Viewpoints: NC State Coaching Job

Sports writer Gregg Doyel and radio personality Greg Swaim share their opinions on the NC State coaching job in this exclusive Q&A with Pack Pride.

In this exclusive Q&A, Doyel and Swaim answer questions from Pack Pride about the NC State coaching job, other available head coaching positions, and more.


Gregg Doyel Bio: Gregg Doyel is currently a national columnist or Previously he was the editor of the college basketball page on and has worked as a beat writer for the Tampa Tribune, Miami Herald, and Charlotte Observer.

In 2010, Doyel won the Associated Press Sports Editors award for Column Writing, over 175,000 circulation.

Greg Swaim Bio: Greg Swaim is the director of Greg Swaim Sports, the BigTime Tournaments and the Greg Swaim Recruiting Service, a national recruiting service subscribed to by over 600 Men's and Women's College Programs from across the country.

Swaim is one of only two national voters asked to serve on both the men's and women's McDonald's All-American Selection Committees. Swaim also covers basketball recruiting for such renowned national publications as HoopScoop, Hoops USA, FutureStars and numerous others and he is also called upon each year to choose players for McDonald's, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Street & Smith's and USA Today All-American lists.

Swaim hosts the daily syndicated Greg Swaim Radio Show, in which he hosts many of the top names in sports and the BigTime Sports Television Show. Swaim also regularly makes guest appearances on over thirty radio stations across the country and he has also appeared on television programs such as Center Court, Inside High School Sports & You Make the Call and he was recently awarded the 2010 Ray Soldan Award for Media Excellence by the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association (OBCA) for outstanding media contributions to high schools basketball.


How do you believe the NC State coaching job is viewed nationally?
Gregg Doyel: It's viewed as impossible. Fans want national championships, but Duke and UNC are around the corner and neither K nor Roy is retiring any time soon. It's a tough job, but it's not impossible. But from what I read, that IS how it's viewed.

Greg Swaim: I think it's a terrific job, with incredible fan support and in a great conference. The facilities and the money is there, as well as unbelievable tradition with the national titles in recent memory. Anyone who doesn't think NC State is a sleeping giant isn't paying attention.

How does this job compare to some of the other openings out there right now?
Gregg Doyel: Better job than Georgia Tech, let's get that straight now. That's a pro town, and a bad pro town. Raleigh is a college town, and a good one at that. No comparison. State's better. State's also better than Oklahoma. No football school has a better basketball job than NC State.

Arkansas, though, is better than State. Football school, sort of, but a dual-sports school. Tradition, fans, money to hire a coach. Great building. I give a slight edge to Arkansas.

Greg Swaim: With the current openings as NC State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Tennessee, I believe it's the best job open this year so far.

What type of a candidate should NC State pursue, given the state oft their program?
Gregg Doyel: The best of the best. Do like Fowler did and go after the biggest names, but don't do like Fowler did and scare them off with naked ambition of the AD. That was State's problem five years ago. Not the job ... the AD.

Gregg Swaim: An energetic young coach with a proven track record of winning and national recruiting ties. NC State should be able to go anywhere and recruit.

How important is finding the right fit with a college coach for your program as opposed to just hiring the best name?
Gregg Doyel: At the State level, the best name will be the right fit. Ben Howland wins here huge. Mark Few. Izzo. Krzyzewski. A great coach wins huge at State.

This isn't a niche job where it has to be the perfect niche person. This is a potential killer job -- but it requires a killer coach.

Greg Swaim: Hiring a fit is always more important. There have been some proven coaches who've won everywhere they've been except for the one place they went that wasn't a fit. Eddie Sutton and Billy Gillispie come to mind as great coaches who've won everywhere but at Kentucky...neither were fits at UK.

Who are some of the better mid-major coaches available?
Gregg Doyel: I don't know who's available, honestly. The names are the same. We all know the names. I don't want to put my name next to any names, because I know how that story ends.

Greg Swaim: I don't think NC State needs to settle for a mid-major hire. I think they can go out and compete to lure current head coaches from high majors schools.

Ideally, who do you believe should be the #1 target for NC State and why?
Gregg Doyel: Sorry. See above.

Greg Swaim: Sean Miller is a proven winner with national ties, but is an east coast guy. If you can get him, I think that Sean would be an outstanding coach for the Wolfpack.

Why do you believe so few high-major coaches leave for other high-major jobs?
Gregg Doyel: Fear. If they're paid a fortune and winning big, they don't want to leave that for someone else's fix-er-up. That's what almost any job -- State, Tech, Oklahoma -- is. A fix-er-up. That's why the last coach got fired. Because it's broken.

Greg Swaim: If they are in a good situation and winning, why would they leave their current situation? Leaving the familiar and comfortable for the unknown is why so many stay put.

What do you think of the roster that a new coach will inherit? Do you believe that is a potential plus for NC State, given all players stay/recruits enroll?
Gregg Doyel: Much better than when Sendek left. Back then players had weird issues like Visas (Gavin Grant) and the MLB draft (Andrew Brackman). This team has no such issues. Not a great roster, but a good one. And a good recruiting class.

If every player who could play for State next year does play for State next year, this team could get to the NCAA Tournament. With the right coach.

Greg Swaim: The cupboard is not bare, but ultimately coaches get fired for losing because of not having enough talent. Such is the recent case as NC State, and the new coach will have to hit the ground running and convince incoming signees to stay.

What are your impressions of Debbie Yow?
Gregg Doyel: She's very impressive. I covered the ACC for seven years, and she was at Maryland, and I didn't know her at all -- not sure I ever met her -- but I was in the room when she talked for press conferences and so on, and it was obvious: She gets it.

She's good but not cocky. Confident, a winner, but not a grandstanding spotlight-seeker. She always struck me as so smart, yet knew how to connect with people. I believe in this AD, and in the State president too. Woodson is a sharp dude. Very good combination.

Greg Swaim: I'm not familiar with Debbie, although I knew her sister, the late Kay Yow. She took our women's recruiting service for years.

Pack Pride Top Stories