2005 at 6:13 PM #

    Not sure that I would put UNC up top on the list. Considering their basketball program is still carrying the load, the amount of money UNC spends on its athletics isn’t really paying off. Although NCSU should be spending more given the results we’ve come to know, we are a successful track program, cross-country program and have had some decent years in baseball and wrestling. The real problem with creating a list like this one is that the smaller sports are inherently meaningless in terms of marking a successful program. And trust me, if we would have made the Elite 8 last year, Lee Fowler would never leave despite a 164-game losing streak in any other sport.

  20. newswolf 09/29/2005 at 9:58 AM #

    someone should just go to the sears cup rankings and pick them out for the acc

  21. TVP 09/29/2005 at 12:29 PM #

    Ask and ye shall receive:

    5. Duke
    9. UNC
    13. Virginia
    28. Maryland
    30. FSU
    31. GT
    37. Wake
    48. Miami
    51. NC State
    52. Clemson
    57. BC
    58. VT

    Last year for comparison:
    7. UNC
    18. Duke
    22. FSU
    24. Maryland
    30. UVA
    31. GT
    39. NC State
    42. Clemson
    43. Wake
    50. Miami
    68. BC
    79. VT

  22. lumberpack 09/29/2005 at 3:32 PM #

    VT may be at the bottom, but they are the ACC Football champs, which has to be considered equal
    to a number of minor championships, I am suprised about BC

  23. coolerheads 10/22/2005 at 2:39 AM #

    You guys have some valid points, Amato has made some bonehead decisions. But let’s not forget the most idiotic thing I’ve seen was bringing in a version of the west coast offense, or the latest version of the chuck and duck. State has entirely too many good running backs to be trying to throw four yard outs every single down. I can’t watch them any more.. It’s too dadgum annoying. As for Sendek, let the man be. He finished second two years ago and the sweet 16 this past year. It isn’t quite where we’d all like to see things, but it’s better than where they were five years ago.

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