Lee Fowler’s Second Search For A Head Basketball Coach: How Will It Go?

yow-glanceNC State has recently opened a “nationwide search” for the coach to replace the late Kay Yow.   Apparently, this runs contrary to the final wishes of Coach Yow: she wanted assistant and interim head coach Stephanie Glance named as her successor and she made that clear to Lee Fowler long before her passing from cancer.

Fowler told the Raleigh Sports Club  Wednesday that when Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer again in 2007, she had requested the school name associate head coach Stephanie Glance as her successor.  That request was denied.

WRAL.com: Yow Wanted Glance Named As Successor

“At that time, I went to the chancellor. I talked to the [board of] trustees. We felt like that’s not something we really do at N.C. State, where we name the successor for somebody—not in the dean’s office, not in the head of departments, not any of those things,” Fowler said. “We always do a search.”

Interesting, in that apparently a highly visible head coaching position, especially one where the incumbent coach is in her last days, is treated like any other job in the university.  Apparently thoughts towards continuity, acceptance of the wisdom of the person who’s held the job done more than two decades was overruled.  Procedure must be followed, it’s the NC State way.  Take from that what you will, and I have some mixed feelings about it, but I will say that I think that Kay Yow probably knew what was best for her players, for her recruits and ultimately for NC State’s women’s basketball program.

The job was recently posted on the NC State HR website, which you can read here.  Per state law, the job must be posted for 30 days.  The job duties specifically are

Implement, manage, and direct a highly competitive NCAA Division I-A Women’s Basketball program. Will report directly to the Director of Athletics.Responsible for management and administration of all phases of the NCSU Women’s Basketball program including recruiting and selection, team training, game and event management, marketing and promotions. Supervises assistant coaches, volunteer coaches, director of operations, graduate assistants and other support staff. Provides orientation, training and guidance to staff as needed. Adheres to and enforces all policies and procedures of the Athletics Dept. & University, as well as the rules and regulations of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the NCAA and other authorities. Insures that the recruitment and selection of student athletes meet NCAA guidelines. Oversees the conditioning and training of team members, in conjunction with the designated Strength Coach, Athletics Trainer and Team Physician, to insure that student-athletes are physically prepared for competition. Implement and achieve academic standards for student athletes, maintaining a multi-year APR above 950. Demonstrates consistent commitment to the academic performance, retention and graduation of student athletes.

Yow’s wishes are now water under the bridge, and the search is underway.  It will be led by, you guessed it, Coach Fowler.  In fairness, Fowler did well with the search for Chuck Amato’s replacement, in that instead of trying to lead a search himself, he stepped aside and let a professional job recruiter (Chuck Neinas) do most of the work.  That led Tom O’Brien to NC State, and the football program is probably in the best hands it has been since Dick Sheridan resigned.

On the other hand, the search for a new men’s basketball coach was led by Fowler personally and probably could not have gone any worse from a public relations standpoint.  You can argue that Sidney Lowe is or isn’t the right man for the Wolfpack men’s hoops job, but what is not really debatable was the fact that the search that ultimately led to him had become something resembling a farce: need I mention Calipari, Lavin and the Beilein disaster where Fowler didn’t seem to be fully aware of the then WVU head coach’s contract buyout terms?

For Glance’s part, Coach Fowler has not ruled out her ultimately getting the job. “I think it’s very important to make sure we get the best person,” Fowler told WRAL. “If [Stephanie Glance] is the best person, it will give her credibility in the end that she went through the process and was still the best person picked.”

True enough.

Now Fowler will lead a search for another program that’s regularly in the news and followed widely amongst the Wolfpack community.  How well he does, and the decision he ultimately makes will be very interesting, to say the least.

AD & Department Kay Yow NCS Basketball

50 Responses to Lee Fowler’s Second Search For A Head Basketball Coach: How Will It Go?

  1. Pack Leader 02/26/2009 at 8:43 AM #


    1. Fowler hires new coach.
    2. Glance goes to another school to be head coach.
    3. New coach takes 3 years until first winning record
    4. Glance wins national championship within 5 years
    5. Fowler gets raise…..

  2. Wolf-n-Atl 02/26/2009 at 8:46 AM #

    I have no problem with us looking outside for the next coach, however LF should have found a more sensitive way to explain it.

    I hope he isn’t sitting around waiting for the season to end before he starts making a short list and a back up list. He should also be putting feelers out to see who is interested.

    I think this is a great opportunity to replace a legend with an up and coming talent that wants to go head to head with Duke, UNC & Maryland. Possibly give a UCONN or UT assistant a chance to build their own dynasty or as others have mentioned pull a mid tier successful coach and let them bring their proven ability to the ACC.

    We should aim high b/c a good to great womens basketball team can help NC State. As a former athlete, if you see a winning program at the dining hall it inspires you to do the same. It doesn’t matter what sport it is in.

    *After reading the N&O article, if Yow knew 2 yrs ago that Glance was not going to be named the next coach, she probably had some time to provide LF with some other options. Hopefully LF listened to those suggestions.

  3. Pack Leader 02/26/2009 at 8:53 AM #

    “Foulup is at it again.check out n&0 regarding Sid seeking help from other coaches.this must embarrass Sid.”

    I agree with Rochester. Every single good coach in america is friends with other good coaches. Many times Jimmy V would call Coach K or Coach K would call Bob Knight to pick his brain. There is nothing wrong with asking for advise or seeking guidence from someone who has been in a similar position. I would much rather have sid call a friend and ask what he thinks of the situation vs not hearing other point of views, only going with what he thinks is right and never learning from mistakes BEFORE they become mistakes. The president had advisors but do you think he doesnt call bill clinton or carter or anyother world leader to pick their brain? ofcorse he does. learn from mistakes, become smarter, win more. thats the goal by any means possible. remember also sid is still relitivly young.

  4. Texpack 02/26/2009 at 9:08 AM #

    Kay Yow wanted to / was encouraged to retire at the time she asked the administration to named Stephanie Glance as her successor. She continued to coach when they refused. I can’t argue with those who question whether Stephanie Glance’s is the best option for the women’s program as a basketball coach. She hasn’t really shown a lot that would indicate that she is. She is also coaching a bunch of 18-22 year-olds who have just gone through the illness and death of their coach and have had to do so in a very public way. I’m not sure that is a fair set of circumstances under which to make an evaluation. This is one of those situations where I would have to yield to Coach Yow’s wishes because it’s the most compassionate thing to do for the members of the team. Sometimes doing the right thing on a human level has a price associated with it and this is one of those times that I would gamble on setting back the women’s program for three years or so in order to do the right thing for the players who are at State today.

  5. BoKnowsNCS71 02/26/2009 at 9:12 AM #

    Coach Glance may have been Coach Yow’s pick but I think it is only fair to conduct an official search as part of the process. If as a result of that coach Glance is the best selection based on that, then she should get the job. However, if someone else is determined to be better then the University should make that decision.

    Basing decisions like this on emotion is risky. Wake Forest put Dino Gaudio in on a temporary basis and maybe that is what State should consider to stabilize recruiting. If the team play and recruiting improve then Glance should be considered a top candidate for the job.

  6. Noah 02/26/2009 at 9:15 AM #

    Would anyone really expect anything less than absolute devotion and loyalty to her assistants from Kay Yow?

    Of course not.

    Doesn’t mean that Glance is the best pick.

  7. Alpha Wolf 02/26/2009 at 9:18 AM #

    Both Bo and Noah are probably correct. There would be a risk of an expensive mistake if it doesn’t work out.

  8. PackMan97 02/26/2009 at 9:32 AM #

    despite her enduring presence on the staff, I think there are coaches out there who we could hire that would have a higher probability of raising the success level of the program, based on track record. I think Glance, at this point in time, is more hit or miss.

    While I agree with your technical assessment, reality will prevail. That reality is that the woman’s game is a much tighter group then the men. Less mercenary. There are very few coaches that will apply simply because Yow made her wishes known. Of those that would apply, there are few that we’d want to represent NC State. It’s basically a no one situation that was “Fowlered” up when Yow asked Glanced be named the successor. When he said, “No” there were a lot of potential coaches that self selected themselves out of applying.

  9. VaWolf82 02/26/2009 at 9:47 AM #

    While I doubt LF’s competence to do what his job requires, that opinion doesn’t change the fact that it is still his job to hire the best coach that he can find. If that is Glance…fine. If not, then LF needs to look elsewhere. Loyalty to current assistants and current players sounds really nice, but the AD should not trade doing what is best for the school just to be nice.

  10. Bubba 02/26/2009 at 9:48 AM #

    The good news is that those who hate Fowler will have something to bitch about whomever he chooses to Coach the wimmin.Looks to me its about 50/50 amongst the fan base whether Glance deserves a shot.

  11. Noah 02/26/2009 at 9:53 AM #

    Looks to me its about 50/50 amongst the fan base whether Glance deserves a shot.

    She, like all other applicants, deserves consideration. What has she done to deserve the gig?

  12. Bubba 02/26/2009 at 10:05 AM #

    “What has she done to deserve the gig”

    IMO, nothing

  13. wufpup76 02/26/2009 at 10:16 AM #

    I agree completely that Lee Fowler and the University should attempt to hire the best person for the job. If that entails a nationwide search, then so be it.

    That said, you can call me foolish and I very well may be – but I would’ve gone with Coach Yow’s wishes based on the fact that she is a Hall of Fame and pioneering coach in the women’s game and smart and wise enough NOT to ask that a hand-picked successor be named ONLY out of loyalty.

    In other words, I would presume that Coach Yow would have already known that Coach Glance could get the job done. I would have enough faith in her decision by choosing to believe that she would not ask for a successor who couldn’t quite cut it.

    ^That may be a foolish sentiment, but I would’ve trusted her wisdom more than mine or Fowler’s … or anyone for that matter.

    But – that’s neither here nor there and we’ll see what happens … Whatever it is, I hope it works out the best for all involved.

  14. Wolf Dog 02/26/2009 at 10:17 AM #

    I don’t know what will happen other than Fowlup will drag this on long enough to have a negative impact on recruiting.

    Glance deserves a shot but if you going to choose her anyway, why not go ahead and do so and let her get on with recruiting , stablizing her team and staff, and concentrate on coaching?

  15. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 02/26/2009 at 10:23 AM #

    Why and the hell Fowler made those private comments from Coach Yow public during the search is beyond me. Basically he got up there and said, “State’s beloved and nationally respected Coach Yow wish was for… but we are going to ignore that wish.” What is the purpose of even saying it if you aren’t going to respect it?

    I think it is right to have a national search and why would you even mention what Yow wanted? Maybe LF isn’t getting enough sleep and food since the search began.

  16. Classof89 02/26/2009 at 11:39 AM #

    “What has she done to deserve the gig?”

    That’s an excellent question. In discussions like this on other boards, people have continually pointed out that Glance was in charge of recruiting and that nationally ranked recruiting classes were brought in in ’05 and ’06 and ’07. In my book, that fact, compared with the fact that we are, in contrast to the supposed quality of the recruiting, absolutely abysmal right now and nowhere close to being nationally ranked means either (1) the talent was misassessed; or (2) the talent wasn’t the right fit for the program (haven’t some of the highly recruited folks transferred the last couple of years?), NEITHER of which reflect favorably on Glance.

  17. BSIE80 02/26/2009 at 11:43 AM #

    This is about as stupid as it gets.

    What a waste of our money.
    S. Glance was recommended by Yow herself. We should have named her as the replacement as Yow wished.

    Now we are going to spend a bunch of money to find someone else that we think will be better.

    So what this says to me, is that Yow’s teams were not winning enough championships so we need to go in another direction.
    This means we only kept Yow and her staff on as coaches because of her popularity, illness, past history, etc. And not because we believed in her as the leader of our program.

    So now we will get someone who will take us to the promise land. Which will not happen and we will end up firing in 5 years. Meanwhile, Glance would have moved on to something else without getting her shot at something she earned…..

  18. packplantpath 02/26/2009 at 12:22 PM #

    Here is how I see things playing out.

    God help me if I’m right.

    Fowler does a nationwide search. By May (June), he has offered the head coaches of 3 different major universities,all of whom get raises but do not end up at NC State.

    Then, he offers Glance the job. She, disgusted with NC State and Fowler, turns him down flat

  19. Alpha Wolf 02/26/2009 at 1:10 PM #

    we are, in contrast to the supposed quality of the recruiting, absolutely abysmal right now and nowhere close to being nationally ranked means either (1) the talent was misassessed; or (2) the talent wasn’t the right fit for the program

    …or traumatized by watching their head coach die.

  20. VaWolf82 02/26/2009 at 1:13 PM #

    Alot of the sentiment being expressed here doesn’t appear to have much supporting basis.

    How does being a Hall of Fame coach qualify someone to pick the BEST possible replacement?
    Who else did Yow evaluate before making her recommendation?
    How does anyone know all of the motivations behind Yow’s recommendation?
    Can you guarantee that Yow’s recommendation was not biased by her personal feelings?

    LF’s job is to hire the best possible coach for women’s basketball at NC State. I know of no reason to think that he is capable of fulfilling that goal….but at least he is attempting to do his job.

  21. VaWolf82 02/26/2009 at 1:16 PM #

    This means we only kept Yow and her staff on as coaches because of her popularity, illness, past history, etc. And not because we believed in her as the leader of our program.

    You’re forgetting that we’re talking about LF. It doesn’t take very many wins to convince him that he has the right coach.

  22. Dr. BadgerPack 02/26/2009 at 1:21 PM #

    The other reason Glance makes sense– even if it is for a few years– is what more can the media ask her about Kay Yow? A new face will have to answer, repeatedly, the “what’s it like succeeding a legendary hall of famer” questions for probably a year, if not more. That might (1) turn a quality applicant off or (2) cause the new coach to get sick of it and leave.

    Even if Glance didn’t work out (and I think she would), no one will bother a future coach with questions about taking over for Glance.

  23. wufpup76 02/26/2009 at 1:55 PM #

    “How does being a Hall of Fame coach qualify someone to pick the BEST possible replacement?
    Who else did Yow evaluate before making her recommendation?
    How does anyone know all of the motivations behind Yow’s recommendation?
    Can you guarantee that Yow’s recommendation was not biased by her personal feelings?”

    ^All fair questions.

    On the first one, you could do much worse than listening to someone who knows the women’s game inside and out and on top of that had been successful for a long time. It doesn’t mean they’re the best qualified to pick someone, but they are far from the worst (Coach Fowler).

    As for the other three questions, no one knows really except for Coach Yow and “Coach” Fowler – and there are no guarentees. Just like there’s no guarentee that a search will turn up someone who doesn’t fail. I would’ve put my money on Coach Yow’s decision – which could just as easily fail.

    This may make me an idiot/fool or whatever, but how do we know she didn’t consider these things? We can play ‘what if’s’ all day, but it was up to Fowler to ask these questions of Coach Yow and Coach Glance. I suppose we can only hope that he did as much and this search is the result of that probing … my guess is that this never happened and he’s just going about doing his own blissfully ignorant thing.

  24. primacyone 02/26/2009 at 4:14 PM #

    I can’t beleive that many of you know so much about the Women’s basketball team that you can even make a recomendation!

    It’s LF. He will post the job. A few people will submit their resume. He will interview 3 including Glance, and make a decision and hire Glance. I’m pretty sure he’s not up at the lake house losing 25lbs. I doubt he really cares that much. He just wants something easy that he thinks will make him look good.

  25. gopack4eva 03/17/2009 at 7:46 AM #

    If Lee Fowler does not hire Coach Glance as coach he must leave North Carolina State. This is an off the wall idea. Bring Bill Cowher in?

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