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     Deborah A. Yow
    Deborah A. Yow

    Position:
    Director of Athletics

    Phone/Email:
    919-515-2109 / d_yow@ncsu.edu


    When Deborah A. Yow was hired to be NC State's director of athletics on June 25, 2010, her goal was to make the department she inherited one of the best in the nation.

    In four years, she has taken many steps to accomplish that goal by recalibrating competitive and academic expectations. Working closely with her senior staff, she has ensured that financial resources for teams have improved dramatically and that coaches are encouraged to recruit the best prospects available - in both character and competitive achievement.

    The Wolfpack's program of 23 varsity sports has made remarkable improvement in its national standing in the NACDA Director's Cup, a measure of competitive accomplishments for all NCAA varsity sports. From 2010-12, the school made the biggest single jump of any ACC school in the 20-year history of the rankings, improving from No. 89 to No. 37.

    In the 2012-13 academic year, NC State moved up to No. 34 in the Director's Cup, as a record 18 sports were represented in postseason play. NC State was one of only three NCAA institutions in the nation to have their football team play in a bowl game, their men's basketball team play in the NCAA Tournament, and their baseball team participate in the College World Series. UCLA and Louisville were the others.

    Among the competitive highlights of 2013-14, sophomore wrestler Nick Gwiazdowski won the Heavyweight title at the NCAA Championships, becoming the Wolfpack's 30th individual national champion and the sixth wrestler to bring home a title. NC State was among only seven percent of the nation's 351 Division I programs that sent both their men's and women's basketball to the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore T.J. Warren became the sixth Wolfpack men's player to be named ACC Player of the Year and was selected with the 14th pick in the first round of the NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. In fact, NC State was one of just four schools in 2013-14 (along with UConn, Stanford, and Louisville) to have a student-athlete drafted in the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and MLS. Additionally, the women's golf team enjoyed its highest NCAA Championship finish in history (10th) and softball advanced to its second consecutive NCAA Regional Championship.

    In her first four years on the job, Yow has made significant changes to the structure, branding and outcomes of the athletics department.

    She has hired nine new head coaches: men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried, men's soccer coach Kelly Findley, women's soccer coach Tim Santoro, men's and women's swimming coach Braden Holloway (a former NC State swimmer), wrestling coach Pat Popolizio, softball coach Shawn Rychcik, football coach Dave Doeren, women's basketball coach Wes Moore and renowned women's tennis coach Simon Earnshaw.

    These new coaches are beginning to accomplish extraordinary things in recruiting and in NCAA competition. Gottfried has led the men's basketball program to three NCAA Championship appearances in his first three seasons, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance. Holloway was named the 2013 ACC Coach of the Year after leading the men's swimming team to a No. 15 finish at the NCAA championship, its highest since 1978-79, and the team was named the national "Breakout Team of the Season" in the prestigious College Swimming and Diving Honors Program. Rychcik, in his first two seasons, guided the Wolfpack softball team to the ACC title and two NCAA regional championship game appearances. And Moore was named the ESPNW's ACC Coach of the Year in leading his initial Wolfpack squad to 25 wins, a Top 10 national ranking and an NCAA Tournament berth.

    Senior administration has been geared to oversee the implementation of her vision for the Wolfpack's future success. She has also helped change the face of NC State athletics with overall improvements and upgrades to administrative and competitive facilities on campus, working closely with the Wolfpack Club leadership.

    The department has established Wolfpack Sports Properties in a new working agreement for multi-media rights with Learfield Communications and Capital Broadcasting Co.; a department-wide apparel agreement with Adidas; and a new Five-Year Strategic Plan. She also led in the creation of the comprehensive NC State Athletic Hall of Fame, which inducted 10 members in its inaugural class in 2012 and added another 10 members each in 2013 and `14.

    This summer, construction began on a $14 million indoor football practice facility. Yow also announced a major renovation for Reynolds Coliseum, the home of multiple Wolfpack sports. In a joint venture with the university, a $35 million renovation will begin after the 2014-15 women's basketball season to reconfigure the coliseum and to create a Walk of Fame and History to honor NC State's athletic legacy in all sports and to have a permanent home for its Hall of Fame.

    Hardly unfamiliar to Wolfpack fans, the native of Gibsonville, N.C., has been deeply connected to NC State since her youth, when her parents Hilton and Lib Yow introduced their three daughters and one son to college athletics. At the time, that meant legendary basketball coach Everett Case's fast-breaking style that dominated the early days of ACC basketball.

    Later, she watched her older sister, Kay, become the first full-time women's coach in the state of North Carolina, when she was hired by then-athletics director Willis Casey to coach NC State's first three women's sports: basketball, volleyball and softball. Her first all-star, and the first women's All-American in NC State history, was the youngest of the Yow sisters, Susan.

    Yow served as a high school coach at Burlington's Williams High School and Gibsonville's Eastern Guilford High before becoming the women's basketball coach at the University of Kentucky. She also served as the head coach at Oral Roberts University and the University of Florida, before switching career paths to become an administrator, at both Florida and UNC Greensboro. In 1990, she was named the athletics director at Saint Louis, where she hired Charlie Spoonhour as men's basketball coach. In his first season, Spoonhour was named ESPN National Coach of the Year.

    She moved to the University of Maryland in 1994 and in 2000 selected Ralph Friedgen as football coach. Friedgen was named consensus National Coach of the Year in 2001 after leading the Terps to the ACC championship and an appearance in the Orange Bowl. In 2002, she brought in Brenda Frese, the 2002 Big Ten and AP National Coach of the Year, to guide the Terrapin women's basketball program. In 2006, Frese led Maryland to the NCAA championship.

    Under her leadership, Maryland's 27 varsity programs won a remarkable 20 national championships and consistently graduated student-athletes, including an all-time high federal graduation rate of 80 percent. In 2009, the NCAA News named Maryland as one of the Top 10 athletics programs in the nation.

    At NC State, Yow oversees a department that includes approximately 185 full-time staff and 525 student-athletes.

    Yow has served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the national Division I-A Athletic Directors Association. She is a member of the National Football Foundation board of directors, and has served on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Academic Enhancement Committee, as well as having represented the ACC on the NCAA Management Council.

    Both Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education have cited Yow as being one of the 20 most influential people in college athletics. She was selected to serve on the President's U.S. Department of Education Commission on Opportunities in Athletics to review the status of Federal Title IX regulations. She earlier served as the chair of the Atlantic Coast Conference Committee on Television, which is charged with overseeing the league's TV contracts and other related broadcast issues.

    Like her older sister, Yow has been inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

    Yow has written numerous articles and books on athletics management and human behavior. She holds a bachelor's degree from Elon University and a master's degree from Liberty University. She also has been awarded honorary doctorates for professional achievement from Elon, Liberty and the United States Sports Academy. She is married to Dr. William W. Bowden.

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