Lee Fowler to Mississippi State? hits the news – SFN’s update

At the end of last week, a long time friend of the site made us promise that we would not run a piece of information that he was going to share with us until it became public from other sources.

Not expecting it to be that big of a deal, we promised to corroborate his information from multiple sources before posting anything on the site.

Then, he dropped the bombshell on us — NC State Athletics Director, Lee Fowler, was not only working to position himself for the same role that is currently vacant at Mississippi State University, but was actually a legitimate leading candidate for the post.

After being passed over by almost a dozen jobs in the last decade, including San Diego State just a few months ago, we found it hard to believe that any school – least of which an SEC school – would ever truly consider ‘Coach’ Fowler. Then, we realized that Mississippi State is one of only six BCS schools ranked worse than NC State in the latest Director’s Cup standings and…Eureka!!! Lee Fowler will fit right in!!!

Whereas NC State is currently #60 of 66 BCS Schools (#88 in the country), Mississippi State is the worst of 66 BCS schools at a miserable #146. Considering how Lee Fowler loathes tangible and measurable goals, the idea of going somewhere to work on things like ‘improving’ and ‘competing’ has to make his mouth water! Once he builds a new ‘fuhcility’ he will have hit the trifecta!!!

Since our source insisted that the Bulldogs’ brass was genuinely considering Fowler as a leading candidate, we promised to keep our mouths shut for fear that the good folks in Starkville might figure out how to get on the internet; and we’d hate to have our hopes for liberation thwarted by the ‘lunatic fringe’ and just ’50 crazy people on the internet’.

Tonight, we can break our silence as WFNZ in Charlotte is publicly reporting the rumor that we heard last week. (Click here) Additionally, the WFNZ story states the following:

Information leaking out of Mississippi is that N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler is interviewing with officials from Mississippi State in Atlanta today about its athletic director’s job.

Additionally, Triangle Business Journal is reporting that Fowler and NC State are working on parting ways :

RALEIGH – The days of Lee Fowler’s reign as head of North Carolina State University’s sports programs appear to be drawing to a close.

Several sources with ties to the university say Fowler, top university officials and the school’s board of trustees are working on a strategy that would end his decade-long tenure as athletics director. The sources say Fowler is being given time to find another position, should he choose to do so, at which time his departure from NCSU would be announced

We do not know if Fowler was meeting with Mississippi State officials today; but, SFN can confirm for a fact that Fowler flew from Raleigh to Atlanta earlier on Thursday morning. We also do not know if Fowler’s final destination was Atlanta; we simply know that he boarded a plane in Raleigh bound for Atlanta.

As we shared with you in this entry on March 12th:

For the better part of the last month, the frequency and consistency of rumors related to a Lee Fowler departure has significantly intensified. Many different sources have shared with SFN that Lee Fowler will ‘retire/resign’ as NC State’s Athletics Director at some in the very near future. The scenarios around Fowler’s ultimate departure usually takes the form of one of the two of the following:

(1) Some of the rumors have Fowler departing NC State in May, coinciding with the end of the school year. This version centers on the premise that Fowler has been given an ultimatum to have found a new job and hit the bricks by the end of the year…or else. This would have Fowler riding into the sunset with another of SFN’s most disliked NC State administrators, Tom Stafford.

To this point, we have not explicitly shared the strong rumblings & rumors that Fowler was given some kind of ultimatum to find another job or risk the public humiliation of getting booted to the curb in a not so soft manner. Due to turnover in the Chancellorship coupled by a Board of Trustees with a record that would make Enron proud, we could never deduce exactly who supposed was to have suddenly and simultaneously grown a strategic brain and a big pair of balls to take charge of the horrible situation that has festered for the better part of the last decade.

Since we ran that entry in March, it has become almost common knowledge amongst many in/around Cary that a very wealthy and close personal friend of Fowler’s has manufactured an empty-suit role in private enterprise available for Fowler to ‘gracefully’ step to as he ‘choose’ to ‘retire’ from Athletics and NC State as he was excited and motivated for a new challenge and chapter in his career. (There is no reason to go deeper into this unless that ever becomes reality.)

The general expectation was that this move towards ‘the next phase of Fowler’s career’ would occur in the days/week(s) following the Fowler’s return from the Wolfpack Club’s trip to Ireland (May 15th-22nd). I mean, is there a soul on this planet that knows Lee Fowler and would not expect him to make sure that he got to enjoy a free trip to go do nothing and simply hang out at other people’s expense? I wonder what kind of Cougars prowl the Irish countryside?

Even good old Bob Kennel made a loose reference to Fowler’s ‘corporate opportunity’ in one of his zanier recent posts on Pack Pride’s message boards titled something like the “Last will and testament of Lee Fowler”. It was very odd if you didn’t already have this background against which to apply the comment. In addition to such an odd title, Kennel made a statement about Fowler having strong business qualifications and that a soon to be released announcement would show just how respected Fowler is for his business skills. (I am going to take a five minute pause here to allow myself to recover, but you as the reader will never know the difference).

[12 minutes of laughing, crying, head shaking, astonishment, and (most of all) pity]

(I’m back. Dear God, please give me the strength to finish without hurting myself thinking about Kennel’s craziness.)

In the end…you weren’t really wondering why Uncle Jed just happened to suddenly shave his signature Jed Clampett mustache earlier this week? Why do you think that we actually started this thread on our message boards earlier in the week highlighting ‘the shave’? That’s not something we’d typically do. This move made us excited that there was something to this MSU talk as Uncle Jed was making himself more ‘2010’ for his interview. Now, if he could only do something about that damn interwebs!

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88 Responses to Lee Fowler to Mississippi State? hits the news – SFN’s update

  1. spanky 04/29/2010 at 11:16 PM #

    If this happens, shortly after the CJL commitment, and I some how pass my diseases final all in the same week I may just cry out of pure joy…

    Either that or realize it’s truly a sign of the apocalypse and I should don my ‘just-in-case tin foil hat’ and jet outta here!

  2. WV Wolf 04/29/2010 at 11:44 PM #

    Is it possible to block traffic to SFN from Mississippi so they don’t find out the truth?

    Thanks for the update, after CJL maybe we’ll get some more good news soon.

  3. 48wolfpacker 04/29/2010 at 11:58 PM #

    I hope he gets the job.

  4. redwolf87 04/29/2010 at 11:59 PM #

    I like Mississippi State. They are good people. I’ve worked with some of their alumni and had some good banter with their fans in 1994 when we beat them in the Peach Bowl. They feel about Ole Miss like we do about unx.

    There are some similarities between the situations MSU and NCSU are in, in their respective states.

    Perhaps they are looking for an AD who supplies the kind of track record that Fowler does.

    That’s all I have to say about that. 🙂

  5. Cosmo96 04/30/2010 at 12:41 AM #

    Even if he is interviewing for the job and is a leading candidate, the thought of him actually leaving NC State is too good to be true, and I’ll believe it when I see it.

  6. 48wolfpacker 04/30/2010 at 1:04 AM #


    Copy and paste because I can’t get the link to work right.

  7. old13 04/30/2010 at 1:34 AM #
  8. FunPack 04/30/2010 at 2:49 AM #

    If this comes true today, we should all pack up and go to Vegas. It may be a while before State fans get on another hot streak like this.

  9. packalum44 04/30/2010 at 3:18 AM #

    ^ In San Fran can be there in an hour without jet lag!! Not that you should worry about that in Vegas they’ll pump enough oxygen into the room that a Mary Shiavo could wake up.

    Pray to little baby Jesus this is true!!!

  10. Avid109 04/30/2010 at 5:45 AM #

    If this is true, all I can say is: Hooray!

  11. gotohe11carolina 04/30/2010 at 6:50 AM #

    so my fiancée and all of her family went to SEC schools. she was tired of me complaining about our a.d. and how much I missed watching us win at basketball and football, thus I was forced to pick an SEC team to root for. I chose MSU.
    an aside. Dave Glenn asked what it was like to be an NC State fan after finding out that CJ Leslie committed and then immediately finding out tracy smith hasn’t pulled off the early entry to NBA list. I thought about it and came up with this. being an NCSU fan is like being the kid in a christmas story every sports season. all you want is that red rider beebee gun and everyone tells you you’ll put your eye out with it and don’t you want a football instead. every christmas morning (opening day of whichever season) you wake up hoping for the beebee gun and you get the football, and then the once in a blue moon when you actually get the red rider, sure enough you shoot it in the basement and it comes back off of the wall and puts your eye out…

    that said I can’t wait for christmas this year

  12. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 7:45 AM #

    I’ve supported Mark Thomas and some of his anti-NC State rants, but this morning he went way too far.

    He’s clearly in Fowler’s camp for some unknown reason, or, and hopefully this is more accurate, he’s hell-bent on providing for his family through the job security that comes with angering the average State fan and thereafter generating phone calls to his radio show. I certainly can’t blame if it’s the latter, but if it’s the former he’s clearly been brainwashed by Fowler’s self-motivated spin on the state of athletics at N.C. State.

    Just look at the freaking Sears Cup rankings, man. Look at the only tangible litmus test for the success of a Division 1 athletic program.

    They keep talking about money as well. When talking about the bottom line, you also have to look at expenses. A racing team that runs a Pinto wagon in a NASCAR race is likely to have a better bottom line than any of the other teams who spend huge dollars on state of the art technology and monstrous engines. You have to spend money to make money. Running an athletics program on a bootstap budget simply because it’s teh ONLY thing Fowler could point to as a reason to keep him for the last decade has left us continually slipping in the Sear’s Cup rankings. The bottom line at NC State right now is smoke and mirrors when compared to the lack of support our coaches receive. Doak Field was outdated the second it was finished. Our expenditure on recruiting is dwarfed by that of our rivals. The examples are countless.

    Of course, there is also the emotional aspect of Fowler’s refusal to accept the passion of the fan base as a positive. Rather, he repeatedly turns his back on and thumbs his nose at the fans. That’s like a CEO going into a shareholder meeting and telling them F#$^ off. It’s just hardly wise.

    Finally, the same argument that applied to Sendek is in play here. If Fowler was so great at his job, where have all the overtures been to hire him away? There have been none for a reason. God bless Mississippi State if they will take him off of our hands. May their experience with him be better than ours. My fear, however, is that when he sees the rabidness with which an SEC fan base expects results, he’ll long for the days of the fans always willing to “wait till next year.” My fear for Fowler at an SEC school is that he’ll wind up in fear for his safety as opposed to just being mocked on the internet. I’ve personally seen the shoebox of hatemail and death threats sent to an SEC kicker who missed a handful of critical kicks in regular season, conference games.

    It truly just blows me away that anyone with any desire to see NC State succeed, and surely as a former player Mark Thomas does, that he doesn’t recognize the tangible measures that must be taken to improve our athletic department. The attitude to win/succeed in any organization starts at the top. With Fowler’s open acceptance of mediocrity across the board, I’m shocked that someone who played a sport at the level he did is willingly okay with that. Shocked.

  13. 66pack 04/30/2010 at 7:56 AM #

    this could be the week of the best news about ncsu sports in the last 20 years.

  14. Daily Update 04/30/2010 at 8:02 AM #

    ^And we didn’t even have to win a game. That is how bad NC State/Lee Fowler has been.

  15. Daily Update 04/30/2010 at 8:02 AM #

    MSU board has caught wind of this:


    I can’t resist. Applied to be able to post on their board…

  16. old13 04/30/2010 at 8:03 AM #

    Ding! Dong! The witch is dead. Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding! Dong! The wicked witch is dead! . . . HALLELUJAH!!! And GOOD RIDDANCE!!

    Now comes the hard part – hopefully a professionally conducted national search for a replacement with strong leadership and management skills!

  17. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 8:08 AM #

    I have a reasonable itch to delete everything that has ever been posted negative about Lee Fowler on this website ever.

  18. PoppaJohn 04/30/2010 at 8:10 AM #

    We are on a freakin’ roll!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What the heck, let’s sign Mabry and ice this cake!

    Gotta agree with Jules when he said, ‘it’s Christmas time in Raleigh.’

  19. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 8:11 AM #


    1. m-i-crooked letter-crooked letter-i-humpback-humpback-i-crooked letter…dammit, i never get this right. i had to pick the hardest to spell.


  20. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 8:11 AM #

    Poppa: Thank Chancellor Woodson. He’s here to fix stuff.

  21. ushum 04/30/2010 at 8:17 AM #

    don’t delete it, just go under for site maintenance for a little while…

  22. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 8:19 AM #

    Ugg… Mark is back on the money. Money!!! Money is coming in. I’m starting to wonder just how intelligent he is. Tom Suitor is putting him in his place, and this is a joy to listen to.

    I’ll say this for Thomas. I’ve never not once listened to Sports talk radio in my office online, and I’m doing it right now. All because of Thomas. So despite me thinking he’s lost his mind, he’s doing a fine job for his employer right now.

  23. packof81 04/30/2010 at 8:20 AM #

    Maybe now those 50 people on the internet will leave him be.

  24. GAWolf 04/30/2010 at 8:21 AM #

    Ugg… Thomas. It’s about bringing in a guy who will be READY to make those hires. Exactly! He just said a caller told him that. Good job caller.

    Anyone else listening to this?????

  25. TOBtime 04/30/2010 at 8:26 AM #

    Well put GAWolf. Anyone with ANY sense at all could look at our programs and see the true picture. The Doak field example really stands out. Ever seen an SEC baseball stadium? ANY SEC baseball stadium? Most hold more than the Greensboro Grasshoppers stadium and have many more luxury boxes. Some of them rival pro stadiums albeit with smaller attendance. Doak field is now a very nice Texas high school baseball stadium or very nice Southern Conference field. That’s all we get get for improvement to our “fuhcilities”.

    Please oh please let this pusbag be dripping somewhere else soon.

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