Maybe Herb will reconsider
Wow. You thought Steve Lavin would have been a poor choice. After Lee Fowler’s decision to name Sidney Lowe as the next North Carolina State basketball coach, Lavin is looking like the next coming of John Wooden (whose shoes, interestingly enough, Lavin tried, and failed, to fill at UCLA).
It took Fowler more than a month to come up with Lowe? Give my 15-month old a list of names and a dart and she’d have a better choice in seconds, assuming she didn’t nail her dad instead of the list with the dart. The motor skills still need a little work.
I hope Lowe won’t take this personally, but a worse decision the world has not seen since Eve convinced Adam to take some fruit from the tree. And, much as mankind has been paying for that choice ever since, I fear the Wolfpack will be paying for Fowler’s move for years and years to come.
In Lowe’s two stints as an NBA head coach, he not only failed, but did so abysmally. He led Minnesota to a 33-102 record in a pair of seasons, then, after getting fired in 1994, returned in 2000 to embarrass himself even further by going 46-126 before being canned after starting his third season 0-8.
Now, certainly success at the NBA level isn’t required to coach at college. Just ask John Calipari or Rick Pitino.
But those two guys proved themselves in college before flaming out in the NBA. And, trust me, Lowe is neither Calipari nor Pitino. Lowe’s best coaching accomplishment was being called the “coach on the floor” by Jim Valvano during Lowe’s NC State playing days. And Valvano was being kind.
Lowe hasn’t had to recruit. He hasn’t had to deal with boosters. He didn’t even graduate from NC State and is now hurriedly trying to get a degree, presumably online, through some college in Virginia of which I’ve never heard. And I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life.
State fans, do you think Les Robinson was a lousy coach? After the Lowe experiment you might be fondly remembering the days of Robinson. At least the worst that Robinson could finish in the ACC was ninth. Lowe may own 12th-place in the new and improved ACC.
Heck, after this experiment, State fans might be building a statue to Herb Sendek. And begging him to come back.
I’ll admit that I don’t have a great track record on this hiring-of-coaches front. I criticized Virginia for naming Dave Leitao as head coach. And, a few years ago, before Virginia Tech was even in the ACC, I thought Seth Greenberg was a poor choice.
(An aside: Greenberg actually heard me on the radio criticizing him as the new Tech coach, then, in person, came on the air with me to defend himself.)
The jury is still out on both Leitao and Greenberg long-term, but in the early going both have done nice jobs. So, there’s hope for Lowe. Very little hope, but hope.
Here’s the part that gets me. How can Fowler hire Lowe and all but ignore Dereck Whittenburg, Lowe’s former teammate and currently the head coach at Fordham?
Whittenburg has college head coaching experience. Successful experience at that. Plus he was an assistant at both North Carolina State and Georgia Tech, so he knows the ACC. Mark my words: Whittenburg will be a major college head coach one day soon, and a winning one at that.
Of course, by that time, Lowe will be long gone in Raleigh. I give him three years. I give Fowler even less.
After taking this long to make a choice, getting turned down by everyone - including those not even asked to take the job – and ending up with such a poor choice, perhaps Fowler should be packing some boxes and contacting a real-estate agent.
The sooner the better.- Patrick Hite