The Drive Tuesday 3-27-12: NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow joins the Drive to discuss her hire of Mark Gottfried, her thoughts on the NCAA Tournament and where she sees Wolfpack basketball going for years to come.
Mark Gottfried was a recent hire by Yow and one she is thrilled with. She said she noticed a great fire in him that reminded her of one of her all time favorite hires, the late Charlie Spoonhour.
“I’ve hired a lot of coaches because I’ve been an athletic director for 22 years…Mark reminds me a lot of [a coach I hired years ago], Charlie Spoonhour…I like hiring coaches. It is very messy usually, and you really can’t get caught up in it…Mark and I have known each other since he was a freshman in college…My initial question for him [since he had been in television] was, ‘Do you still have the fire, the passion?’…I wasn’t sure until I saw him face to face…he has far exceeded expectations in year one.”
Yow understands how close it was for NC State, barely scrambling in at the last second to the NCAA tournament. She said she knew it was close at the end, but had no idea they would be literally the last name called during the selection process.
“Our backs were against the wall after the Clemson loss. Obviously if we had not beaten Virginia, we would not have made it as far as we did…as it ended up in the brackets, we were literally the last team named, so it was a little stressful. There was a lot of joy that broke out in the room…I have watched a lot of coaches do their thing, and our players bought in in a big way…”
Yow was obviously disappointed with NC State’s exit from the NCAA Tourney, but she said she was pleased with how the team managed to hang in there, even with season-low stats.
“I told Mark on the bus after the game…if anyone had said to you yesterday you can shoot all time low for the season, 28% from the field…lose your leading scorer for a significant portion of the game, and you still, have the opportunity, in the last 30 seconds of the game to shoot for three and tie it, to go in to overtime? And that is what happened!…I just see a tremendous hunger from the coaching staff and the team!”
Yow and Mark Gottfried are both excited for the seasons to come, looking to grow the basketball program to hang with their fellow rivals Duke and North Carolina.
“I pay attention to what [our rivals are doing] because I might learn something…what we are really measuring is where we have been, where we are today, and where we are going…we are not talking about what anybody else is doing, but what our next steps are to continue to improve the program…we don’t think there is a limit to the program…playing [Duke, UNC, Florida State] back to back to back, that was murder…losing four in a row…and then this man pulls us up…becoming a Sweet Sixteen team! [It was amazing].”