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Lowe resigns as N.C. State's coach
The Sidney Lowe Era is over at North Carolina State.
Lowe resigned Tuesday after failing to get the program to the NCAA tournament in his five years at the helm.
Lowe, 51, was 86-78 overall in his tenure and 25-55 in ACC play. The Wolfpack went 15-16 this season and were 5-11 in the league.
"I have been truly blessed by the opportunity to coach at my alma mater," said Lowe, who led the Wolfpack to a national championship as a player in 1983. "I am thankful for this experience. I am excited to follow the path the Lord takes me on as I maintain my relationship with the Wolfpack family for years to come."
Lowe was hired to replace Herb Sendek, who went to five consecutive NCAA tournaments before leaving for Arizona State.
There had been a handful of exciting moments for Lowe, from an upset of highly ranked rival North Carolina and a surprise run to the ACC tournament final in his first season to an upset of eventual national champion Duke and a run to the ACC tournament semifinals in 2010. But he failed to sustain any momentum from those big wins, never making it to the NCAAs and twice going to the NIT.
His resignation comes less than a week after N.C. State closed its second losing season under Lowe.
He had two years left on his contract.
This season, N.C. State was picked to finish fourth after bringing in one of the nation's top recruiting classes to join an experienced group that included returning all-ACC big man Tracy Smith. But Smith sat out 10 games after knee surgery, while the rest of the team never seemed to come together.
Lowe had said he wasn't focusing on his future. But the 75-67 loss to Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament Thursday night felt like Lowe's farewell.
''I love this school,'' Lowe said. ''I poured my sweat here for four years to give it my best, and it was my hope and dream to come back here and do something special again. So, yeah, it means a lot more to me than it might mean to another coach or something.
''It hurts me because I know what it's about down here. I know what it's like, and I know what it's like to win here. I know how the people will get behind you and the true fans will stick with you and enjoy that thing some. Yeah, it means a lot more to me.''
Lowe was one of the most beloved figures in program history after being a part of the ''Cardiac Pack'' team that upset Houston on a last-play dunk to win the 1983 title under Jim Valvano. He arrived in 2006 after a messy monthlong coaching search that missed on top targets - including John Calipari and Rick Barnes. Lowe called his hiring a ''dream come true'' and embraced the program's tradition while talking of building on the success of Herb Sendek before him.
But Lowe, an assistant with the NBA's Detroit Pistons at the time, had no college coaching experience when he was hired.
N.C. State went 7-33 in ACC road games with 23 of those losses coming by double-digit margins under Lowe. The Wolfpack also lost 13 of 16 to Duke and North Carolina, including the past 10 meetings with the Tar Heels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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