Commentary

Tudor: Yow deserves this contract extension

ctudor@newsobserver.comNovember 16, 2012 

Debbie Yow is getting exactly what she deserves – the two-year contract extension as N.C. State’s director of athletics that was announced by the school Friday.

In less than three years since Yow left Maryland to succeed Lee Fowler, her impact has been quick, profound, entirely positive and probably long standing.

It starts with the hiring of Mark Gottfried as men’s basketball coach – a decision seen by some as risky, even desperate, when Yow introduced the former television analyst shortly after the end of the 2010-11 season.

Although other targets may have declined Yow’s offer, it took Gottfried, 48, only one season to rejuvenate the once nationally significant Wolfpack. Moreover, he did it at a time when Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and UNC’s Roy Williams are in their 60s. And unless something unforeseen develops, there’s nothing about Gottfried’s personality to suggest he’ll become a job jumper.

Yow’s success goes beyond basketball. Elliott Avent’s baseball team will be a contender for the preseason favorite’s role in the ACC after having gone 42-20 (19-11 league) last season. With sophomore pitcher Carlos Rodon, the baseball team even has a legitimate gate attraction in a fans-challenged sport at most schools.

The Olympic sports have made consistent progress during Yow’s tenure.

The only real area of serious concern for Wolfpack fans is football coach Tom O’Brien, but that’s an issue lots of other schools would like to have to address.

Win or lose Saturday at favored Clemson, O’Brien’s team is bowl eligible for the third straight season and will likely produce another NFL quarterback in Mike Glennon.

It’s worth remembering that O’Brien has kept his program clean and relatively trouble free during a prolonged period of unprecedented upheaval in the ACC.

Yow said upon taking the job that her goal was to upgrade Pack athletics across the board. She’s well on the way.

Tudor: 919-829-8946

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