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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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  • The Greatest Ever Jul 30, 11:13 p.m.

    This guy is a few years older than I am and looks like he's 70, man he's really aged.

  • gtr Jul 30, 11:36 p.m.

    Spelling of the state's capital city in the title of the article?

    Another <facepalm> at WRAL's expense.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 31, 7:00 a.m.

    Whittenburg is a good addition to the coaching staff IMHO.

  • Hans Jul 31, 7:48 a.m.

    Lord have mercy - what a train wreck.

  • tweeks3 Jul 31, 8:07 a.m.

    Welcome Back!

  • Knightwolf Jul 31, 8:42 a.m.

    Happy!Happy!

  • swst04 Jul 31, 9:25 a.m.

    Should we expect to see S. Lowe come back next???

  • Ken D. Jul 31, 9:55 a.m.

    Lord have mercy - what a train wreck.

    — Posted by Hans

    Just one more thing you don't like about State. Come to think of it, I can't ever remember you liking anything about State.

  • eYore Jul 31, 9:56 a.m.

    Lord have mercy - what a train wreck.

    — Posted by Hans

    It looks like NC State is bringing back home a member of its history making squad who has playing, coaching and broadcast experience. Exactly how is this a trainwreck? It appears to me that coach Gottfried honors the past of the program with this hire.

  • Euro American Jul 31, 10:52 a.m.

    If he keeps coming back, maybe he should also get his NC Tate degree.

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