With the attention of the entire Wolfpack nation focused on the future head football coaching position, equally important will be the assistants that coach chooses to join him in Raleigh. While a new coach will obviously bring many of his own assistants with him, there are several qualified members from the Chuck Amato regime that would likely get serious consideration as well. Pack Pride breaks down some of the top choices and why they may be a good fit to stay on with the Wolfpack.
Position with NC State: Tight End coach and recruiting coordinator
Why he should be considered: NC State recently had five players receive all-ACC mention. Three of those players (Tank Tyler, Darrell Blackman and Pat Lowery) were recruited by Cignetti. A fourth, Anthony Hill, was coached by Cignetti. He has proven to be a relentless and effective recruiter, landing players like Toney Baker, Ray Brooks, Curtis Crouch and DeMario Pressley. As a tight ends coach for State, Cignetti has proven to be one of the conference's best. The last four starting tight ends under Cignetti have earned all-conference honors including Hill in 2006, Willie Wright in 2001, Sean Berton in 2002 and TJ Williams in 2005. Cignetti has been retained by NC State and is helping to bridge the gap until a new coach is named. While that doesn't guarantee a spot with the new staff, it certainly gives him a leg up. Because of the results he's produced as a position coach as well as his super recruiting efforts, Cignetti is a coach that should get major consideration for a spot on the new staff.
Would Cignetti stay in Raleigh? Likely. However, Cignetti isn't under a long term contract so he would probably listen if other schools come calling.
Position with NC State: Defensive line coach
Why he should be considered: Stroud moved from strength and conditioning coach to defensive line coach in 2004 and the results were almost immediate. He helped develop three NFL first rounders in Mario Williams, Manny Lawson and John McCargo. This season Stroud coached DeMarcus Tyler to first team all-conference honors and a likely pick during the first day of the 2007 NFL draft. Waiting in the wings is standout DT DeMario Pressley who is a future NFL-caliber player as well. He coached a defensive line in 2006 that greatly exceeded most observer's expectations after the departure of three NFL-bound starters. Equally impressive was Stroud's impact on Wolfpack recruiting. While many Pack faithful bemoaned the loss of Doc Holliday to Florida, Stroud showed there was no learning curve for him on the recruiting trail as he inked six prospects in the class of 2006 and had landed verbal commitments from four players for the class of 2007. Like Cignetti, Stroud is young, energetic, a tireless worker and a proven position coach. He would give the Pack a continued presence in Florida which is almost a necessity in the new ACC.
Would Stroud stay in Raleigh? Maybe. Most feel that Stroud's loyalty to coach Amato could be a stumbling block. However, should a coach like Jimbo Fisher get the job, we could see a definite scenario for Stroud staying on staff.
Position with NC State: Offensive line coach and former strength and conditioning coach
Why he should be considered: Meyer is a young, fiery, motivated coach that is extremely well liked by the current players on the team. He was thrust into a difficult situation as a first year offensive line coach and led a squad that wasn't particularly deep with talent and besieged by injuries late in the year. In all fairness, it is unlikely Meyer would be named as an OL coach when a new staff is announced. However, his work as strength and conditioning coach was unquestioned and he would be perfect for the job should he be willing to accept.
Would Meyer stay in Raleigh? Maybe. Like Stroud, Meyer was extremely close to coach Amato. He may also be hesitant to return as the strength and conditioning coach. However, his ties to Raleigh are deep so a return would be possible.
Position with NC State: Running backs coach
Why he should be considered: 16 years at NC State says it all. He's coached under the last three head coaches at NC State- tutoring such players as Anthony Barbour, Gary Downs, Tramayne Stephens, Ray Robinson, TA McLendon, Toney Baker and Andre Brown. Portee brings a wealth of experience as well as history at NC State and is extremely well-respected in coaching circles. He would also bridge the gap from the old regime to the new with two of NC State's most critical offensive players in Baker and Brown. The fact that he was retained as an interim coach should get him serious consideration for a spot on the new staff.
Would Portee stay in Raleigh? Likely. Portee and his wife are firmly established in Raleigh and it's hard to fathom him turning down an opportunity to stay with the Wolfpack.
Position with NC State: Director of high school relations
Why he should be considered: The job Jamison has done in the past year on the recruiting front has been remarkable. After spending two years under former director of high school relations, Bob Lacavita, Jamsion moved to East Carolina for a year before returning to State when Lacavita left for Florida in the same capacity. In a short period of time Jamison proved to be a tireless worker and as one coach told us, "Jamison worked circles around Lacavita." Jamison's efforts have been crucial to State identifying young talent earlier than ever before. He has built relationships with coaches across North Carolina that would be difficult to replace regardless of who a new staff brings in.
Would Jamison stay in Raleigh? Likely. There's no doubt that Jamison aspires to be a position coach and if a spot were to be offered, it is unlikely he would turn it down. Short of that we think odds are in the favor of Jamison returning should he be asked.