SBJ/April 16-22, 2012/People and Pop Culture

My first job in sports: Debbie Yow

Before taking over the Kentucky program, Yow (center) defeated the Wildcats as a player at Elon.
Photo by: UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY


Since her arrival at N.C. State in summer 2010, Debbie Yow has hired several new coaches, returned a live mascot to the sidelines for football games and rebranded the school’s identity by putting “State” on the front of most uniforms. In just her first year, the Wolfpack moved up 22 points in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.




From her start in basketball, Yow is now responsible for a full slate of sports at N.C. State.
Photo by: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
HARD LESSON …
: We practiced at two places. One of them was Memorial Coliseum, but we had no locker room or equipment storage space in that building, so I used to carry the basketballs in the trunk of my car and carry them in myself before practice. One night around 6 p.m., I carried in the first three balls and returned from the gym to get additional ones out of the trunk of my car … to find they were gone. Someone had taken them out of the trunk while I was transporting the others. I had left the trunk open. So we had to practice with only the three balls that night.

… BUT A HAPPY ENDING
: Two years later, my office was relocated to Memorial Coliseum, we were given a locker room and I had a storage space provided, too. In other words, things changed for the better.

HOW TO IMPRESS A FUTURE EMPLOYER: I captained the Elon University team. We played and beat Kentucky in the regional postseason tournament. Two years later, they decided to hire a full-time coach and remembered me from the game against UK.

See also: Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president
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