Pack Pride got the opportunity to sit down with NC State athletics director Debbie Yow and discuss a number of issues surrounding Wolfpack sports.
Yow touched on a variety of topics in our forty-five minute interview, and in our final segment she discusses several issues.
NOTE: The questions asked were submitted by our premium subscribers.
Your job has had rewards so far, but it has also presented numerous challenges and unpleasant issues to deal with. What keeps the "keeper of the Wolfpack spirit" motivated every day to do the job that needs to be done?
It's all very personal. It's simple for me. I get up everyday fired up to get to work. Let's go. It's another day and an opportunity to find some way to get us on the winning track.
We were reviewing the results across the board this year, and it begins with our benchmarks. We finished 10th in men's basketball and 10th in women's basketball. Those are the facts. What are we going to do about it?
Kellie [Harper] is a terrific coach. She needs improved recruiting in my opinion. If she gets the right players here she will win the national championship. If she doesn't, she won't.
What keeps me going is thinking we can improve, that we will improve, our fans will love it, and they will having bragging rights. The joy of watching us win. The joy the players will have sitting in front of the TV and hearing NC State called out on Selection Sunday... knowing we'll be in the tournament again.
That's good stuff for me.
What do the next five years of NC State athletics look like in your eyes?
All that depends on our revenue capabilities. Hiring and maintaining the best coaches is critically important as well as senior management. We need to get that straightened out first, and we're working on that now.
The campus has been very open to hearing about our issues and have an understanding for where we are compared to our peers. I appreciate that and know it is part of our answer. My boss is Randy Woodson, our chancellor, and he is particularly open to it and concerned. He appreciates the fact that we are not expecting the campus to become a routine contributor of revenue and that we want to remain a self-support unit. However, we do need to figure that out.
How is the coaching search for a new swim coach going, and what are the plans to improve the swim facilities?
The search is going surprisingly well. We don't have a very good facility, so I've been impressed with the quality of candidates who have inquired. Chris Kingston is chairing that search.
There is a half-million dollar improvement plan for the swimming pool area where there is an entrance with offices for the coaches and staff. It will be very modern.
What we are finding out through people that are applying is that if they have their lanes and water they are ready to go. The futuristic idea for swimming is there will be an aquatic center on Centennial Campus.
List the top five facilities additions/improvements that are on your wish list.
[Laughing] I just had a listing of about 50 that I gave back to them and told them to re-organize. I couldn't tell you the top five right now, but I might be able to in a few weeks. It's the end of year, and we're looking at everything right now. We're not looking right now at an indoor facility because we don't know what we're talking about in terms of our resource capability.
We're moving forward with a swimming project. we're doing small things... I'm looking at the east side of Carter-Finley Stadium. We're building six outdoor courts for tennis and soccer is getting pressbox and molding seats. We're doing some small projects such as those.
Thoughts on hiring a public relations director.
We just need restructure. It is a part of our restructuring in terms of what people do, who focuses on what sports, and who focuses on what elements.
It could be that Chris [Kingston] ends up doing that as well. He is the liaison to the Wolfpack Club, he supervises swimming, he supervises media relations, he supervises marketing, so we happen to be hitting on a lot of the areas that he supervises.
He is a very talented guy who has a propensity for talking to media and sharing our vision of the program. I think that is a part of our overall restructuring.
Do you feel like NC State does a good job of getting its vision out?
I wouldn't even attempt to convince anyone that we've told our story very well. I don't think that is reserved just for athletics, that is the story of the university as well. So many good things are happening on this campus that people don't know about, but that is the value of winning. When you win big enough you have a platform you've never had before and people pay attention because it is you saying it and you win.
I've already lived that and know that's there. I know it's true.