NC State

NC State settles with Keatts


By: Trey Walker

Friday afternoon, a new era began for Wolfpack basketball. A team with a once unstable future has finally found someone to bring some stability in former UNCW head coach, Kevin Keatts. And people already love him.


Kevin Keatts spent the last 3 seasons at UNCW (PC: wralsportsfan)

Who is this guy?

That’s a great question. Kevin Keatts has held coaching positions all over the place: Southwestern Michigan College, Hargrave, and Marshall, but his most recent pit stop was at UNCW, where he successfully turned an ailing program into a back-to-back NCAA tournament qualifier and powerhouse in the Colonial Athletic Conference. Before Wilmington, Keatts was the Associate Head Coach under Rick Pitino at Louisville, where he was apart of the 2013 national championship.

What is he going to change? What does he do well?

Recruiting. This dude kills the recruiting game. Mark Gottfried didn’t struggle to land big time recruits, and Keatts shouldn’t have a problem continuing that trend. During his time at Louisville, he compiled 2 top-10 recruiting classes.

Bottom line: This was a great hire for the Wolfpack. Keatts is young, energetic, structured, and has been successful everywhere he has coached. As far as returning talent, the future is uncertain. Omer Yurtseven has declared that he will test his possibilities, Abdul-Malik Abu’s return is again in question, and DSJ is packing his bags. I believe that after he gets his system installed, Keatts can make NC State competitive again, and put the program back on the map.

The Doeren Dilemma

By: Trey Walker

On Friday afternoon, NC State will head to Chapel Hill to play the Tar Heels in the final game of the regular season. However, this is more than just a game. No matter how reluctant Carolina fans are to embracing the Wolfpack as true rivals, they must recognize that this matchup means something now.

North Carolina will be seeking vengeance. In the last meeting between the two teams in Chapel Hill, the Wolfpack used a strong 3 touchdown performance from QB Jacoby Brissett to breeze past Carolina, 35-7.

Senior Tar Heel Guard, Jon Heck expressed how much that game hurt in an interview with Inside Carolina.

“Nobody has forgotten two years ago and that was a nightmare for us and a terrible feeling,” Heck said. “Looking back when they came in and destroyed us, that’s one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.

Its this feeling that the Heels hope to never feel again.

On the flip side, NC State has plenty to play for. With a win they can: ruin any possibility for UNC to reach the ACC title game, and become bowl eligible for the third time under Dave Doeren. This brings us to my main point….. The Doeren Dilemma.


So State fans, lets face it. Getting rid of Tom O’Brien was a COLOSSAL mistake. TOB owned UNC, losing to the Heels only 1 time in his final season(5-1 overall). He also coached State to 4 bowl games, and pulled an impressive upset in the 2010 Russell Athletic Bowl against a strong West Virginia team, ranked 22nd nationally at the time. That team finished with a 9-4 record, the second highest win total in school history. O’Brien was let go by Debbie Yow after the 2012 season, claiming that she was unimpressed with recruiting.

Since Dave Doeren has taken over the program, little improvement has taken effect. Many say that he has made the program worse.

Community Viewpoints: Luke Brizzolara

FullSizeRender.jpgA junior at Broughton High School, Luke has been apart of the Pack since day one. He has seen the ups and downs of the program, and has developed a strong opinion on Dave Doeren’s performance as head coach, and how important Friday’s game is.

Q: Will Doeren’s future at NCSU be determined in this last game of the regular season?

LB: We need to be super competitive and continue to show we have the ability to go up against a top-25 team. If we get blown again, our games against FSU and Clemson won’t save him, as we have consistently underperformed against inferior or equal opponents. If we don’t win against Carolina, I don’t see a scenario in which we keep him. Too many seasons have been sub-par with Dave. This will be the nail in the coffin if he loses and fails to make a bowl game. 

As head coach, Doeren maintains a 23-26 overall record at State, and has never broken gotten his team ranked in the top 25 at any point. His bowl record is 1-1, the win coming against a mediocre Central Florida team. The statistics show that Doeren is no where close to as good as O’Brien was.

If NCSU doesn’t pull out a victory against UNC, it will be the second time (2/4 seasons) that a Doeren Wolfpack will be ineligible for bowl play.

Bottom Line: Cut ’em loose 

Beloved Coach Dies at 58

By: Trey Walker

Late Friday night, Don Horton, a former assistant football coach for NC State and Boston College, passed away. Coach Horton had been battling Parkinson’s disease for almost 10 years.

Don BC

Horton with Boston College

Horton will be remembered as a man who loved his family and cared for his players. During his coaching tenure, he coached in many bowl games and sent 15 lineman to play on Sunday.

A native of Cincinnati, Don’s love for football developed at a young age. He played offensive line in high school at Indian Hill High, and in college at Wittenberg(Ohio).

After graduating from Wittenberg, Coach Horton’s first gig as a coach came when he was asked to be a Graduate Assistant at Ohio State University. His love for coaching led him to get other opportunities on the coaching staffs of Southern Illinois, New Mexico State, Virginia, and Wittenberg.

In 1997, Tom O’Brien was hired as the head coach for Boston College, replacing Dan Henning. Horton was appointed as the Offensive Line Coach under O’Brien’s new regime. The two stuck together(from BC to NCSU) until Coach Horton took an administrative position in May of 2012. Horton had quite an impressive resume in his time with the O’Brien administration…

Coach Horton by the Numbers:

– 15 NFL lineman coached

– .695% overall winning percentage at NC State and Boston College

– 8 bowl victories

-1 conference title*

Many of his former players have expressed how influential Horton was in their lives: on and off the field:

“In a football world where players are treated as numbers, you treated us as people, and stood out” said former Boston College running back, Ryan Utzler, on Horton.

Horton is survived by his 2 loving daughters, Libby and Hadley, and his wife Maura.

You will be missed Coach Horton!

*This is a Big East title, for Boston College was not annexed into the ACC until the following season