After N.C. State finished the turbulent 2007-2008 men's basketball season with nine straight losses, Sidney Lowe decided to consult a few veteran college coaches.
They included former Temple legend John Chaney and two other coaches who have won a national title, N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler said today.
The featured speaker at the Raleigh Sports Club luncheon, Fowler wouldn’t name the NCAA champion winners with whom Lowe consulted. He specified, however, that neither one operates at either of the Triangle’s other two ACC schools.
"They told him you have to run your own show; You have to run your own system, the team concept,” Fowler said later.
"Sidney did it on his own. I didn’t tell him to [talk to other coaches]," Fowler added.
Lowe spent 15 years in the NBA, where it’s crucial to keep the multimillionaire superstars happy.
"In college, it's important the coach be happy," Fowler said. "Sidney decided to be happy...it's more about playing within the framework of the team concept, of playing hard, and we’ve done that. Sidney has settled into the situation."
After a slow start this year, State (15-10) has won four of its last six games and appears to be a united Pack with chemistry.
Fowler touched on a few other topics during his appearance.
On women's basketball: Fowler said he hopes to announce a coach to succeed the late Kay Yow by mid April. He mentioned that Yow asked him to announce two years ago that long-time assistant Stephanie Glance would be her successor.
But Fowler said he and other university officials preferred a national search for top positions at N.C. State.
"We did a national search for football and men’s basketball," explained Fowler, adding that women’s basketball should be managed in the same manner. Glance, on the staff for 15 years, is a candidate.
On Wolfpack football: With last year's strong regular-season finish and another solid recruiting class, Fowler reported that Wolfpack football coach Tom O’Brien is "very excited" about the program.
"There's a different attitude as far as discipline, going to class, some of those things we had struggled with," Fowler said. "We are very encouraged about the future."
On future building projects: Despite the economic crisis, State plans to continue with its building program.
Among the scheduled projects is construction of a new field at Carter-Finley Stadium. The agenda also includes completing the tennis complex with new outdoor courts, finishing the track’s renovation, and putting up video boards in Reynolds Coliseum and at the baseball program’s Doak Field.
"We will do these things to top off our facilities," said Fowler, explaining that the upgrades will be funded with a $30 increase in student fees.