in the spirit of the pack As Debbie Yow ends her tenure as Athletic Director, she has helped set a foundation for NC State Athletics

After nine years at the helm of NC State Athletics, Debbie Yow is set to retire as the athletic director of the Wolfpack.

Setting the standard

At Yow's introductory press conference, she set the ambitious goal of having NC State reach top-25 status in the Learfield IMG Directors' Cup, which serves as the key competitive measure of college athletics programs.

When Yow took over, NC State sat at 89th in the Directors' Cup.

In 2018, NC State finished a program-best No. 15 nationally.



  • Average finish four years prior to Yow's arrival: 65.8
  • Average finish the past four years: 25.8
  • Past four years = the four highest finishes in school history

NC State jumped from No. 89 to No. 37 in the standings from her arrival in 2010-12, the largest two-year jump in the history of the ACC.


NC State went from not having a department-wide apparel contract in 2010 to renegotiating a top-15 apparel contract with global power Adidas in 2015.

NC State Athletics went from having one of the lowest-valued multimedia rights agreements in the Power 5 to securing one of Learfield’s most valued partnerships.

emphasis on academics

NC State student-athletes have excelled in the classroom under her leadership, posting the four highest Graduation Success Rates in school history over the last four years, including a program-best mark of 86% in the most recent metrics.

Under Yow's leadership, the school has produced 20 Academic All-Americans.

Student-athletes earned a cumulative GPA average of 3.02 in Spring 2018, the first time ever earning an average above 3.0.

athletic success

NC State has won 21 conference titles over the course of Yow's tenure.

leaders of the pack

Yow made 17 coaching hires during her tenure, including significant contributors:

  • football coach, Dave Doeren
  • men's basketball coach, Kevin Keatts
  • women's basketball coach, Wes Moore
  • wrestling coach, Pat Popolizio
  • women's soccer, Tim Santoro
  • men's soccer, George Kiefer
  • volleyball coach, Linda Hampton-Keith
  • gymnastics coach, Kim Landrus
  • women's tennis coach, Simon Earnshaw
  • men's tennis coach, Kyle Spencer
Wes Moore
Braden Holloway

facilities upgrades

Under Yow's leadership, numerous projects have been finished to upgrade facilities, most notably the renovation to Reynolds Coliseum, as well as the construction of the Close-King Indoor Practice Facility.

The $35 million Reynolds Coliseum project with the university created an incredible home environment for teams competing in the facility, while honoring the Wolfpack’s athletic legacy with the NC State Athletics Walk of Fame & History.

The arena is home to women's basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, and rifle.

BB&T Grand Hall of Reynolds Coliseum
Kay Yow Court at James T. Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum
Close-King Indoor Practice Facility
Close-King Indoor Practice Facility

yow's career

Yow has been honored as the Corbett Award winner for lifetime achievement in athletics administration and was selected as an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for 2018-19.

Yow and her family at Reynolds Coliseum

In 1994, Yow became the first female athletic director in ACC history when she was named to the to post at Maryland, and remained in an AD post within the league for the next 25 years.

At Maryland, her programs won 16 NCAA titles, including the 2002 men's basketball championship and the 2006 women's basketball championship.

Debbie 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.

Yow as head coach at 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.

Yow as head coach at Oral Roberts
St. Louis newspaper announcing Yow's appointment as AD

Yow played basketball over the course of her collegiate career at Elon.

Yow as a women’s basketball student-athlete at Elon, playing for her sister Kay.

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