My Personal Vision For an Orderly and Civilized Transition

I don’t think it will surprise anyone to hear that Sidney Lowe’s 5th season coaching the North Carolina State Wolfpack will be his last. I honestly don’t think anyone with an IQ above room temperature would dispute that statement.

Ordinarily, there would be lots of fire and brimstone when a coach is clearly in the death spiral. Threads swell with comments. Passions rage at an all-time high. Not now. The quiet is more than a bit eerie at times. But it’s here, and we still have at least 8 more basketball games to somehow get through before the energy returns, and NC State basketball turns the page officially.

There will be no mid-season firing. Despite the spontaneous thrill such a move would bring – it couldn’t possibly help us long-term. Not one iota. The season can’t be saved (even if a reincarnated John Wooden sat on the bench), and really shouldn’t be saved. It is what it is. Although there’s no upside, there is downside – and Dr. Yow is right to recognize it. NC State would look even more unprofessional than it did in March and April 2006 – if that’s possible. And any kind of winning streak could re-fracture the fanbase and the roster, with some voices rising in support of making the interim dude permanent. Bad, bad idea. Please stop harrassing our athletic director about it. Even politely.

With last Saturday’s loss, NC State is de facto eliminated from NCAAT at-large consideration. There will be no signature win for the program, even of the random “Les Robinson beats Dean Smith twice in a season, with a 9-game losing streak in between” variety. All that remains is the ACC tournament. Winning it would not save Sidney Lowe’s job. It would certainly not magically fix the numerous, deep flaws in our basketball program. But voices would rise in dissent once again – and you could have the perverse situation of wins being bad for NC State.

So, here’s my best and fondest wish – although I would not be so arrogant as to press Dr. Yow to follow this vision. On Monday morning after the regular season ends, announce what everybody knows (but is afraid to say out loud, at least in the local media) – that Sidney Lowe will not return for the 2011-12 season. Shake his hand, and wish him well with his future endeavors. And see if he can make the most out of his last chance in undoubtedly his best setting as a college head coach. Perhaps (hell, probably), we get our expected beatdown in Greensboro. But maybe, just maybe, Lowe goes out with one more run. Maybe it’s just one or two victories, but still we see a little more fire, emotion, and focus from everyone. Every staff member, player, and fan has the yoke of “what does this mean for Lowe’s job status” removed from their shoulders. Just play. The Lowe era won’t end as anyone hoped, but the last weekend could at least serve as a decent send-off for all parties involved.

As always, thanks for reading, and look forward to profiles of prospective coaches in the following days and weeks.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

Coaches Coaching Carousel Debbie Yow NCS Basketball Sidney Lowe

76 Responses to My Personal Vision For an Orderly and Civilized Transition

  1. gcpack 02/08/2011 at 1:06 AM #

    Interesting today that Mike Decourcy said on d.Glenn’s show that State fans need to finally admit that they were wrong about Sendek. All this while had Herbs pic on the front page of their college bball with story about coaches on the hotseat.

    Seems that ASU is 1-10 in pac ten play.
    Who knew that John Wooden Jr. as anointed by mist of the media , would end up being on the hit seat with such a poor record?

    Can’t say that I am surprised.

  2. Manu Ginobili 02/08/2011 at 2:00 AM #

    I agree that firing a coach mid-season would be the worst decision possible. Just let Sidney Lowe win a couple more games, thank the University and the fans for their support, and leave with some dignity. BTW, I wasn’t aware that DY was a doctor.

    Also, I don’t want to be “that” guy, but isn’t one’s vision always personal?

  3. travelwolf 02/08/2011 at 2:09 AM #

    Maybe I’m being naive, but just imagine….

    Let’s say we do hire someone with potential in the next week – and he wins 50% of the games left – then my guess is that our commitments might stay with us. It could help recruiting in the coming off-season. The current players would know what they will have to deal with for in the coming year(s), so they might have a better chance of staying also (not that they could go anywhere, but you never know).

    What’s the downside again – besides supposedly hurting someone’s feelings (and yes, in the South that’s evidently VERY important)?

  4. wufpup76 02/08/2011 at 3:05 AM #

    Can’t see it happening, but I can dig it.

    Don’t think it’s a bad idea at all.

  5. wolfpack15 02/08/2011 at 3:13 AM #

    I’m ready to start hearing people throw some names out there that they think would be a good fit for the State job. I’m gonna throw something out there. I think we should at least talk to the Gonzaga coach. He’s done great with a lot less than State can offer. I think we have a lot to offer. What do you think?

  6. Astral Rain 02/08/2011 at 3:59 AM #

    I’d say you got right conference, wrong team’s coach to go after: I’d look at the St.Mary’s guy, Randy Bennett, who’s gotten his team ranked fairly consistently, in a very low-major conference which has an 800-lb Gorilla in Gonzaga in it.

    It’s not just one superstar either. I think he’d be a good choice. Age could be a bit of an issue, but he’ll only be 50 next year, so he’s got enough time I think. Buyout might possibly be an issue also.

    That would be my first choice of someone to go after.

  7. nocard 02/08/2011 at 4:18 AM #

    Travelwolf….the only way this would work is if you hire somebody that is not coaching now or the chosen coach decides to leave his team before the end of the season. So, which basketball analyst do you want ?, because there is no way you want a coach that would leave their team before the end of a season….

    It is going to be tuff to get a *name* coach. They will not work for Yowwee. She tried to have GWilliams fired at UM after winning the school a national championship. No way that a coach is going to stick their neck into that guillotine. If the Pack Powers had hired Bobby Purcell, they would have coaches calling them to come into Raleigh. I think the best bet to return the redandwhite to glory is going to be a midmajor guy. I would suggest either Blaine Taylor of ODU or hang on to your seat…Cliff Ellis of Coastal Carolina. Taylor may not leave this year though since he is going to end up the season a few short of the alltime bball wins leader in the school history. He would be a good one since he has taken ODU to the big dance 3 out of last 6 years and the NIT the other 3. Ellis is a basketball coach, period.

  8. Hamlet 02/08/2011 at 4:39 AM #

    Nice post, Barman (sarcasm intended). Very insightful. I’ve been reading this blog for years, and BJD has always been a breath of fresh air while offering us Statefans priceless comedic moments and solid bits of information as well. Obviously, you haven’t been reading what I have, or have had your head firmly buried in the sand.

  9. Wulfpack 02/08/2011 at 7:19 AM #

    No disagreement here. Even if given the choice, I would rather Lowe finish out the season. He deserves that much and I don’t see how a mid-season change does anyone any good.

    I just hope the announcement is made swiftly once we are done and then let the search be conducted quickly and professionally. The benefits we have now is an AD that knows what she is doing and the benefit of time. We also have some pretty good players on the roster, though it wouldn’t surprise me if 2 of the 3 freshmen don’t return.

  10. mak4dpak 02/08/2011 at 7:37 AM #

    Yes, Astral Rain, you got it right, Randy Bennett, definitely a great coach, who shouldn’t cost a fortune, but definitely should have some incentives if he does accomplish something at State, that hasn’t been heard of any 20 years in Men’s basketball for the Wolfpack. And I believe he could, with the disiplined play his teams display on the court.

  11. BJD95 02/08/2011 at 7:47 AM #

    Sorry about the rash of lunatic comments from “Barman.” We encourage dissent, but obviously it needs to be above a 2nd grade level of maturity.

  12. Daily Update 02/08/2011 at 7:50 AM #

    nocard: Yow didn’t try to make a move on Gary after he won the national title. She tried to organize the top donors and be prepared to get rid of Gary after he had missed the NCAA tournament 3 times in 4 years. Also the following season got off to an ugly start, but Gary turned it around and squeaked into the ACC tournament. Since then, he hasn’t made it past the 2nd round.

    There were lots of Maryland fans who thought it was time for Gary to go 2 years ago up until he made the tournament that year.

  13. BureauOfMines 02/08/2011 at 8:41 AM #

    “Interesting today that Mike Decourcy said on d.Glenn’s show that State fans need to finally admit that they were wrong about Sendek. All this while had Herbs pic on the front page of their college bball with story about coaches on the hotseat.

    Seems that ASU is 1-10 in pac ten play.
    Who knew that John Wooden Jr. as anointed by mist of the media , would end up being on the hit seat with such a poor record?”

    Here’s yet another sanctimonious pundit who declares we should have been satisfied with an underperforming coach. But like the others, he does it in an underhanded way, pretending that Sendek was a good, solid, middle tier coach and we were unrealistic, mean spirited, lunatic fringe who ousted him. But after 5 years as a big fish in small pond, Herb is at risk of being handed his pink slip.

    These smug, smirking, puffy pundits need to finally admit that poor performance is ample reason to get rid of a coach.

    As for this season, it’s pretty much a done deal. There’s nothing to be gained by canning Sid right now with regular season games left. She will wait until the season is over.

  14. hoop 02/08/2011 at 8:43 AM #

    I think this is a really bad idea.

    You want NC State to announce that our head coach is fired and continue to have him at the helm? “Hey everyone, here’s our coach! He’s fired, but there he is!” I can only imagine how much fun ESPN could have with that one.

    And our recruits. The one thing they know for certain is the head coach of the school they’ve chosen is gone and will be in limbo for however long until we announce a choice to succeed Lowe. Kind of reminds me of our last coaching change.

    And then Lowe. I can’t imagine he would enjoy being publicly fired and continue to remain as head coach as one last hurrah.

    Actually, the best possible outcome is to have Coach Lowe announce that he’s decided not to continue on as head coach and will be moving on to other opportunities. This would take place after our last game in the ACC tournament. There’s no humiliation, Lowe leaves honorably and our search “starts” in earnest.

  15. mak4dpak 02/08/2011 at 9:00 AM #

    Pretty much the same situation with Lee Fowler, as he already knew he was out, before the news was broadcast, and his firing was official. So I can deal with the remainder of the season, with nothing to salvage.

  16. MApackfan 02/08/2011 at 9:00 AM #

    I agree with your comments; but I’d say the decision should be announced BEFORE the last home game against FL State. This would allow our home crowd to show their appreciation directly to Sid.

  17. hoop 02/08/2011 at 9:02 AM #

    FYI, the clock is wrong on the server. It is 8:21 am and the last comment reads 9am already.

  18. khabarovsk 02/08/2011 at 9:04 AM #

    I’d like for Sid to announce that he is moving on and for us to be in a position to announce the replacement in less than a week. If we announce he’s gone at the end of the regular season and don’t announce a replacement until Final Four weekend, there is no telling how many players we would lose (current and recruits). This is the generation of instant gratification. A month without a coach would be like forever to some of these kids.

  19. OldWuf 02/08/2011 at 9:07 AM #

    ^agree totally hoop.

  20. Moose Hunter 02/08/2011 at 9:10 AM #

    I agree with you but would like to go one further. If Dr. Yow announced that Lowe wouldn’t be retained at the end of the season right now, but would coach out the remaining games, a la Bunting, it would remove the pressure and fan rage. We could cheer Sid in his final games, give the team the support it needs, and begin to move on.

  21. Sam92 02/08/2011 at 9:12 AM #

    with a sense of relief, i am on to the search – here’s hoping that we take a chance on someone young but promising.

    any old coach we hire will already have peaked.

  22. VaWolf82 02/08/2011 at 9:18 AM #

    Let’s say we do hire someone with potential in the next week –

    I’d like for Sid to announce that he is moving on and for us to be in a position to announce the replacement in less than a week.

    Both of these statements are woefully short-sighted in that they severely limit the pool of potential candidates. Option 1 is clearly the worst limiting you to people WHO AREN’T COACHING. How many top coaching candidates are in that group?

    Option 2 is nearly as bad limiting your search to teams that aren’t in the NCAAT or the two loser tournaments. Once again, probably not alot of top candidates in that pool either.

  23. ncsu05mit10 02/08/2011 at 9:19 AM #

    I agree with the timing you’ve laid out, though I hope it’s a resignation rather than a firing. Firing Lowe right now also gives our players WAY too much time to ponder where else they’ll try to play if they transfer. Other coaches could find the time to reach out to them. If Yow could take care of business 2-3 weeks after the end of the regular season, with Lowe using that time to convince the players to remain at State, we would be in the best situation possible for 2011-12.

  24. Hungwolf 02/08/2011 at 9:28 AM #

    I’ve never understood the media attitude to us over Sendek. He left, Duh? UNX fired a national coach of the year, maybe if we had made up crab about character, protecting our brand and run Herb in the ground like UNX did to Daughtry maybe we wouldn’t have this problem, but instead we took a higher road. We had a coach that in 10 years never won the ACC regular season or ACC championship and he was the only coach in NCSU history with a 10 year tenure not to do so! Why wouldn’t we be glad herb is gone?

    I am disappointed Lowe didn’t work out, I think so many of us really hoped he would, but it is clear the college game is not his style. I don’t think Lowe will be too disappointed to go back to the NBA, I believe he prefers it. I do respect that despite the loses and building pressure, he showed a lot of character in suspending C J Leslie in mid season.

    Lowe has shown lots of love and care for his players in making sure they go to class and graduate. He also has embraced the history of NCSU and welcomed former players. Something the coach before him did not do, in fact it seemed Herb went out of his way to distant himself and “his program” from our past and former players. So for that thank you Coach Lowe!

  25. PackInsider 02/08/2011 at 9:31 AM #

    RE: Sendek, what did Decourcy say we were wrong about?

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