I can remember Yow patiently waiting with me outside for a live interview after her introductory news conference. The heat was pulsating up from the pavement below us, a fitting metaphor for the job that lay ahead.
Basketball had bottomed out, football was mired in relative mediocrity and the non-revenue sports beyond the juggernaut bass fishing club were as nondescript as you could imagine.
You want proof? In the final fall standings of the Learfield Director's Cup in 2009-10, NC State ranked 85th as an athletic department, trailing the likes of UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State and not even in the same universe as Duke (18th) and UNC (5th). Fast forward to the final fall standings of 2018-19 and the Pack now sits 10th. (For comparison, always necessary around here, Duke was 7th and UNC 15th.)
NC State basketball and football both appear to be on a serious upswing and the Pack now has legit national power programs in wrestling and swimming, not to mention this year's women's basketball success - as of Wednesday the only undefeated men's or women's team in the country.
So that's the atmosphere that Corrigan inherits. Rather than nowhere to go but up, he's now charged with first maintaining, and then hopefully building on a level of excellence.
Yow's major hires could be in place for years to come or could move on because of their successes. Those are good problems if they occur.
Corrigan arrives with an abundance of pedigree. The youngest child of seven to former ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan, Boo cut his admin teeth at Navy, Notre Dame, and Duke and then took over as boss at Army in 2011.
That's a resume stacked in both blue-blood experience and a serious sense of athletic pride.
I won't detail his accomplishments with the Black Knights, you can read those in the news release. What he does have is an endless supply of those ready to gush about his readiness for the State job.
His former boss Kevin White at Duke:
ACC Commissioner John Swofford:
Here’s ACC Commissioner John Swofford on NC State’s hiring of Boo Corrigan pic.twitter.com/IQwawJHDW9— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) January 30, 2019
Former employee at Duke, Mike Forman, now VP of Marketing with the Hurricanes:
This is phenomenal news. My former boss at Duke - one of the best people out there and has developed into one of the best AD’s out there. State just got a great one. https://t.co/BqTuP3ZCne— Mike Forman (@MForman5) January 30, 2019
Everything would indicate that Corrigan is a knockout hire for the Wolfpack. Starting in May, we'll find out if that becomes reality.
Here's a good video of Corrigan describing his mission in his own words. His job at Army is different than at NC State for obvious reasons, but his principles will largely remain the same.