Yow Raising The Bar On Non-Revenue Expectations

As many are aware, recently Debbie Yow had to fire Coach Carter Jordan, the 8-season coach of our wrestling team.  There has been a lot of discussion on our forums about the issue, but many are still unaware of what is going on in the non-revenue world of NC State athletics.

The following comes from my university-centric blog Wolfpack World and explains who Coach Jordan is and gives a brief overview of exactly what happened.

The latest news in Debbie Yow’s crusade against athletic mediocrity is obviously the dismissal of our 8-season men’s wrestling coach Carter Jordan.  From a recent interview he had with The Technician, it appears that Coach Jordan disagrees vehemently with the athletic department’s decision, or at least with their press release.


First, a brief history lesson.  Coach Jordan’s predecessor is Bob Guzzo who had served as head coach for 30 years, dating back to the athletic administration of Willis Casey and coaching in the same era as Lou Holtz, Norm Sloan, Jimmy Valvano, and the beginning of Kay Yow’s women’s basketball program.  In 30 years, he went 356-183-7 overall and 115-50 in the ACC.  That’s a guy who wins 65% of the dual matches he attends and 70% of his conference matches.  He also lead NC State to 86 individual conference championships, 13 ACC titles, and 3 ACC championships in his last 4 seasons.  Overall that adds up to almost 3 individual conference championships each year of his career and an ACC title almost every two years.

So looking at how Coach Guzzo did, how did Coach Jordan build on that success, especially the momentum of winning 3 ACC titles in the last 4 years?  He finished his 8-year career at 66-77-3 (45%), had 13 individual conference championships (just under 2 per year on average) and won 1 ACC title out of a possible 8.  Unlike Coach Guzzo who took an unknown program and put it on the map, Coach Jordan took a pre-built winner and managed to sink to mediocrity.  Even giving him 8 years to ‘catch his second wind’, his only ACC title was in 2007, less than halfway through his tenure.


Carter Jordan served as a long-time assistant coach under Guzzo.  When Guzzo announced his retirement, inept athletic direct Lee Fowler (the same brain child that gave us Sidney Lowe after a botched coaching search) rightly appointed Jordan as interim head coach, but then followed that decision up by naming him permanent head coach.  He had been an assistant for Guzzo since 1997 and wrestled for Guzzo prior to that in 1983-1986.

So that makes him an ‘alumni’ of our athletic program…

Putting the slights of Lee Fowler aside (and trust me, they are legion), Jordan was the lazy hire.  He was already at State, we already had a contract for him, and he already knew the administration.  All Fowler had to do was sit back and use the flawed logic of “you already know and love this guy… plus, he’s one of our own!”  This logic has bit NC State in the ass time and time again.  NC State’s wrestling program, something that would be envied by most coaches of any varsity sport, was taken from a regular top-20 program to a program that wouldn’t sniff an ACC (duals) title in 5 years.
(link to full story)

The rest of the story talks about the problem with hiring alumni, but there is another important take-away from this story: Debbie Yow’s attention to excellence in our non-revenue sports.

Unfortunately, due to the ESPN-centric nature of many sports fans, these guys (non-revenue athletes and coaches) don’t get the credit the are owed.  While the ACC doesn’t have a “clear front runner” in wrestling, NC State is undoubtedly a powerhouse in the sport, or at least we were.  While Coach Jordan has been able to continue producing quality individuals who go on to win various honors and titles, the team has not been performing.  In previous administrative eras, it could be argued that as long as Jordan wasn’t doing anything illegal and was still gaining a few notable results, he was good-to-go.  But as SaccoV put it in our forums

Also, if Debbie really is the type of AD we want (and I agree that she is), coaches like Jordan are casualties of the previous system (as has been previously stated).

A university’s attention to non-revenue sports is indicative of their attitude towards athletic achievement in general.  It is similar to the phrase people use to define integrity: “Your character can be defined not by the things you do when people are looking, but by the things you do when no one is looking”.  Unlike in football, basketball (men’s and women’s), and baseball, a national title in wrestling isn’t going to get you on the front page of the Charlotte Observer (actually, being in an NC State uniform generally isn’t going to get you on the front page of the Charlotte Observer, but that’s another article for another day).  Despite that, Yow’s mentality of athletic achievement shines through, even where it may not be as visible to the public eye and that is a very good indicator of exactly the type of leader Debbie Yow really is and exactly what kind of expectations she has for this program, even when not as many people may be looking. 

In a way, by Carter Jordan having such a piss-poor attitude about being asked to resign (at least that’s how I would determine telling your boss to “Go to Hell”), he highlighted one of Yow’s greatest strengths: an unwillingness to accept mediocrity and the will to enact positive change.  Yow is here to change the old paradigm of results being “good enough” which is in-line with a lot of what she tried to do at Maryland.  If anyone was in “wait and see” mode about Debbie Yow when she was hired, it’s time to wake-up and realize that she’s moving NC State in the right direction.

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***ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NCStatePride has been writing for StateFansNation.com since 2010 and is a 2009 graduate of the College of Engineering.

ACC & Other AD & Department Athletics Directors Non-Revenue

18 Responses to Yow Raising The Bar On Non-Revenue Expectations

  1. tractor57 04/02/2012 at 4:27 PM #

    In many ways the situation has turned. Now there is an expectation of excellent results – on and off the mat, court, field, etc.

    DY gets my support and apparently she has the support of the Chancellor. I have to say at the beginning I was “looks like a good hire but I’m reserving judgement”. I’m all in now.

  2. otisthetowndrunk 04/02/2012 at 4:48 PM #

    Good article. I knew a little about what was going on with wrestling at State, is good to see Dr Yow walking the walk.

    One question/request though, instead of almost 3/2 per year, could you give us the ratio out to 2 or 3 decimal places. Is a less subjective measurement, and you know how us wolfpackers like our decimals and what not.

  3. state73 04/02/2012 at 4:48 PM #

    Another one of Fowler’s messes that Debbie Yow has to clean up. We are a major university. We should not hire anyone as a head coach in any sport without head coaching experience!!!

  4. Pack78 04/02/2012 at 4:51 PM #

    Debbie is clearly in charge of our Athletics Department; her expectations of excellence in the non-revenue sports portend good things (which we are already seeing) in the revenue sports-fire ahead Ms. Yow! The accountability that she demands from all coaches is refreshing to see.

  5. WolfpackWorld 04/02/2012 at 5:00 PM #

    Ha. No problem, Otis. I respect a man that respects his numerical notations.

  6. old13 04/02/2012 at 5:21 PM #

    In short, AD DY rocks IMHHO!!

  7. Wufpacker 04/02/2012 at 5:29 PM #

    While I didn’t necessarily expect wrestling to be at the top of the list, it’s still nice to know we have leadership in place now which cares about more than just the financial bottom line. Looking forward to actually competing in the non-revs in the not too distant future.

    In other news, it appears as if one of NCStatePride’s multiple personalities has finally broken out and set up shop on its own. Like the new site ‘Pride.

  8. packof81 04/02/2012 at 7:16 PM #

    We now see just how well Lee Foulup knowed rasslin.

  9. mak4dpak 04/02/2012 at 7:17 PM #

    Finally we have an AD with some balls, and its a woman. NC State is moving in the right direction, thanks to DY.

  10. howlie 04/02/2012 at 8:43 PM #

    bisquitball coach folwer knows his wrasslin!

  11. lawful 04/02/2012 at 9:32 PM #

    “Wait and See mode.” Wait and see who I fire next…

  12. Yosef5 04/02/2012 at 10:29 PM #

    @mak4dpak — I think the lovely Betty White sums it up best…
    “Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding”

  13. howlie 04/03/2012 at 4:07 AM #

    Would be good to get an ‘inside’ view on Yow’s hire. I don’t know that we ever got the full story. Folwer’s buddy Smedes York was in charge of the selection committee, and didn’t have Yow’s name on the list. He presented his short list to Woodson, who threw the knuckle ball to hire Yow.

    We need to get ‘the rest of that story’…

  14. papackman 04/03/2012 at 6:16 AM #

    Nothing like good solid leadership…..kudos Dr. Yow and Dr. Woodson

  15. BJD95 04/03/2012 at 7:00 AM #

    Yes, that was purely a Woodson move. All inevitable blame and/or credit belongs to him.

    Used to know more details, but I’m old, tired, and forgetful. 🙂

  16. TheCOWDOG 04/03/2012 at 8:35 AM #

    [ “Wait and See mode.” Wait and see who I fire next…]

    When Lisa Navas is gone, where Yow is with the ” Olympic ” sports will be clearer.

    Yeah, I know. Softball is ESPN centric. And Fox.

    IMGFO…there was something more to the wrestling change. Maybe a little catalyst besides record. Just an opinion peeps, unfounded at that.

  17. WolfpackWorld 04/03/2012 at 8:57 AM #

    ^I think your opinion is well-founded. I don’t know the details, but this coach has had a few faux pas moments that has had people unhappy with him. Not knowing how to control your mouth, mixed with mediocre results is a recipe for getting your ass fired. The forum thread elluded to this a little, as well.

  18. freshmanin83 04/04/2012 at 12:48 PM #

    Beware the Peter Principle.

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