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December 2, 2012

Debbie Yow: NC State got their top choice

After the press conference introducing new head coach Dave Doeren on Sunday afternoon, NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow confirmed that she had in-person interviews with four candidates during the search process. However, one man emerged as her top choice and that was Doeren.

"I had narrowed it very quickly to four guys," she admitted. "I felt like, honestly, we wouldn't be in bad shape with any one of the four. I felt like each one of them brought something pretty special to the table, but Dave was at the top of the list.

"When I sat down with him, in about the first hour, I was trying to sell [NC State], and he just said, 'Debbie, I want this job if you want me.' I thought, 'O.K., we're going to really get down to it here and see what we can get done."

Yow and the Wolfpack locked the coach up with a five-year contract on Saturday, worth $1.8 million per year. If the team should finish ranked among the nation's top 25 in either the Associated Press or Coaches' Poll, an automatic two-year extension will kick in. It's a similar clause to one that is in the deal Yow gave to men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried, which shouldn't be a surprise because the two share the same agent, Jordan Bazant. Yow credited the agent for helping to get the deal done so quickly.

"I knew about Dave long ago," she said. "[Bazant] said you are alike, this would work, this is good, and he was right.

"I was very concerned about the SEC school that was interested [in Doeren], the Pac-12 school that was interested and the Big Ten school that was interested. A couple of those places have pretty deep pockets, so I was concerned. Let's just say I was consistently present with Jordan and Dan Parker [of Parker Executive Search Firm]."

During the press conference, Yow talked about why she thought that Doeren was the perfect fit to lead the Red and White. Although he has no obvious ties to North Carolina, he had exactly what the Pack was looking for.

"He brings to NC State the total package of skills and values that will be required to elevate our program to national prominence over time," she said. "First and foremost, he is a player's coach, willing to spend the time needed to develop trusting relationships both on and off the field of competition. Secondly, he is a man of integrity, following the letter and spirit of all NCAA rules throughout his career. This, he is an overachiever who challenges himself and those around him to refuse to accept the status quo, both competitively and academically.

"In addition these three over-arching traits, he has a relentless work ethic, whether recruiting players, demanding excellence in the classroom or expecting service to our community. In particular, his energy and passion for being at NC State caught my attention and served as a springboard for our conversation about opportunities to pursue excellence here."

Doeren's championship experience was also a positive that Yow liked during the search process. In 18 years as a coach, Doeren has enjoyed 15 winning campaigns and coached six conference champions. He also helped Montana reach the FCS National Championship game twice, including a victory in 2001.

"There's really no substitute for having experienced - as a staff member, as a player - and won championships," she said. "It's one of the things that I tell the coaches here in coaches' meetings. I've been a part of 20 national championship and it's really special. We can get there, but we've got to keep plowing ahead. I don't think there is a way to express how important it is to have been there and done that in some role, where you actually witnessed it and have a personal picture of what it takes to get there."

Yow noted that the schemes the coach will employ were not a factor in her decision, although she did briefly talk about that with him. Doeren said during the press conference that he does not know what systems the team will employ until after he has his coordinators hired, but he did admit that his defensive background is with a 4-3 alignment.

"He's smart and creative," Yow said. "He's not wed to a system, he's going to do what he has to do to match up the talent that we have with what he's trying to do. That's what I mean by smart, that's really an important trait for any coach. Some coaches don't do that, they say, 'this is my system and we're going to run it. You better do it and do it well,' when in fact, the players might not have the talents to run that particular system well."

The athletics director was obviously pleased with her latest hire, but she was adamant that now is not the time to celebrate the newest member of the Pack.

"It's not a time to do anything close to bragging," she noted. "This is a time to buckle down and work. This man just lost a talented senior class, so I'm already concerned for him, in terms of the rebuilding process. Our fans have been through a lot rebuilding, so it's probably a challenge for them to hear that again, but I think we all understand the role our seniors are playing and we don't know if there's anyone in the junior class that plans to leave early, so he really does have his work cut out for him.

"Under his leadership, we will pursue excellence in all the challenges faced by our football program as he begins the rebuilding process."


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