Debbie Yow’s message already resonating with Wolfpackers

This entry was originally posted on Friday afternoon (August 13th). We wanted to send it back to the top since the blog typically has slower traffic on Friday afternoons in the summer —

This key thread was opened on the message forums earlier in the week, but we wanted to bring this to the main blog in the event that you don’t frequent our message boards or did not receive an email from Athletics Director, Debbie Yow.

We were VERY PLEASED to read Yow’s message and be able to connect to some tangible and measurable goals for the future of Athletics Department. Without a an end point on a map, then how can you ever reach a destination?

The email is quoted below —-

Dear NC State Alum,

A few weeks ago I eagerly and enthusiastically accepted Chancellor Randy Woodson’s offer to become NC State’s director of athletics.

The idea of returning to my home state and to this place that has been so special to my family for the last 35 years was appealing to me for a number of reasons. I am particularly excited about Chancellor Woodson’s vision for North Carolina’s largest university.

Today, I am writing to share with you a number of the goals we will pursue in Wolfpack athletics over the next five years. They are at the core of our enterprise.

•Embrace and reflect the ideals of the university.
•Achieve an annual “Top 25” finish in the National Director’s Cup competition. This requires an across-the-board heightened level of excellence in our 23 varsity sports.
•Achieve graduation rates for student-athletes that meet or exceed that of the general student body and rank us in the top half of the ACC’s eight public universities.
•Achieve team-by-team NCAA Academic Progress Rates (APRs) that place us in the top half of the ACC’s eight public universities.
•Ensure fiscal integrity through effective use of resources and enhanced fundraising.
•Achieve federal Title IX compliance.
•Best ensure compliance with NCAA rules and regulations through extended education of staff, coaches, student-athletes and fans.
•Provide competitive venues in all sports that are appropriate for a Division I-A athletics program.

Most recently, we in athletics have begun to consider exactly how we can achieve these goals. This critical process addresses the difference between “talking the talk and walking the walk.” All Division I athletic programs aspire to be nationally respected and recognized, but few achieve that distinction. It is our intent to achieve this overarching goal. This is our clear and guiding vision for Wolfpack athletics.

Our focus now is to identify the resources required to achieve these worthy and challenging goals. Those resources include (1) attracting talented student-athletes, (2) providing adequate financial support for teams, (3) attracting and keeping the best coaches and staff, and (4) enhancing our connectivity with alumni and friends of the university.

I am convinced that there is nothing within the university or the athletics program that will prevent us from achieving these goals. The pursuit of excellence will be a process, not an event. There will likely be temporary setbacks along the way. Our ability to successfully navigate such setbacks, while remaining focused on the unrelenting pursuit of our goals, will be a key to our progress.

Across-the-board success in athletics will result in a special kind of “esprit de corps” among alumni and friends of NC State. That positive result alone is reason enough to pursue these challenging goals.

In athletics, we encapsulate these goals with the use of a slogan: “Wolfpack Unlimited – refuse to accept the status quo.”

I look forward to meeting many of you at Wolfpack athletic events. Until then, thank you for your devotion to the university, for your support of Wolfpack athletics and for welcoming me so warmly into the family.

Go Pack!

Debbie A. Yow
Director of Athletics

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26 Responses to Debbie Yow’s message already resonating with Wolfpackers

  1. TheAliasTroll 08/13/2010 at 1:27 PM #

    I like it.

  2. Khan 08/13/2010 at 1:38 PM #

    Good. Very good.

    Now, let’s get it done.

  3. tjfoose1 08/13/2010 at 2:12 PM #


    I thought Lee Fowler and Adam Gold had clearly established that we could never realistically hope to compete with UNC and Duke. Now I’m confused.

  4. McCallum 08/13/2010 at 2:56 PM #

    Full title IX compliance eh?

    Nary a dime to you Deb.


  5. nycfan 08/13/2010 at 3:34 PM #

    Must be a breath of fresh air to have some one set reasonably high goals and ask to be held to account.

    That said (and I don’t know the answer) did UMd meet those goals on her watch? I’m pretty sure basketball did not in terms of APR/academics, but I think Gary Williams has his own fiefdom there.

  6. ryebread 08/13/2010 at 11:01 PM #

    nycfan: Ironically, Yow met all of those goals and more on the winning side, but didn’t meet them on the academics side. Both football and basketball had lower APRs than we did the last few years.

    How long has it been since we’ve said that about a NC State AD? Give me a winner.

    Title IX compliance should be part of the goals. Total performance should be part of the goals. The goal shouldn’t be to just win at men’s bball and football, but instead to run a department well on all fronts.

    I like the talk, now let’s go execute.

  7. NOT A FAN OF BLUE 08/13/2010 at 11:33 PM #

    Deb is starting to give me a special feeling …

  8. NCStatePride 08/14/2010 at 1:13 AM #

    First of all, SFN…. you’re welcome!!! 🙂

    I said it in the thread, but I’m thrilled we have Yow. From her track record, it appears Debbie isn’t inclined to say one thing and do another. If this track record continues, I think we can expect good things in the future for NCSU. No doubt it will turn into a circus for a while during this transition, but I’m a believer. I’ll be even more of a believer when we see some results!

  9. nycfan 08/14/2010 at 9:13 AM #

    Well, Yow has a huge advantage at State in that TOB and Lowe already take academics very seriously, so she doesn’t have to FIGHT the coaches of the two most high profile sports on that account as she did at UMd.

  10. 61Packer 08/14/2010 at 11:21 AM #

    Sidney Lowe takes academics seriously? nycfan, surely you’re not talking about the same guy who waited 25 years after leaving college before he finally got his degree, which was obtained only to become eligible for the NCSU job.

  11. MP 08/14/2010 at 12:39 PM #

    It could be that SL’s personal experience shapes how he feels about players getting their degrees, i.e. that he understands the importance therefore encourages them more. I don’t think it is fair to make a direct correlation between SL’s education history and if he “takes academics seriously” for his players.

    With that said, I personally don’t know whether he does or not.

  12. NCStatePride 08/15/2010 at 12:35 AM #

    Not sure the two correlate, 61. In Sidney Lowe’s situation, he had a career opportunity where he had all it took to make a professional career. He followed it and it worked well for him. Nothing about that says that he blew off his coursework while at NCSU or didn’t think his academics were important… just that the career path he took didn’t necessitate a degree. He ended up in a situation where he needed his degree, so he finished it up late. It’s not a traditional mindset, but nothing about Lowe’s history suggests that he wouldn’t strive to make any given player on his team go to class and do well in their performance.

  13. hball57 08/15/2010 at 8:24 AM #

    Also 61packer, Sidney had been working towards that degree long before the job a NC State came open, even though he didn’t need the degree for his current profession. So the fact he finished when he took the job is immaterial. This was something he showed his commitment to long before.

  14. ryebread 08/15/2010 at 10:25 AM #

    61: I understand where you’re coming from re. SL and the statement does have validity. It’s hard to objectively say a man takes academics seriously when he seemingly didn’t when he was in school.

    On the flip side, we’ve heard rumors from “insiders” (which admittedly I am not) that some of the players in SL’s dog house over the last 3 years were there because they weren’t taking academics seriously enough. We also have data that shows that men’s BBALL under SL has the highest APR in the ACC.

    This did NOT remotely come close to happening under his predecessor, despite the fact that many NC State fans assumed that it did due to HWSNBN’s college academic success. HWSNBN had his 3.9X GPA in math at CMU, but his players hovered at the bottom of the league on the academic side of the house. This is one thing that has drastically improved under SL.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is this — lets not assume the standard that SL holds players to is the same as what he personally did 25 years ago. We may find that it’s far different. SL may tell players that one of his mistakes in life was not taking academics seriously enough when he was playing college basketball. We can (and hopefully do) learn from our mistakes and advise those younger not to make them.

  15. nycfan 08/17/2010 at 9:58 AM #

    Recently released APR data by coach (for 6 years or as long as person had been a head coach) showed Lowe just a fraction behind Roy Williams in that category and ahead (well ahead in a lot of cases) of his peers. While his personal academic performance over the course of 25 years is not exactly a shining example, the fact is that one way or the other he is holding his players to a higher standard thus far.

  16. otisthetowndrunk 08/17/2010 at 1:19 PM #

    Sid had JJ Hickson going to class right up until the end of his spring semester, even though he knew he would not be coming back. I don’t think I would have gone to class. I know that Sid makes sure his players take class seriously.

  17. 61Packer 08/17/2010 at 1:51 PM #

    Evidently I ruffled a lot of feathers, but I was always taught to pay more attention to what people did rather than to what they said.

  18. ChemE79a 08/17/2010 at 1:56 PM #

    A guy who attends for four years and does not get a degree is a very different problem from a guy who comes close to not getting the grades to remain elgible to play. A guy who does not graduate, but about whom there were never any reports of grade problems,probably either did not take enough hours to get the degree or did not take the proper sequence of courses to complete a degree. If all you take is the minimum to be a full-time student every semester (12 hours) then you will not graduate in 4 years. This type of individual may have applied themselves and gotten a 4.0 every semester, they just did not get enough of the right hours to complete a degree program.

    To me that is very different from a guy who chooses not to apply himself in the courses that he takes and cannot maintain elgibility.

  19. PoppaJohn 08/17/2010 at 2:19 PM #

    Back to the main theme …
    I really like what she said. She clearly stated the right goals and put it out there that it won’t be easy, but we will get it done. Her management team is all new, so all should be on the same page.

    You really have to love the things that have happened over the summer. It’s hard to maintain my normal Wolfpacker pessimistic attitude. I’m thinking football seasom will bring us all down to earth again.

    But good stuff is happening!!!

  20. tractor57 08/17/2010 at 3:44 PM #

    I agree she “talks the talk” and so far is “walking the walk”.

    So far I’m impressed with Dr. Yow.

    Over time that may change but for sure she has started on a good foot.

  21. bradleyb123 08/17/2010 at 4:00 PM #

    Evidently I ruffled a lot of feathers, but I was always taught to pay more attention to what people did rather than to what they said.

    Well, Sid was working toward finishing his degree even before we hired him, and he has clearly shown that his players must do well academically if they want to play. And his teams have collectively done pretty well, academically. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I have to ask — what exactly was it you were paying attention to that led you to that conclusion? Serious question, not rhetorical.

  22. El Scrotcho 08/17/2010 at 4:57 PM #

    You guys do a great job managing your content and making sure the gems don’t get missed. As always, thanks for your professional job on the site.

  23. graywolf 08/17/2010 at 6:05 PM #

    I am very excited about our new administration and AD. I hope that we are really experiencing a new direction academically and athletically for NC State. My fear is that the good old boys may try to run off the new administration and AD as we saw during MA Fox’s reign. I hope that i am wrong and that this is the beginning of a bright future for NC State. As an alumnus I want to be proud of our academics and athletics. Go Pack!

  24. bradleyb123 08/17/2010 at 7:47 PM #

    Well said, graywolf!

  25. 61Packer 08/17/2010 at 9:39 PM #

    bradleyb123, what I was paying attention to was the 25 years that had elapsed between the time Sidney Lowe left State in 1983 and when he finally obtained his degree (online). If he’d done it in 5 or in even 10 years after leaving State, I never would have made the remark. I still stand on what I said- if academics had been a top priority during those years, he would’ve finished long before he did.

    Lowe may indeed care deeply about his players’ academics now (and I certainly hope he does), but it’s my opinion he didn’t care too much about his own from 1983 until about 25 years later.

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