Tuesday, March 15, 2011

N.C. State’s Sidney Lowe Resigns

From a story by J.P. Giglio in the Raleigh News & Observer:

N.C. State head coach Sidney Lowe resigned Tuesday, ending his tenure at his alma mater. He went 86-78 in five seasons, with a 25-55 mark in ACC play.

The popular former Wolfpack player, who was captain of the 1983 national title team, upgraded the program’s talent the last two seasons but couldn’t move out of the bottom third of the conference standings or into the NCAA tournament. In five seasons under Lowe, N.C. State failed to make the NCAA tournament once.

Under the terms of his contract, which has two years remaining, Lowe’s buyout is worth about $900,000.

A news conference has been scheduled for 6 p.m.

Lowe met with N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow on campus for about 90 minutes today. Yow has not made any public comments about Lowe since the season started, but she is expected to hire an executive consulting firm to aid in her national search for Lowe’s replacement.

Arizona coach Sean Miller, a former N.C. State assistant, and Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, who once worked for Roy Williams at Kansas, are expected to be among Yow’s targets.

Picked to finish fourth in the ACC in the preseason, N.C. State posted a disappointing overall record of 15-16 and finished 10th in the ACC (5-11). After Thursday’s first-round loss to Maryland in the ACC tournament, Lowe spoke passionately about his love of the program and the hope for the program’s future.

Lowe, a longtime NBA coach, returned to his alma mater in May 2006 after a prolonged search for Herb Sendek’s replacement, which sputtered on for weeks after big-name college coaches, Rick Barnes and John Calipari, turned down the job.

N.C. State went to the NCAA tournament five straight years before Lowe’s arrival. But he inherited a program that struggled down the stretch of Sendek’s last season, as the Wolfpack lost six of their last nine games, including a 24-point home loss to North Carolina and a 21-point loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Lowe’s first team featured only one returning Wolfpack starter.

Lowe spent 15 seasons in the NBA as an assistant and head coach. He turned down an offer last spring from longtime friend Flip Saunders to be an assistant for the Washington Wizards.

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