Everyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of the Maryland Terrapins. It may not be on the same level as my fanship with Georgia, but it’s up there. Anyways I keep reading about how ex Maryland AD, now NC State AD Debbie Yow is blaming Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams because no one wanted the job at NC State and it amazes me. At a press conference introducing the NEW head coach Mark Gottfried a reporter asked Mark a question along the lines of Debbie having a reputation of being hard to work with and this is what Debbie had to say;
“I don’t have a reputation across all of men’s basketball as being difficult to work with. I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage this search. Come on, we all know that. Ok, so whatever.”
First of just let me say that this probably wasn’t the appropriate response since you are introducing a NEW head coach. When you say that Gary Williams is sabotaging your search you’re basically saying that you settled for Gottfried. How about that for an introduction? Now let’s be realistic. You couldn’t lure Shaka Smart from VCU and you couldn’t lure Gregg Marshall from Wichita State.
In reality that probably has nothing to do with Gary Williams and everything to do with the fact that NC State is just not that desirable of a job. NC State has not been in the NCAA tournament in the last five years and their men’s basketball program is pretty subpar at best. Who wants to go coach a subpar program when you have to compete against the likes of Duke and North Carolina multiple times a year?
Was it assumed that because Shaka Smart and Gregg Marshall coached at so called “mid major” schools that they would jump at the opportunity to coach in a major conference? Or is it because presumably NC State could offer them more of a payday? Apparently neither of those two reasons or any other reason for that matter was good enough to get those two coaches to leave a good situation for a bad situation. Now I think that NC State did okay with the Mark Gottfried hire. In 11 seasons at Alabama he took them to the NCAA tournament 5 times so he is somewhat successful.
Let’s be honest though NC State has a long way to go with its basketball program and I think that it would have been hard to sell it to any coach, let alone to coaches who are having success at their current schools. Now I’m not saying that Gary Williams didn’t have a part in it, but I have yet to see any proof. I just think that Debbie Yow should take a good look at the state of her men’s basketball program before blaming someone else because she couldn’t get the coach she really wanted.