NC State

Yow outlines goals for NCSU excellence on, off field

Posted June 24, 2010
Updated June 25, 2010

— North Carolina State University on Friday named Debbie Yow, sister of the late, legendary women's basketball coach Kay Yow, director of athletics.

She replaces Lee Fowler, who agreed to leave the university effective June 30 after almost 10 years on the job. Yow's contract will pay her $350,000 per year for five years, plus incentives.

"It's really good to be home," Yow told the assembled media and members of the Wolfpack Club at her introduction Friday afternoon.

 The Yow sisters grew up in Gibsonville, N.C.

"We were looking for someone with impeccable experience," Chancellor Randy Woodson said. He described Yow as "an athletic director who can help us win, first in the classroom, then on the field and in the arena."

Yow outlined her plans to build a winning atmosphere at State on and off the field. "We will expect a national Top 25 program, moving toward Top 10 status and competing for national championships," she said.

"We will achieve a graduation rate that places us among the leaders of ACC public institutions year in and year out. It is, after all, the goal – to graduate."

She also acknowledged the avid Wolfpack fan base and promised them access to the AD's office.

"We also need to provide excellent customer service to our fans and special game day experience," she said.

"There's going to be a new e-mail address by Aug. 1 for fans to share issues with parking, tickets or other concerns. Someone will manage and have the authority to respond to those concerns. What fans need will always matter. It is one specific way we can show respect for all the individuals who support Wolfpack teams."

Yow met with the football staff before her press conference at Carter-Finley stadium and she had lunch with the Executive Director of the Wolfpack Club, Bobby Purcell.

Purcell was hoping to become the next NC State athletics director. While disappointed he didn't get it, Purcell told WRAL, "In life, you're going to have a lot of trying times," he explained. "It's how you handle them. Debbie will do a good job and I'll help out any way I can."

Purcell told Yow at their lunch that he wouldn't attend the press conference. "It was her moment," Purcell said.

The choice resonated with N.C. State fans across the Triangle.

"If your name is Yow, and you're good at what you do, and you're an athletic director, and you're looking for an athletic director at N.C. State, it's a natural fit," said Adam Gold, of 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio.

Gold said Yow could be the right person to inject new spirit into N.C. State athletics –  a program which hasn't had a winning football team in nearly five years or a men's basketball team in the NCAA championship in nearly as long.

"She's a winner," Gold said. "I think we can speculate that she'll be good and somebody to unify the N.C. State athletic community."

"There are a lot of folks still on board with football through thick and through thin," Yow said Friday. "I said to [N.C. State head football coach Tom O'Brien] 'You're my man.' I want and need him to be successful. Please understand that achieving these goals will be a process, but this is where we start."

During Yow's 16-year tenure, Maryland has won 20 national championships, including 11 in the past five years. Yow has also significantly increased Maryland's student-athlete graduation rate.

Woodson called Yow's resume "incredible" and said, "She has the ability to manage the most complex organizations, which athletics certainly is."

"You can never go wrong with hiring somebody who is a winner as a person and who has a track record of producing championships as an athletic director," Gold said.

He said he expects that Yow would bring to N.C. State the same tough, aggressive style she's shown at Maryland, where she got into public spats with men's basketball coach Gary Williams and football coach Ralph Friedgen.

"She's tough and she's demanding, but she's smart and she's fair, and she's aggressive. It's going to be fun," Gold said.

Yow is president of the national Division I-A Athletic Directors Association and a member of the board of directors for the National Football Foundation and the USA Football and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Academic Enhancement Committee.

Yow was head coach for the Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball team from 1976 to 1980, then moved into athletics administration at the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She had a successful tenure as athletics director at Saint Louis University.

"She knows how to run an athletic department," Gold said. "She has hired and fired coaches. She has managed people and a very large staff and a pretty large budget."


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  • abeleiii Sep 8, 2010

    First of all as a current NC State student I am sick of hearing about Kay Yow and her family. Yes she was a great coach, leader, etc, but ramming her "legacy" down everyone's throat is not the way to get people to remember her. Secondly, what happen to hiring the most qualified people for the job? NC State obviously did not take qualifications into consideration when hiring Sydney Lowe. I guess they were being politically correct and hiring an "African" American. Now Debbie Yow? If I didn't know better I would think a Carolina grad is in charge at NC State.

  • Lars Marson Jun 29, 2010

    I LIKE YOU ALREADY AD YOW!!! But as I posted a few weeks ago, NCSU baseball/football needs to shape up (Elliot Avent and O'brien) or I want you two shipped out!!

    I like the guidelines AD Yow! Whip 'em all in shape!! B/c Lee Fowler SURE was NOT doing it!!!

  • conrad27713 Jun 28, 2010

    View quoted thread

    Airwrthy, I would love to continue this debate with you but not in the wolves den. Because your opinions is totally political instead of reality. So lets have this debate between you & i by contacting me at And i will promise you that we would have a great political debate but not here. Because i love keeping my sports from my politics & political opinions.

  • aquaman Jun 28, 2010

    If she is posing as a Dr. with a Phd and didn't actually earn one from an accredited university then she is truly a fraud and a phony! How insulting is that??? OMG!! And to've got guts...thank you for stating that so well. And lastly thanks for the 411 that came in from college park....we deserve to know the truth in Raleigh!!

  • blpack90 Jun 28, 2010

    What a diff from the last 10 years. Expectations, accoutability, character on and off the field, winning - not just being competitive. Refreshing. Go Pack!

  • airwrthy Jun 27, 2010

    View quoted thread

    It has everything to do with your coaching. Perhaps you are not a parent and have not considered the thought of sending your 17 year old daughter to play for a gay basketball coach. Or perhaps you may have an 18 year old son, and the thought of him showering in front of his gay wrestling coach might not sit well w/ you either. Perhaps that would not bother you. Most parents who had invested 18 years training their child to have high moral values would cringe at the thought of telling their child to look up to and respect someone who practices gross sexual conduct. You say you don't care, but many other people do. Look at John Edwards, scum-bucket. Tiger Woods, sex-hor. Catholic priest being shouffeled around to different areas where they can molest more children. (Hey, it's their sexual preference, does that not bother you.) The list can go and on. Who Tiger Woods has sex with has nothing to do with his golf game. It has everything to do with how he is viewed as a role model. The same is true for John Edwards, and anyone else seeking a position of athority. Including AD's.

  • fourgoal Jun 27, 2010

    Well, she proclaims to be a christian and when she came to MD her bio listed a PHD in Christian Counseling, by distance education, from Louisianna Baptist University. She went by Dr. Yow based on that PHD. Turns out LBU is unaccredited. She eventually took the LBU "degree" off of her bio. Not very christian like behavior to pass yourself off as having a legitimate doctorate. It sure is interesting that she has blotted out that info in her bio and instead insists on calling herself "Dr." Yow because of her honorary doctorates.

    You Wolpackers get ready. She is wicked as the day is long and is going to chew you up and spit you out, especially the old guard. Her paranoia is palpable and she will get rid of everybody and bring in her minions. She will be stealth but it will happen. She is already starting on Bobby Purcell, he just does not know it. It is now The Debbie Yow Athletic Department, no longer NC State. You ain't seen nothing yet. It took about 16 minutes for everybody in MD to want her gone but the administration never had the guts to send her down the road. We have your Chancellor to thank for ridding us of her. I almost feel sorry for you but we are so happy here in College Park we are too busy thanking you for our good fortune.

    And by the way. She will raid any and every fundraising organization you have to help pay her bills. The university gave her so many outs just to give the impression of balancing the budget. Whoever gets the MD athletic director job is going to be in for a major shock. So, she is going to charm you and sweet talk you and tell the coaches and administrators and Wolfpack clubbers that she is there for y'all the whole time knowing full well that she is going to cut all of you off at the knees and you are not going to even know what the heck hit you.

    Get ready and never say you were not warned.

  • conrad27713 Jun 27, 2010

    View quoted thread

    Excuse me but what does Kay Yow sex life has to do with her coaching ? And who cares about her faith either ? But i do agree with you about her sister as a AD. So do you go around asking your friends or doctors etc if they sexual life ?

  • kraut2 Jun 27, 2010

    Gimme a break! State now considers Women's lacrosse and Field Hockey as big time sports? Talk about trying to put up a brave front. The only NCAA championship that Maryland won that counts for anything was from a coach she didn't hire and didn't get along with. Oh well, she is back home and Maryland seems glad that she is gone. O'Brien and Lowe will have a boss who cracks the whip. Care to start a pool as to how long they last?

  • airwrthy Jun 27, 2010

    View quoted thread

    I'm not sure I agree about the fine Christian lady. Her sister Kay was not. Although this is not politically correct to say, Kay was not heterosexual. I know that does not mean that Debbie is that way. Although I read that Debbie was married (to a man), she still goes by her maiden name "Yow". What does that mean? Has Debbie publicly come out and said she disapproved of Kay's gay lifestyle. Many will say morals should have nothing to do with this. I disagree. I certainly would not call Debbie "a fine Christian lady if she approves of or is gay. It's immoral and therefore not Christian.




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