Monday’s Coaching Update: Preparation Day

Wolfpackers were buzzing today about the opportunity to hire a new basketball coach for the first time in a decade. All that buzzing can work you into a frenzy if you are not careful. Relax everyone. Right now, things seem to be going pretty well.

Although we definitely enjoy sharing inside scoop, we want to be very careful not share anything that would be detrimental to NC State’s coaching search (or the athletics department, in general). Hopefully this ‘search’ won’t last very long, but we will probably be sharing some things after the fact to avoid even the slightest potential that any public disclosure could negatively impair the search.

===> Lee Fowler returned from Indianapolis on Sunday. Other members of the Wolfpack contingent returned on Monday.

===> We shared with you how coaches are paid earlier; and, our readership is intelligent enough to extrapolate these specifics of Herb Sendek’s pay package into our current situation.

===> A ‘name coach’ will command a total compensation package in excess of $1.5 million. Obviously, a name coach will immediately make more money than Sendek because of a more attractive shoe contract, but additional private funds will be needed to boost potential total compensation above the $1.5 million that will be needed to lure a high profile candidate.

===> There was only so much that could be done on a ‘day of travel’…so, today was generally spent getting prepared and getting the ducks in a row. Rumors have leaked from various sources that the Wolfpack is looking to offer in the neighborhood of $1.8 million for certain coaches. This sounds about right as we had been told it would be close to $2.0 million on the high end.

===> Even though Monday was “get ready day”, the administration is aiming to get this done very quickly. We don’t expect the big names that don’t need much evaluating from State’s perspective to take a lot of time considering the opportunity and serve to slow things down.

===> ^This risk is further mitigated by the buzz that we got from Indianapolis this weekend that some very recognizable and high profile coaches have found ways to express interest in the job. This is obviously very exciting and validating. (We will reserve comments here aimed at Lee Fowler, only to hope that he may be learning that he didn’t “know basketball” as much as he previously thought).

===> “The Wolfpack Club” (a broad term used for both leaders in the club and high ranking donors) have pushed for Fowler to land a big name and have obviously stepped up with the money needed to land certain big names. The ball is in Fowler’s court to execute.

===> Think about the flow of funds. Lee Fowler cannot run the process completely since he does not control all of the purse strings. If a group of donors offer a sum of $500k to supplement the pay of a coach, they are going to (a) dictate the names of the initial targets and/or (b) have to agree to any other name that Fowler may generate.

===> It does not take a rocket scientist to know that Rick Barnes is going to be State’s first target. No surprise. No big deal. It doesn’t matter what any yahoo in the national media says about Barnes’ interest. State must ask. Despite some scary rumors to the contrary today, State will ask in some form or another.

===> If you followed the Raleigh media today you noticed that many were significantly back-tracking on previous Andy-Katz-like comments that Barnes would never listen to State. It seems that they finally did some work and learned what many of us have known for a long time — Barnes has not dismissively shut the door on the idea of coaching in Raleigh like many arrogant media-types proclaim.

===> Monday evening, this news hit the Austin Statesman where Texas’ Athletics Director decided to speak for Rick Barnes. Just so you’ve got it straight and aren’t confused by who said what:

RICK BARNES “said Monday night that he has not received a job offer from North Carolina State.” That is true. We’ve told you that.

‘UT Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said State has not formally requested permission to speak with Barnes and said “The bottom line is, he (Barnes) doesn’t want to go. He loves Texas.”

===> ^ Those comments don’t bother us in the least. If State was going to ask for permission to talk to Barnes today, we wouldn’t even be in a position to make the call until late in the evening. Additionally, we wouldn’t want to make the call until the evening when general business hours are ending (and reporters can’t reach anyone in the office) .

===> If you are State pursuing a candidate that isn’t pursuing you (like Herb pursuing ASU), you want to ask for permission because it insulates you from being turned down. If Barnes is truly not interested in the job, then Dodds will simply tell NC State that we can’t have permission to speak to him. Presto. We have been turned down without ever having to talk to Barnes and without having been officially turned down.

===> Of course, IF State asked for permission to speak to Barnes later in the day, and IF Barnes actually indicated an interest in speaking with State, then at least State will get a swing of the bat. 🙂

===> The risk that Barnes uses the State opportunity to solidify himself at Texas and get a nice raise in the process is very real. Who really cares if that happens? We ultimately did the absolute best that we could do — we set our sights on a goal and tried. Even further, the 15 years of rumors and flirtations and supposed interest that Barnes has in the job will be over.

Additionally, if Barnes chooses to remain at Texas, he can no longer voice his frustration with UT’s fanbase and region’s lack of appreciation for basketball with as much credibility as he had in the past since that problem would be solved at State before he can shake his first hand.

===> Realize that going after Rick Barnes is not ultimately about “the money”. State will never be able to pay more than Texas. But, you quickly get to a point where one can legitimately ask, “how much is enough”. So Texas may offer $2 million in response to a potential $1.8 million offer from State? Big deal. It took State coming after him to get that raise. Who values him more if we are willing to offer him that and he isn’t even our coach? Either Barnes wants the opportunity to coach in the ACC and forever be the “uniter” for State’s fan base or he doesn’t. Either way, it will no longer be an issue after the next 48 hours.

===> As much as Rick Barnes is the large majority of Wolfpackers candidate #1a…John Calipari is (a slightly smaller majority’s) candidate #1b. To be clear, we do NOT know how this majority translates itself onto Fowler/State’s target list.

===> A case can be made that Calipari may actually be a better coach than Barnes, but in our opinion Barnes’ cultural fit and familiarity with NC State is the initial divider separating the two. As a Hickory native with ACC ties and a long private and public history of coveting and complimenting the NC State position, Barnes gets the nod at the top of the list.

By contrast, along with about twenty other coaches who weren’t keen on working for Todd Turner, John Calipari reportedly turned down the State job ten years ago (when Barnes wanted it). Obviously, you can’t blame Calipari or the other coaches for not being attracted to someone like Turner. Heck, you have lived with the results of Turner’s inability to attract top talent for the last decade.

===> A lot of readers have asked us to share a hypthetical “list” of our preferences for potential candidates for the job. We hope that we never have to spend time on that. It is fun as a fan to try to match certain coaches with certain jobs – and we definitely have our eyes on some coaches that may fit the bill – but, we hope that we don’t have worry about anyone outside of the “top tier” of (1a) Rick Barnes, (1b) John Calipari, (2) Jay Wright.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

General NCS Basketball

45 Responses to Monday’s Coaching Update: Preparation Day

  1. noskilz 04/03/2006 at 11:30 PM #

    I’m predicting….insomnia for quite a few pack fans!

  2. ncsumatman 04/03/2006 at 11:31 PM #

    In reference to Calipari, is that the same year when he left to coach the Nets. If so, financially, quite understandable.

  3. beowolf 04/03/2006 at 11:36 PM #

    *some very recognizable and high profile coaches have found ways to express interest in the job*

    THANK YOU — this is exactly what I have been predicting FOR YEARS should NC State have another coaching search. Suddenly NC State fans will learn that they are fans of NC STATE, traditional basketball powerhouse, ACC member, owner of a proud tradition and great facilities and great fans. Not some podunk college that “can’t expect any better.”

    This is going to be a fun few days, a roller-coaster emotionally and something fraught with risk and high rewards. Enjoy it. We are NC State.

  4. noskilz 04/03/2006 at 11:38 PM #

    The name that I hadn’t really known much about until today, isn’t even mentioned as often as second tier, and intrigues me the most after Wright: Gonzalez. If I were Seton Hall, I’d get him signed asap. He’s got the passion, coaching skills, and excellent recruiting…

  5. coppertop 04/04/2006 at 12:40 AM #

    This post makes me even more excited as to what it elludes to. My imagine is only limited to the uncertainty that comes with not knowing what to expect from ol’ fowler. I hope that he and Oblinger and the rest of the loaded wolfpack faithful (major WPC donors) get together and make this job hard to turn down…

    noskilz is 100% correct, 1st thing I do in the morning, and last things before going to bed is check here… Good times! Go pack.

  6. class of '74 04/04/2006 at 5:11 AM #

    Really solid info and it is very encouraging with regard to the info coming out of Indy. We are on the verge of moving back to our historical place in college basketball.

  7. Cardiff Giant 04/04/2006 at 6:30 AM #

    I am most encouraged that there’s an apparent check on Lee Fowler. Left to his own devices, Fowler would saddle us with an unknown mid-major faster than you can say “competing egos.” Fowler’s own ego is slightly larger than St. Peter’s Basilica, and would resent being out of the spotlight with a big name hire whom he basically couldn’t control and would just be signing paychecks for.

  8. Mr O 04/04/2006 at 6:55 AM #

    Cardiff Giant: Do you really believe that Fowler wouldn’t want to hire the best coach he could get?

  9. EFFFFDuke&Carolina 04/04/2006 at 7:07 AM #

    I have been saying my prayers at night. I don’t think I have prayed this much since 1983. It worked then maybe it will work now. Rick come on home.

  10. class of '85 04/04/2006 at 7:47 AM #

    Don’t you know the Tarheels are watching with great concern.

  11. Who's Next 04/04/2006 at 7:48 AM #

    It’s being reported on that NC State offered Barnes $1.8M. Barnes current salary at UT is $1.3M.

  12. wopacker1980 04/04/2006 at 7:50 AM #

    I agree with you all. Proud tradition, great facilities, strong support and if you are truly a basketball gamer, where else would you want to be?!
    Several of those guys are young enough to outlast roywonderboy and K and have an excellent opportunity to ink themselves in Tobacco Road history. Not a bad gig.
    Two other things that tell me we will get someone 1st class:
    1) Duke and UNX fans everywhere are saying what a mistake we made letting Herb get away (when people that hate you tell you that you made a mistake, its a good thing!). That tells me that they actually know we can and will get someone better and it bothers them.
    2) we did not have to pay off 4 years @ $800k so just apply that to the package.

  13. Fish 04/04/2006 at 7:58 AM #

    Thanks for the info. I have run into many typical NCSU fans that say “We ain’t going to get anybody…..and so and so on” and have that typical loser mentality that we lost the best we that could get. I encourage them that if they have internet access to come to this site and digest the facts rather than blindly read and deafly listen to the media that is hoping we do not land a great coach.

    At least we are finally swinging the big stick and if we may contact it is going to be a homerun. The majority of the average fanbase will be stunned and the national media while they will never admit that NCSU is a major player will think a little more before criticizing ole cow college and our ruthless fanbase.

    I look forward to checking in on a very regular basis.

  14. Mr O 04/04/2006 at 8:02 AM #

    Dave Glenn had a nice update on Barnes. Said that NC State has communicated with him through a 3rd party that knows Barnes. He is apparently interested, but he has a great situation to leave in Texas.

    I think there are a lot of people interested in our position. But that doesn’t mean that the top coaches (Barnes, Calipari, Wright) will leave their current positions for our job.

  15. Alpha Wolf 04/04/2006 at 8:04 AM #

    All of this talk about how “unfair” NC State fans is smoke, pure and simple. The numbers do not lie and coaches, especially good coaches, know the true quality of the strategies that were employed here in the past.

    Furthermore, the “unfair” fans are the ones with the most passion, the most desire to see the team win, the ones most likely to be in the arena screaming their fool heads off for a team that they can get behind. A good coach knows this, and he knows he’s the guy who can get the team on the floor that the unfair fan can get behind.

    Finally, mouth-breathing idiots like Jim Rome, who thinks that NC State can “never be like Duke or Carolina” will be ignored by a good coach who will realize that NC State was once the pattern that Duke and Carolina followed, and that as recently as 1982 that Duke and NC State were at worst on par, with a serious nod towards NC State’s historical tradition.

    Bottom line is that a good coach will ignore all of this crap spewing from the national media, a media that uses a circular logic of reinforcing each other’s opinions until they are apparent facts.

  16. novaboy 04/04/2006 at 8:06 AM #

    Why do you lunatics even dream that Jay Wright would want to work in an environment where if you lose one game, all the fans are calling for your head on a platter. Wright has his dream job and doesn’t want to turn his life into a nightmare.

  17. zeke 04/04/2006 at 8:10 AM #


    In response to your first question — Fowler woukd definitely want to hire the best that he could. The problem is that Fowler’s perspective of the best that he could get is below reality.

    I have heard that he is quickly learning how attractive this position is. Had he immediately hired Mike Montgomery or Jim Laranaga like he wanted…he/we would have never found out.

    ^That is Cardiff (and other’s) point.

  18. class of '85 04/04/2006 at 8:10 AM #

    “I think there are a lot of people interested in our position. But that doesn’t mean that the top coaches (Barnes, Calipari, Wright) will leave their current positions for our job”

    Totally agree but Roy had a great situation at Kansas. You never know until you ask.

  19. class of '85 04/04/2006 at 8:12 AM #

    Going after big names only makes the position more credible! There is nothing to lose even if they say no.

  20. Wolfpack Willie 04/04/2006 at 8:16 AM #

    Novaboy: Why did you visit this blog? Worried???

  21. Wolfpack Willie 04/04/2006 at 8:18 AM #

    Any opinions about Tom Crean (Marquette) or Rick Stansbury (Miss St.)?

  22. Jon Smith 04/04/2006 at 8:23 AM #

    Roy Williams left a very good job for one of the top jobs in the country and his alma mater. It wasn’t that big of a surprise that he left Kansas, even though he turned UNC down the 1st time.

  23. Mr O 04/04/2006 at 8:26 AM #

    Roy coming back to UNC is a little/a lot different than Barnes coming to NC State. We will definitely ask big name coaches. I have no doubts there.

    From what Zeke and others are implying that it sounds like are fallback candidates are pretty highly respected coaches themselves.

  24. class of '85 04/04/2006 at 8:31 AM #

    No doubt the Roy situation was different but if they had not gone after him they would not have gotten him. You never know until you ask. We don’t know what is going thru these guys minds. Most are competitive and want to be at the top. Year end and year out that is the ACC.

  25. Mr O 04/04/2006 at 8:37 AM #

    Of course we are going to go after top coaches. That seems pretty obvious.

Leave a Reply