May 8, 2006
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -University of New Orleans basketball coach Monte Towe is headed back to his alma mater.
Towe is leaving UNO to become the associate head coach at North Carolina State, under new Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe, whose hiring was announced Saturday. Towe could assume his new position as early as Tuesday.
Lowe, currently an assistant with the Detroit Pistons, will remain with the team through the NBA playoffs and not take over at N.C. State until July 1. He'll reportedly earn a yearly salary of $210,000 under a six-year contract and a total compensation package equal to that of his predecessor, Herb Sendek, who made about $900,000 annually.
For Towe, the point guard on N.C. State's 1974 national championship team who later recruited Lowe, the point guard on the Wolfpack's 1983 title team, the decision was not an easy one.
"I love New Orleans, I love my team and I love going to work every day," Towe said Saturday as he and his wife attended Jazz Fest. "But I also love N.C. State."
Towe, who was 70-78 in his five years at UNO, has to finalize the details of his new job pending resolution of the buyout of the remaining three years of his contract worth $450,000.
For that reason, N.C. State did not make any announcement concerning Towe on Saturday, and Lowe could not comment on his hiring.
"I was hoping that he would stay," junior guard Bo McCalebb said. "Coach Towe has taught me everything about what it takes to get to the next level. "
UNO athletic director Jim Miller said he already has begun a coaching search and was getting resumes as early as Friday.
Miller added he did not think that uncertainty about the future of the UNO athletic program, which is facing a 20 percent budget cut because of a decline in enrollment, would be an impediment to finding a quality coach.
"I don't think it makes us any less attractive," he said. "But there are a few more questions out there."
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.timespicayune.com