New NC State women's basketball coach aiming high

csmith@newsobserver.comApril 9, 2013 

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— In 1993, N.C. State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow hired an up-and-comer from Maryville College named Wes Moore as an assistant coach. He would help the team reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament in 1995.

On Monday, Moore was introduced as the head coach of the N.C. State women’s basketball team – a process which he said wouldn’t have been possible without his first stop in Raleigh.

“It’s a humbling day, I can say that, and it’s a proud day,” said Moore, who comes to the Wolfpack from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “I wouldn’t be here today without (Kay Yow)’s influence and support through all the years … because of my experiences with coach Yow, I can come in here with my eyes wide open. I know what it’s going to take for us to be successful.”

Moore has been successful at every stop during his coaching career, winning a combined 558 games as a head coach with a .767 winning percentage while leading the Mocs to nine NCAA tournaments.

After going over her criteria during her search for a new coach, which included academic success, recruiting excellence and an outstanding track record on the court, athletic director Debbie Yow paused before stating the final reason for hiring Moore.

“His unwavering belief that we can regain our position as a perennial NCAA tournament team over time,” she said during Moore’s formal introduction.

One of the biggest obstacles over the last four seasons under former coach Kellie Harper was one similar to many Wolfpack coaches – North Carolina and Duke.

With the Blue Devils expected to be at the top of the ACC yet again next season and the Tar Heels bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation and more competition coming to the conference with Louisville and Notre Dame, two teams that made it to the Final Four, Moore knows he faces a tough test.

“I understand it’s a great challenge before us,” Moore said. “The ACC is one of the premier basketball conferences in the country … it’s going to be brutal. I understand that. But there are a whole lot of reasons for optimism.”

As the first male head coach of the Pack, Moore referenced the showdown tomorrow night between Louisville coach Jeff Walz and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma by saying, “As far as a guy coaching women, I think the national championship game is tomorrow night.”

Smith: 919-829-4841; Twitter: @RCorySmith

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