Frau Yow’s Gamble NOT Unprecedented
NC State AD Debbie “Frau” Yow’s gamble with a relatively unknown Head Basketball Coach a/k/a “The UNC-W Guy” is far from unprecedented. In fact, one could almost say it copies a most successful strategy even among Triangle-area programs.
As was noted in a reply to a reader comment in the previous column, there has always been an anti-Yow faction of indeterminant size within the Wolfpack fan base. Whatever the genus of that animosity, it exists. If AD Yow “zigs” her detractors immediately declare that she shoulda “zagged” or vice versa. Is it the “she’s a woman” thing or a “Gary Williams said” thing or…. ????
NOTE: Major college Athletics Directors share an inexorable fate wth Sisyphus of Greek mythology …. Doomed to push a large boulder up a steep mountain but never able to reach the top. No matter how many Ws or how many championships, it is never enough to satisfy the ravenous appetite of a totally unforgiving constituency…. Each one of whom is convinced HE could do a much better job if only given the opportunity since he is THE Most Loyal Fan in all of Wolfpack Land…. And blessed with 20/20 hindsight.
This is not to say that AD Yow has won any championships “that matter” (FB / MBB) during her reign as she has not. Irregular upsets over hated rivals is the closest Wolfpack teams have managed. Her critics likely blame her for the infamous missed chip shot at Clemson. That said …..
Choosing the potential of a coach with only three years of HC experience rather than a more seasoned veteran head coach is, as noted above, a strategy that seems to have worked well for Duke (M Krzyzewski)…. UNC (D Smith) …. Kansas (R. Willams) …. And, of course even at NCSU with a quippy Eye-talian fellow from Iona in the early 80s. To be fair, it has also likely not panned out in certain cases too.
Critics can find elements with each case that make the choice of Coach Keatts “different” but lets leave such naysayers to wallow in their own bile.
I will pose a question or two about Coach Keatts’ resume. He is a protégé of Rick Pitino (as was “Herb” for those with selective memories). Hop in the WayBack Machine back to late January and ask NC State fans what they think of “Slick Rick” and the opinions would have have been uncomplimentary. Pitino’s HoF resume is tainted with assorted scandals most recently Ho-gate…. Providing “skanky gals” for recruits. Coach Keatts was on the Louisville staff when that allegedly occurred. Did AD Yow ask Coach Keatts about that and his awareness of it? I certainly don’t know.
Will Coach Keatts hire a staff of over-eager recruiters who will “do whatever it takes” to bring in difference-makers as quickly as possible? Did he and AD Yow discuss the limits of that “whatever it takes”? Again, I certainly don’t know.
Coah Keatts being a Pitino protégé ??? Is that totally a positive? Is Pitino now a “good guy” because it suits a purpose? If he wins with the regularity of Pitino will the end justify the means. I’m sure we all know the answer to that one be it State or anywhere else… of course it does.
That Lane Kiffin line about “angels don’t play football so we don’t recruit angels” applies equally to big time college basketball.
Coach Keatts says he will coach a hurry-up high-scoring offense and intense defense. What did that other Pitino protégé “Herb” promise NC State fans?…. What did Herb’s teams deliver? When UVa hired Tony Bennett did he tell Cavalier fans he would coach a deliberate drain the shot clock offense? I doubt it. What new Power 5 FB coach in the past five years has promised “3 yards & a cloud of dust”? ….. You tell desperate fans what they are desperate to hear.
From what little I’ve read on Coach Keatts’ background, he offers a number of positives for Pack loyalists to be excited about. Certainly, as much at this point as Krzyzewski did at Duke, Roy did at Kansas and a young Jimmy V at NC State. …. TIME will tell.