NC State trustees to meet, football vacancy not specified
Posted November 26, 2012
Updated November 27, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The Board of Trustees at North Carolina State University has called an emergency meeting for Wednesday to discuss "the amount of compensation and other material terms of an employment agreement contract for future employment," according to a document distributed to the board and obtained by WRAL News Monday.
According to the document, the board will meet in closed session via teleconference call at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, although it is not specified whether or not the meeting is to discuss the vacant head football coaching position. The call is stated to originate from the Chancellor's Conference Room.
Tom O'Brien was released at NC State Sunday after six seasons and a 40-35 record. Athletics Director Debbie Yow cited a multitude of reasons for the dismissal and said in her press conference Sunday that she expects NC State to be a perennial Top-25 program.
Finding the coach to do that was a major talking point Monday on Triangle-area sports talk radio.
“It is next to impossible to find a proven head coach who already has a good paying job, in a major conference, and get him to leave that place, for your place,” said David Glenn, host of the David Glenn show on 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio. “State has enough money to attract a viable candidate and a desirable candidate.”
The going rate of that candidate is thought to be between $2-5 million annually, meaning the replacement for the Wolfpack’s top job is likely to be a current assistant or head coach at a smaller school.
But in Raleigh, there are attractive pitches to sell candidates beyond money: Carter-Finley Stadium is a high-quality facility, recently bolstered by booster donations; the Murphy Center is a state of the art training facility and Yow has stated that an indoor practice facility is on the way.
What Yow is looking for in O’Brien’s replacement is an aggressive recruiter with coaching experience and someone with enthusiasm and energy - and they have to turn the team into a championship contender.
Her list for said candidate has already been drafted, undoubtedly. But if there is one thing that Wolfpack fans are well versed in, it is calling an audible when a coaching search goes off-script.
“The list of basketball coaches that Debbie Yow started with, if you listed 12 names, Mark Gottfried was not one of those 12,” said Glenn. “So you could have all of these best-laid plans on day one, on week one, and you'd better be ready to improvise.”
O’Brien’s contract buyout is one thing that Yow does have going for her. The $1.2 million owed will be paid out over the course of four years - a small number in the grand scheme of big-time college athletics. That money will come entirely from the athletics fund, built with things such as ticket and merchandise sales.
And while all this is going on behind the scenes, the NC State football team still has a game to play in roughly a month. The destination and the opponent are still unknown, but the purpose is unmistakeable in the locker room.
“We still have one game left and we’re going to try and win this for coach O’Brien,” said All-ACC First-Team safety Earl Wolff.