RALEIGH, N.C. — Sidney Lowe has resigned after five seasons as North Carolina State men's basketball coach, according to a person familiar with the situation
The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the school has yet to announce Lowe's resignation.
Lowe had an 86-78 overall record, but just 25-55 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. He inherited a program coming off five straight NCAA tournament trips, but he never finished higher than ninth in the ACC despite twice being picked to finish in the top third of the 12-team league.
There had been a handful of exciting moments, 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 (15-16) closed its second losing season under the former point guard who led the Wolfpack to an improbable national championship in 1983.
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