AUDIO: Fowler Discusses the Hire

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State athletics director Lee Fowler fielded questions from the media after naming Kellie Harper the new women's basketball coach.

Lee Fowler Interview

"You're trying to hire the best coach. That's the thing you do in every search."

"It became pretty apparent... I used the group as advisors and I really wanted their opinions... Stephanie was the only assistant coach we interviewed, was even in play. Media outlets talked about others, but we didn't talk to any other assistant coaches."

"We zeroed in on head coaches pretty early, but we felt like we owed Stephanie the opportunity to interview and if she ended up being the best situation that's what would happen."

"Stephanie and I were very honest with each other throughout the entire process."

"Two years ago when Kay talked to me about Stephanie and naming her back then... it was a situation where that would be what happened... she knew that her not being a head coach was not a good thing for her because other people had been head coaches.

"I think that when Kay told us, we told her exactly what was going to happen. [Glance] would be considered and promised her she would be in it but she'd have to compete like everybody else and the best coach would win out."

"She mentioned to me that she had gone after the Charlotte job... they basically offered the job. But she couldn't come back to State, they wouldn't allow her to leave and come back to State, she had to put that in the contract, but that wasn't something she was interested in doing."

"She knew that was a detriment and in the end the committee felt like we needed a head coach or somebody who had been a sitting head coach."

"She was the only assistant I interviewed at all."

"We talked to all of the major coaches about who they thought would be good here. Early on they said Stephanie, but we said, 'Okay, that's your opinion but tell us other names' and they did."

"We really didn't starting talking to people like Kellie until after the NCAA Tournament had finished. That's really when we started interviewing. We did all of the interviews in about seven days."

"We were trying to get a special committee and trustees call last Friday but we couldn't get the contract settled so we decided to just wait until the trustees meeting. We waited four or five days longer than we already had it worked out and of course that made it tough on Stephanie."

"It always makes it tough on me when you guys are in to long searches and that sort of thing."

"We interviewed about six people in person."

"I think that Kellie, because of her playing and winning national championships, we knew she'd seen it at the highest level and I think that added to her candidacy."

"You go into searches, we had about 20 people on the list. We went through the advisory and had about five or six that I was going to interview. She probably wasn't at the top when we started because I had never met her and didn't know much about her."

"I interviewed her for about a three-hour interview, and she moved up very quickly. She was very impressive. I called Pat back and she told me she was the toughest girl she ever had play for her."

"I probably don't have the story right, but she tore her ACL and three months later she played and led them to a national championship."

"[Coach Summit] said she's young, don't let that scare you, and she's mature well beyond her years... Pat Summit was unbelievable at talking about her. She said she felt like one day she'd be one of the people considered to come back and take her place."

"Everywhere I turned and everybody I talked to her name popped up and everybody felt like she was more than ready... just a superstar waiting to be given an opportunity.

"I'd love for David Horning to replace me when I leave here but I'm not sure you'll get that because I ask for that... it's always a feeling. Kellie would probably like to name her replacement at Western, but the people that are there and trying to move the program ahead... I think you've got to do what's best for the program. I think Kellie is the best fit, and the best to move ahead with the program."

"It's a part of my job. We don't get any wins, only losses. That's one of those things about being an AD in this media savvy age with the Internet."

"We really tried to keep it on who would be the best coach to move us forward."

"The total package of being head coach. It's kind of like being an AD. If you haven't been an AD, it's kind of hard to get an AD job because they know you've never been there to make all the decisions and do it for a period of time."


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