By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 5, 2006
North Carolina State is poised to end an exhaustive search for a men's basketball coach by hiring Sidney Lowe, the point guard on the Wolfpack's 1983 national title team and former DeMatha High star.
Lowe, who is expected to be introduced as the Wolfpack's coach during a news conference tomorrow afternoon, will replace Herb Sendek, who accepted Arizona State's head coaching offer on April 1. Lowe likely will tend to his duties as an assistant for the Detroit Pistons for the remainder of the NBA playoffs. He also is in the process of completing requirements for his undergraduate degree from Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Va., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Lowe does not have college coaching experience, but he has been the head coach of two NBA teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies.
Sendek took N.C. State to five consecutive NCAA tournaments, but he was the target of incessant criticism by Wolfpack fans who wanted a more charismatic coach who could consistently beat Duke and North Carolina. In coaching circles, the N.C. State job was viewed as one with pitfalls, not the least of which was regular comparisons to Duke and Carolina.
One ACC coach said it was an attractive opportunity for the right candidate, someone brash and unafraid to butt heads with Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams.
N.C. State Athletic Director Lee Fowler initially turned to two high-profile college coaches, Texas's Rick Barnes and Memphis's John Calipari, but was rebuffed. Louisiana State's John Brady, fresh off leading the Tigers to the Final Four, parlayed any interest he had in the job into a sweeter contract at LSU.
N.C. State also was spurned by West Virginia's John Beilein and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin before choosing Lowe more than a month after the search began.
In another coaching development, Chuck Driesell, the Bishop Ireton boys' basketball coach and son of former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, has emerged as a leading candidate to fill Maryland's vacant assistant coaching position, according to high school basketball sources.
"That would be great," Driesell said of joining the staff.
Driesell also was a candidate for a job as a Maryland assistant last year. He would replace Rob Moxley, who became Charlotte's associate head coach. Driesell, who graduated from Maryland in 1985, has been an assistant under Craig Esherick at Georgetown, the head coach at Marymount and an assistant under his father at James Madison.
Note: Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow will be one of six individuals inducted into the school's Hall of Fame on Nov. 10.