Harper named to replace Yow

April 16, 2009 2:26:38 PM PDT
NC State has found its new women's basketball coach.It's Western Carolina coach Kellie Harper.

Many people were hoping long-time assistant and interim head coach Stephanie Glance would get the job. But the school decided to go in another direction.

Glance released a statement Thursday. "I would like to thank NC State University for affording me the chance to be a part of such a fine institution for the last 15 years," it read. "I am saddened today that I will not have the opportunity to be the next head coach for the women's basketball program. I would like to especially thank the fans, former players, and coaches from around the country who have sent letters, emails, and made phone calls on my behalf. Thank you sincerely for your support!"

The statement continued, "I am MOST grateful for the lessons learned from the legendary Coach Kay Yow! These will stay with me for a lifetime! I wish her successor the best."

Many may not know Harper's face or name, but she played for arguably the greatest team in women's basketball history -- Tennessee.

In the late 90s, Harper was a point guard who led the lady Vols to three national championships, but her resume doesn't end there.

For the past five years, she's been stacking up accolades as head coach of Western Carolina. This year she coached the lady Catamounts to their third straight Southern Conference Tourney Finals.

Last year she became the second winningest coach in WSU's women's basketball history.

But by all accounts, the 31-year-old's resume may just be getting started.

Coach Yow made it clear in a goodbye letter that she wanted her long-time assistant, and many of her fans are upset that Glance won't be taking over.

"I think it's a dishonor to her memory -- she groomed Mrs. Glance to be the next coach of NC State and now they decided to go in a different direction," sophomore student Andrew Stutt told Eyewitness News.

Senior Jeremey Barnes has similar feelings.

"She was with Kay Yow for about 15 years, and it would've just been really great to see her, but I have to support whatever the school thinks is right," he said.

Some argue the game of sports demands success without sentiment. An exception to that rule will likely be debated forever on the campus.

"I agree that Kay Yow, you know, she did pick her," junior Kay Wesler said. "She must have thought she was perfectly capable enough to do it."

"From a business standpoint, they had to bring in someone that would elevate the team," freshman Philip Mcgee said.


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