NC State

Whittenburg's return to Raleigh a welcomed accident

Posted July 30, 2013
Updated July 31, 2013

— Thirty years ago, Dereck Whittenburg and North Carolina State shocked the world. Last week, the former Wolfpack guard received another surprise involving his alma mater.

"It happened by accident," Whittenburg said. "Coach (Mark) Gottfried and I were just talking, Larry Farmer had just left, gone back to Western Michigan. He was really asking me about other guys who might be interested, and he kind of threw it out there, 'what do you think?' And I said, 'what do you mean?' And he said, 'about coming back!'"

Whittenburg fielded the phone-call in the big apple - and made the decision in a New York minute.

"He said 'when do you want to start?' and I said 'I want to start today,'" Whittenburg recalled. "He said, 'where are you?' I said, 'right in front of the building, can you let me in?'

“I wanted to get started, I was that excited,” Whittenburg continued. “I drove right down from New York. I just wanted to show him that I appreciate this opportunity and I'm ready to get back to work."

Whittenburg has wasted little time in getting going in Raleigh as the ink is still drying on the paperwork filled out a mere day ago. He's already attended workouts as Gottfried's senior assistant and director of player development.

"It gives me a lot of opportunities, in a restricted way, to help the players and the staff in any way I can," Whittenburg said.

That opportunity to teach trumped all else, including what became his second love: broadcasting.

"I loved TV," said Whittenburg. "It was exciting. ESPN and Disney were great to me. I had a wonderful experience. I just missed the camaraderie with the kids and the coaches, and I missed the game."

Thus begins Whittenburg's third stint on NC State's staff and fourth go-around with the university -- proving that you can go home again, several times over.

22 Comments

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  • Luv2Camp Aug 1, 2013

    I hope DW can bring some life experiences to the team and keep our guys out of trouble. He definitely has seen the highs and the lows of college sports.

    BTW - if DW never got his degree, GET IT NOW. No excuse, take the classes on campus.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Jul 31, 2013

    View quoted thread


    I think you mean, if it were not for the PERFECT pass... :)

    And, you don't believe for a minute that that takes anything away from a national championship do you? I don't ever see you posting that a giveaway pass is why your beloved Heels won in 1982, or a Chris Webber timeout when they had none left is why your Heels won in 1993.

    A championship is a championship is a championship........ that is, until the banner falls. Heh heh!

  • kato_karma.v6 Jul 31, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Also speaking of accident...

    if it were not for an airball...

    DW would have lived his life (to date) in obscurity.

  • ciscopack Jul 31, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Not the best for sure, nor the worst. In sports announcing however, I'd put Dr. Jerry Punch, Terry Gannon and Debbie Antonelli all above anyone who went to Unc-CHeats.

    I'm glad to have Whit on board helping Wolfpack basketball.

  • StateGirlalways Jul 31, 2013

    Welcome Home!!!! I think this is a great addition! He has passion for this school and knows basketball and what it means to play in the ACC. Teach these kids about cutting down the nets!!! Go Pack! Thanks Gott for getting Whitt back home!!

  • tdouble232323 Jul 31, 2013

    Speaking of accidents, DW as a color analyst was a train wreck.

  • bobbyj Jul 31, 2013

    pack is stinky.

  • Ray Jul 31, 2013

    My nephew Chris Gaston played for him at Fordham University. My sister and brother-in-law really liked him. Good luck and welcome back home!!

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 31, 2013

    Great call.

  • mike28 Jul 31, 2013

    Welcome back Whittenburg! He has studied the game from every angle (playing, coaching and broadcasting) and his experience will definitely be an asset to the team. GO PACK!!!

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