Debbie Yow

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    I realize this will not be a popular topic or shared opinion by many here, but I feel like it’s time we give Debbie Yow her due. Objectively speaking, she has been the best AD at State since Willis Casey, and has had a heck of a career.

    I have been pretty tough on her in the past, especially during the “disappointing” (to put it mildly) coaching search that brought us MG. The letter to the fans and the often quick-to-comment style certainly did not sit well with me, either. But truthfully and objectively, looking at her decisive decisions to rid our program of under-performing coaches and her stellar hiring of non-revenue coaches leads me to believe she has been a strong asset to our university. I thought the contract extension for Gottfried was completely unwarranted, but she did not hesitate to remove him MID-SEASON when she found it necessary to do so. That was a bold move. She also acted quickly in canning TOB and made a very strong hire in Dave Doeren. I think everyone here will agree that was a solid hire at the time, and I still think he can have some degree of success at State.

    This brings us to the Keatts hire. This seems to be universally unpopular with some of the veterans at SFN, but I actually think it is another very solid hire for Debbie Yow. She handled it like a professional and was able to get a rising star, similar to the Dave Doeren hire. Will it work out? Results can never be guaranteed. But I do believe it is good, if not great, hire. I believe Keatts has the chance to be a big winner here…much higher ceiling than any coach since V, for sure.

    Some of you may want to take some time to look at Yow’s career and her accomplishments. I have never been a big Yow fan, to say the least, but I have recently began to respect and appreciate all she has done for State and her overall accomplishments. She was a very successful head coach at three schools, did an exemplary job at Maryland getting that athletics department in order, and…in my opinion, is a very good AD at State and will be remembered fondly when all is said and done. Her brash and competitive style rubs some the wrong way, but let’s try to give the woman her due.


    Puff,puff, pass, not puff,puff, hold!


    I like Deb a lot.. she’s not perfect, like any human being, but I don’t think you can question she’s got the NC State win column as her top priority.


    I agree, Troll.

    I also know that winning a press conference is much easier to running a program and winning games, but I am pretty excited about Keatts’ prospects here. I think this guy could be the real deal, and I am looking forward to having a coach at State that actually has an identified style of play…one that should be very fun to watch.


    Well said Hamlet. I think she has done a great job overall in elevating Wolfpack athletics, and she can definitely make the hard decision.


    Debbie Yow is a great AD. Top 20. If she were a man she would be perceived differently. She has made mistakes but what AD hasn’t? Our athletics program is top 25 thanks to her. I think Dave D will work out – notice the program continues to trend in the right direction. Unlike TOB’s program and Gott’s which each showed flashes but were built on a shaky foundation.

    Furthermore Debbie has the guts to admit mistakes and fire coaches when the writing is on the wall. That isn’t very common.


    It is imperative, I suppose, that we also recognize and appreciate Chancellor Randy Woodson since he made the wise decision to hire Yow on his own. That has been criticized on this site as well, but the man seems to value athletic performance and understands the value it brings to the university as a whole, something completely foreign to the few chancellors before him..


    I like Yow. Lady bball is looking tough too. Love to see them run A box and 1 commentators said they were also running triangle and 2 before I noticed them on espn2.


    I like Yow and think she’s done a good job overall. My biggest concern with her when we hired her are finances. I’m told someone is watching that and she’s running in the black.

    I thought she completely blew it with “the email” and the hiring of Gott, but she seems to have learned from that. Both ensuing searches have been run much better.

    My only other real criticism was Doug a Reynolds project that didn’t allow us to return for men’s basketball. I’m not sure what the plan is for after the ESA, but it won’t be Reynolds, which is a shame for this alum who watched many a game there.

    The non-revenue sports are the best they’ve been in 30 years. Women’s basketball is finally getting back to what we came to expect under Kay. I actually think football could turn it around. I’m more excited about this hire in men’s basketball than any since V. Things are looking up….


    The only thing that beats a swimming title is getting a swimming title while I’m drinking a Michelob Ultra.



    As Willie S wrote (a very SMART man…who said….”First, kill all the Lawyers”…save my own first born son)….tongue in cheek…

    Friends, Wolfpack Fans, Countrymen…..I came her to PRAISE AD Yow, NOT bury her….

    I have had a long running email dialogue with her since I first told Dr. Woodson what an idiot she was for even considering firing Sidney Lowe. NOW, being a Valvano worshiper and developing a semi-personal relationship with Coach Lowe over two years of attending his Crabtree radio show, I am PROBABLY biased.

    Dr. Woodson forwarded that to her and we began to “use some bandwidth”. I quickly realized that I was “Out Personed” and Under Firearmed”. She is one more tough cookie who pulls no punches and will “tell it like it is”. Over the years, that email dialog improved and when I would notice a situation that was not adding to the Fan Experience, I could write AD Yow and she would assign someone to “investigate and resolve”. So, I got to know her staff.

    We did not always agree on things (like letting the fans in the PNC “squat” in the Big Donor’s $eat$ when they did NOT show. My “well thought out and effective” scheme did not fit her thinking and we chose to pass on further debate after quite a few exchanges.

    Keatts was a good (hopefully GREAT) hire….we are NOT the NCSU of the 70’s…Charlie Bryant was noted for cheap suits and even cheaper “tastes” in what we paid our coaches. Notably, Norm Sloan tried to negotiate a raise and painted himself into a corner and FL was the Next Stop….even though he remained a loyal NCSU person….as evidenced by his family and Joan’s support and presence at Reynolds. What a classy family.

    Jimmy V told (anyone who would listen save Bryant) that he had NO contract and agreed to coach for the opportunity and that Bryant repeatedly withheld $$ that he should have been paid. THAT was why they had to “Promote” him to combo AD and HBC….so he could earn more. $$, though not the best measure of success, WAS Jimmy V’s Yardstick… that regard, Bryant DID fail us.

    Yow’s “letter” has to be taken in context. She finally “hit the wall”. I exchanged emails with her early on Monday morning (after the Sunday….There is BAD NEWS TONIGHT email). It was well after 2:00 am and she was probably eyeing the minibar.

    Later on, as the little facts and leaks came out, it was evident that she was blindsided by a PG Coach’s wife and felt totally responsible for what had happened….even though she was totally blameless in that Shaka’s wife pulled rank on him and after an all nighter between OUR attorneys and HIS Attorneys (and Agent), we had an Agreement or LOI. THEN, when they called him, he said….Let me think this over and the rest is history.

    Our overall record in the Title IX and other Non-Revenue sports and our ranking in the Director’s cup speaks volumes.

    Her crown jewel will always be (along with Michael Lipitz’s help and dedication) the Renovation of Reynolds. As someone that has had to “demolish or refurbish” buildings, I stand in awe of what they accomplished.

    Keatts, I HOPE, will be also added to her crown. The Nay Sayers that are (were?) on the ledge and also ready to “search and destroy her residence in Cary” are a bit delusional or maybe “misinformed”.

    We have hired the highest ranking coach that said…”I am interested”. We have NOT been the “prize” job that Jimmy V coveted….and that is the fault of the the UNC BOG and the NCSU BOT and the “Yes SIR” Administration (Dr. Monteith would have been a “community organizer” in Salem, MA). SO, we are trying to rebuild and it is tough. We DARED express concern at mediocrity brought to us by Herb….and Not a bad rap. THEN, when the “Recruiter….who could not coach” was selected as he was the LAST “hunk” at the bar….failed….we got HIT BIG TIME.

    Every watch “The Music Man”. Robert Preston’s Prof Harold Hill reminds me of Gottfried. He could mesmerize and recruit and promise and divert and change the subject….but when it came to COACHING….it was a fiasco. He also failed to figure out that HE did not know Diddly about Defense and fired Lutz for a “boost in recruiting”.

    If you ARE someone that watched the Music Man, the “Boys Band” finally did play the “Minuet” using the “Think Method”. What a cacophony THAT was…That is how we played this year.

    SO, Hats off to Yow. You delivered and I am HAPPY. I also like a coach that understands Jimmy V…


    Revenue sports


    this weekend and the next will almost certainly expose teams that operate on relatively limited talent and play at a high level, but Pack got their guy efficiently, no muss no fuss. Perhaps he’s is the man – onlys time will tell.

    on the positive side I guess the jury is out on 2 of the three – yeah she’s a gem


    Time will tell with KK, but KY pulled the plug on Gott when many thought she’d let that situation fester until she retired.



    Always appreciate your insight and posts. Thanks for taking the time.

    We’ve been burned so often and have become so jaded, cynical, and pessimistic, that I think it on occasion clouds our opinions. It became popular over time to criticize Yow for everything without knowing a lot of the information. State isn’t what it once was, so whatever we may think of the school or the revenue coaching positions, the fact is these will need to be built from the ground-up. The foundation has long since been destroyed. Having accomplished, well-paid P5 coaches salivating at the prospect of being our coach is pure fantasy. Dave Doeren was the right hire, and I believe Kevin Keatts is the right hire. I also believe Shaka would have been the right hire if he hadn’t reversed his decision.

    I have complained for years about the Pack and the boneheaded decisions. But some good things are happening here. For the first time since the 1980s, I can see the potential for Top 25 football and men’s basketball programs in the near future. Yow deserves some credit for this, along with the vast improvements in other non-revenue sports and the Reynolds renovations (despite the costs, this is a celebration of NC State athletics and its history and further embraces a winning culture). Baby steps these may all seem, but I am as reasonably positive today about State athletics as I have been since the V/Sheridan days. Call me delusional 🙂


    You are all on drugs.



    Time will tell with KK, but KY pulled the plug on Gott when many thought she’d let that situation fester until she retired.

    Has everyone and their brother forgotten this was after she gave Gott a ridiculous contract extension?

    I will indeed give her credit for being decisive on Keatts. What isn’t known is who else, if anyone, was in the mix. And if it really was no one else, well then, that tells you a lot about what coaches think about Yow.


    Don’t get this post praising DY as the jury is still out. Yes, she’s done some good things compared to past admin but also done some things that has cost the university and fanbase a lot. Shes done some bad things too. The Reynolds makeover is nice and perhaps needed. The Wes Moore hire continues to impress as does the volleyball. Volleyball was like 16-109 in ACC play so that was a no brainer to change. This year will be the real tell of the tape for the DD hire. Its a make or break year so no gold star for DY yet. To me what stands out mostly so far with the DY tenure is the crazy extension and pay raise for Gott. It was not needed, unmerited and way over budget. And the 2.2 million per yr contract for Keatts seems way over the top too when you consider his current base pay at UNCW and what Gott came in for. Time will tell on that one too. And as far as given her props for firing Gott, perhaps her hands were tied more by Woodson and the big donors than her making the decision. I’m not ready to build the monument just yet and maybe never.


    Hope the next AD is more like her and less like Jed.

    gso packbacker

    Like others, I tend to focus more on football and basketball which has led to my continued dismay and frustration. However, if I step back and look at her entire body of work, then I feel that she has indeed moved the ball forward for NC State Athletics.

    That hasn’t happened since Harold Hopfenburg took over.


    I think the problem with most who don’t like DY is that they focus on football and basketball solely. The two hardest sports to get right because they drive revenue. Everyone wants to win in those 2 sports, but not everyone cares about swimming or golf. Also those two sports are driven by men with large egos. We seem to think it is easy. Just pay the coach and lets go win. She has to ensure we make money, that all sports get the resources they need. Many of you don’t realize how hard it to manage an AD. You also forget how crappy we were in most sports before she got here. She has done nothing but elevate our entire AD.

    Also for those of you who think she didn’t consider other candidates, get a grip. When has she ever not her due diligence in a coaching hire? You blast her when the search is public, because we get turned down and roasted in the media. She keeps the search quiet until we hire someone and you blast her because you don’t know all the details about the search. You cannot have it both ways. We are lucky to have her as our AD, period.


    DY done a great job driving the overall athletic dept. I don’t remember our Director’s Cup standing ever being this high. Maybe it has but it’s been a loooong time. She is very responsive, maybe too responsive, to emails and feedback.
    Regardless of what anyone thinks of the hires, the last two major coaching searches have went very smooth. I can’t speak for the athletic budget but I heard it was looking good. Of course a lot of that also has to do with the big increase in budget all ACC schools have gotten over the last few years from increased TV contracts.
    Put me down as a big DY fan.


    When has she ever not her due diligence in a coaching hire?

    Seriously? That’s either a short memory or a selective one.


    Va not being on the inside I don’t know but I suspect she has done reasonably well – better than Foulup. Yes I know that is very faint praise.


    This board universally approved of TOB also at which I was aghast. I’d rather take a shot at an up and comer than a scared, set in his ways retread. I’m thrilled with the hire and I hope the Millers never get mentioned again for any position at State.


    Time will tell with KK, but KY pulled the plug on Gott when many thought she’d let that situation fester until she retired.

    Is this the ghost of Kay Yow?

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