AD search narrows, six left standing

Obviously there is much more to this story than the reports out tonight, but tonight’s development is still worth discussing, even if it’s briefly. Multiple sources confirmed to Jeff Graveley (WRAL) and others Wednesday that the list of possible AD candidates has been narrowed to six. Nevermind the fact that Chancellor Woodson asked for three names, the committee headed by Smedes York gave him six. Hmmm.

I’m not sure exactly what this means just yet. It could mean that all six of these candidates are so good that the committee feels like all of them deserve a shot. But that seems way to “wholesome” of a reason so let’s go with the committee had problems coming to a consensus. Maybe some folks wanted “their guy” to be ensured a spot and therefore became unwilling to compromise. It’s hard to know at this point but hopefully more will come out in the near future. According to Woodson’s previous statements about the search, this should all be over in about a month anyway so we’ll all know soon enough.

Here’s WRAL’s report on what’s happened during the last couple of days.

WRAL has learned through multiple sources that current Wolfpack Club executive director Bobby Purcell is among the six remaining candidates to become N.C. State’s next director of athletics.

Current Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb is not in the final mix of six. Cobb was a member of the N.C. State athletics department from 1998 to 2005 serving as the Wolfpack’s senior associate athletics director for external operations.

Stay tuned for much more in the next couple of days and the next few weeks.

ACC & Other AD & Department Athletics Directors NC State Administration

33 Responses to AD search narrows, six left standing

  1. wolfpacktexx 06/17/2010 at 2:32 AM #

    When Charlie Cobb hired Capel as his basketball coach he quickly fell was off my wish list. Hopefully the other five candidates excluding Purcell are major leaguers..

  2. Wufpacker 06/17/2010 at 7:42 AM #

    “Maybe some folks wanted “their guy” to be ensured a spot and therefore became unwilling to compromise.”

    The way things work (or DON’T work) at State these days, I would bet the farm on this being the most likely reason for 6 names rather than 3.

  3. old13 06/17/2010 at 7:54 AM #
  4. StateFans 06/17/2010 at 8:00 AM #

    Cobb’s omission provides me some hope that the committee is doing a decent job.

    The N&O’s little non-story on their blog about Maryland and Debbie Yow was interesting. Yow says she hasn’t interviewed…but, you could say that nobody has officially interviewed yet. Wouldn’t surprise me if her name was on the list of 6.

  5. packalum44 06/17/2010 at 8:37 AM #

    ^ SF not too fond of Cobb or just think its too big a jump from D-III to BCS? I’d rather take a successful mid-major D-I AD myself, similar to hiring a BB coach.

  6. packalum44 06/17/2010 at 8:39 AM #

    I’ve commented that there are too many people on the committee, its ridiculous.

  7. Derek Medlin 06/17/2010 at 8:47 AM #

    I tend to agree packalum44…in this case I don’t get the sense that “the more the merrier” applies.

  8. Wolfpack_1995 06/17/2010 at 9:04 AM #

    Hopefully Greg Christopher, Bowling Green AD, is in the mix!

  9. McCallum 06/17/2010 at 9:33 AM #

    Let us hope that an “institutionalized” mongrel who preaches in cliches is not the hire.

    Someone with the mentality of a 15th century Condottiero would do nicely.

    If they have personal skills that would be fine but a line of fire from God forsaken Georgia to the free ferry at Sans Souci is required in Raleigh.

    Or for you lovers of the classics:

    Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius


  10. GAWolf 06/17/2010 at 9:42 AM #

    I’d be fine with Chancellor Woodsen being the AD. He speaks plainly but appropriately about issues, has a common sense yet no nonsense approach to problem solving, and has an all around great grasp of what it means to be productive and accountable.

  11. old13 06/17/2010 at 9:51 AM #

    ^ He’s already said he would not be an AD because he doesn’t know enough about the athletics business, and I agree. I like him fine just where he is! But those qualities of Dr. Woodson that you describe should pervade the admimistration of any AD (or other administrative position, for that matter) that he hires.

  12. TENN Packfan 06/17/2010 at 10:24 AM #

    If Purcell does end up being the new AD, would Charlie Cobb be a candidate to take over the reigns of the WPC?

  13. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 06/17/2010 at 10:32 AM #

    “I’ve commented that there are too many people on the committee, its ridiculous.”

    Shocking how much money some of these people make and then they go out and hire consultants to tell them how to do the job they are getting to do.

    Doesn’t seem like we should pay someone whose solution is to go out and hire someone else to do the job we just hired them to do.

  14. rtpack24 06/17/2010 at 10:48 AM #

    If Bobby Purcell is our next AD then Steve Ponder would likely be the one to replace him. Charlie Cobb needs to worry about holding on to the job he has.

  15. StateFans 06/17/2010 at 12:19 PM #

    ^ Absolutely in 100% agreement.

    If Purcell does end up in the AD’s chair then the only two candidates for the WPC role should be Stephen Ponder & Jimmy Bass.

  16. WolftownVA81 06/17/2010 at 12:21 PM #

    I thought this was exactly the kind of speculation that Chancellor Woodson wanted to avoid (stuff leaked to the public). Hope the remainder of the selection process is handled professionally and done both quickly and quietly. We don’t need a lot of internal divisiveness or over exposure on this hire.

  17. fvpackman 06/17/2010 at 2:20 PM #

    Going to copy a friends thoughts on Bobby Purcell,,,,

    To all those who don’t want Purcell based on “lack of AD experience” – here are 3 things to consider:

    1) He has demonstrated excellent management experience. No, Purcell doesn’t have experience managing an athletics department. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have experience as a manager. The WPC is one of the best athletic fundraising groups in the country. It has a top-10 level membership, has raised hundreds of millions over the last decade (no small feat considering the dearth of athletics success and the economy both at the beginning and the end of last decade) and it has planned, managed and successfully delivered (on budget and on time) multiple facilities. Do you think Purcell did that all by himself? No way. He has managed a staff that achieved those accomplishments. In other words, Purcell’s leadership of the WPC allowed it to achieve its well-thought-of results. Sure, Purcell is a great fundraiser, as evidenced by his award a few years ago – but the success of the entire WPC also demonstrates that he’s a great manager. Also of note is that as the Exec Dir of the WPC, Purcell also holds the title of “Senior Assoc. Dir of Athletics” which means that he’s been involved in the top cadre of assistants under Fowler and has knowledge of the inner workings of the Athletic Department. He’s not blind to what an Athletic Department does.

    2) His management experience is well regarded within his industry. Another good indicator of his managerial talent is that his assistants have gone on to get promotions as leaders in other similar organizations. Steven Ponder left the WPC (where he was 1 level down from Purcell) to become Purcell’s equivalent at Arizona State. Jimmy Bass, who was at the same level as Ponder, left to become Purcell’s equivalent at ECU. Buzzy Correll left the WPC (where he was 2 levels down from Purcell) to become Purcell’s equivalent at George Mason (I know he’s now back at the WPC, but it’s at the level that Ponder was, so it’s a promotion within the WPC hierarchy). When you are placing your assistants at different organizations in the same capacity as yourself, it’s a great indicator of how the industry views your managerial acumen.

    3) His boss will be Chancellor Randy Woodson. Finally, to those that think Purcell will be beholden to the “good ole boys” who he has counted on for donations, remember this: as Athletic Director, Purcell reports to the chancellor. Not the BOT, but the chancellor. His contract (if hired) will be approved by the BOT, but for day-to-day accountability, his boss will be Chancellor Woodson. I think we’ve just seen how Woodson can “handle” the “good ole boy” network in his taking charge of the search process. We’ve also seen Woodson in interviews describe what he wants from the AD, so we know what he’ll expect from “his” AD. We’re dealing with a much different man than “statusquOblinger”. That should alleviate the fears of most people, but if it doesn’t, also remember this: Purcell has spent his entire career at NC State with one goal in mind – making State the best it can be in athletics. Wherever he’s had control of the process, we’ve ended up with the best things possible: best booster club (pretty close); best football facility (check), great sidelines suite structure (check). So why do you think that as AD, Purcell wouldn’t do the absolute best job he could do?

    Look, I’m not saying that there aren’t better candidates out there or that it’s a bad idea to look “outside the family”. In fact, I think Purcell is the only viable “inside the family” candidate. But to discount him simply because “he lacks athletic director experience” while at the same time acknowledging the great job he has done as head of the WPC just doesn’t make sense. I think that if given the chance, Purcell can and will be a great AD. It’s a job he’s wanted for some time and I think it’s a job he’s been preparing for by learning from observations and by picking the brains of his contacts in the industry. He’s definitely worthy of consideration based on his accomplishments.

    (Caveat – I am NOT a WPC rep or associated with the WPC in any way other than as a general member and LTR holder, nor am I a personal friend of Purcell’s, though I have met him at caravans and bowl game tailgates).

    One last thing – while Steven Ponder may not be on the list for the AD job, I’m willing to bet that he’ll be a finalist to replace Purcell if Purcell is promoted to AD. Everything I’ve heard about him is that he is very impressive and that he took the ASU job with an eye towards expanding his horizons to make him a better candidate to either replace Purcell down the road or become an AD himself one day.

    Well said Fuquay Wolf

  18. PackerInRussia 06/17/2010 at 2:43 PM #

    “has raised hundreds of millions over the last decade…and it has planned, managed and successfully delivered (on budget and on time) multiple facilities.”

    You mean Fowler’s crew can’t claim this as one of his major feats at NC State?

    “which means that he’s been involved in the top cadre of assistants under Fowler and has knowledge of the inner workings of the Athletic Department. He’s not blind to what an Athletic Department does.”

    Just not a real one 😉

  19. McCallum 06/17/2010 at 5:31 PM #

    Buzzy Corell……… I’m glad to see he is doing more than drinking Bud Light in Owen Dorm.

    Nice guy but appears a bit institutionalized.


  20. DividedWeFall 06/17/2010 at 7:30 PM #

    There are too many people on the search committee for sure. I understand the rationale behind wanting various parties represented, however the fact of the matter is that many of those people simply don’t know sports (in the appropriate capacity). Too many voices lead to too many choices.

    *it would have been better to have SFN bloggers choose our next AD.

  21. The Captain 06/17/2010 at 7:58 PM #

    Great posts.

    I agree with StateFans that if it’s Purcell, the Wolfpack Club job should go to Ponder or Bass. They will both bring experience from the outside that will strengthen the Wolfpack Club. StateFans is also correct that if Cobb was cut, the committee was doing its job. Cobb’s a great guy but I believe his experience is almost identical to Lee Fowler’s 10 years ago.

    I’m not taking the bait that fvpackman doesn’t know Purcell well – he has been on both message boards lobbying hard for Purcell.

    My take is that Bobby Purcell may very well be the best candidate for the job but I want to see who the others are. If Purcell had left to become an AD at a mid-major and had done a good job there, it’s a no-brainer and roll out the red carpet. But I believe Purcell’s major advantage – knowledge of the locals – is checked because he’s never run an athletic department and 90% of his work experience is at NC State.

    Also, I believe we should be very careful as some candidates may have “counter offer” written all over them and may be looking for a raise not to relocate.

    The next month should be interesting.

  22. packalum44 06/17/2010 at 9:16 PM #

    My first question would be to ask the candidates, “Who do you plan on firing?” The answer to this question would let me know whether to finish the interview.

    Secondly, what would be your plans and expectations for the other coaches etc…among the boiler plate what do you think makes a good coach, how would you define success…

  23. fvpackman 06/17/2010 at 9:30 PM #

    I didn’t say that I didn’t know Bobby…. That was in Fuquay Wolfs post that I cut and pasted….I know Bobby well…


  24. Primewolf 06/17/2010 at 10:40 PM #

    I am not at all in favor of Bobby. He is a good ol boy, too connected to all the problems. He has done a good job running the WPC, but that is hardly a demanding job. I think he is overpaid for what he does, no pressure job. The WPC really hasn’t done anything new in the past few years beyond lifetime rights, etc to raise money. It is corrupted to some degree with many folks getting favors vs the point system.

    I think hiring Bobby would be the dumbest decision ever. He has no experience. He is connected and is too political. I can’t see him managing coaches. That is a far cry different from a bunch of NC state wannabes working in the WPC that couldn’t get a better job in the real world. We need competence and a firm experienced manager not afraid to ruffle feathers. Who knows what Bobby would be.

    As far as worrying about Bobby’s replacement, how ridiculous. Please name the toughest decision and most innovative things the director of the wpc has done lately. tough, isn;t it. I know all those guys and have played golf with them. Nice, but I dare say no geniuses among them. Ponder is the probably the one to replace Purcell.

    I hope Woodson doesn’t cave to the local boys touting BP. We really need some new blood from a pro that isn’t any way connected to NC STATE. Cleaning house and starting over is what is needed. I don’t see Purcell doing that. He wants to please folks, that is what he has done for 20 years or so.

  25. McCallum 06/18/2010 at 7:07 AM #

    Here is my concern with Purcell: how has he addressed problems within the WPC?

    He is a very affable man, of that there is little doubt. My point of inquiry concerns the turnover he had in his area of management, why there was little or more turnover, what policies did he have in place that dded to or reduced turnover and what was his follow through like. Did he take care of the dead wood, was there dead wood, did the nature of the WPC allow dead wood to go unnoticed, what were the benchmarks for the employees and what was the carrot and stick to all of that.

    Basic performance review and follow through items.


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