Sidney Lowe: New NC State Basketball Coach
Director of Athletics Lee Fowler has announced that former Wolfpack point guard Sidney Lowe has been named the 18th head men's basketball coach at NC State University. Lowe, who played under legendary Wolfpack coaches Norm Sloan and Jim Valvano, brings a wealth of experience to Raleigh, as he has served as a coach in the NBA for the past 15 seasons.
Lowe will finish out this season as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, the team that finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA. The Pistons will begin play in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs tomorrow, playing host to Cleveland.
"This a great day for the Wolfpack Nation," Fowler said. "Sidney Lowe is representative of the storied tradition that is NC State basketball. Since his playing days here, he's gained an unbelieveable amount of experience at the game's highest level. That experience, combined with his love for NC State, makes him an excellent choice for this job."
Chancellor James L. Oblinger said, "Our new coach understands what NC State is all about, and what the people of the state expect of us. When we talk about our players, we talk of student-athletes. Coach Lowe will develop both sides of that equation, the student side as well as the athlete side. He will help us produce graduates ready to reach their full potential."
A native of Washington, D.C., Lowe played all 40 minutes of the Wolfpack's win over Houston and Phi-Slamma-Jamma in the 1983 national title game, scoring eight points and dishing out eight assists. He still ranks third in school history in career assists with 762 and third in steals with 220. A first-team All-ACC selection in 1983, he also earned All-ACC Tournament and All-Final Four accolades. The Wolfpack's assist leader in all four of his seasons in the red and white, Lowe led the ACC in assists and steals in 1981 and 1983. His 18 assists against Western Carolina in 1982-83 still ranks as the second-best mark in school history.
Following his NC State career, Lowe was drafted by the Chicago Bulls as the first pick of the second round of the 1983 NBA draft and was immediately traded on draft night to the Indiana Pacers, where he played 78 games in 1984. He began his second season in the NBA with the Pistons, but was traded to the Atlanta Hawks midway through the '85 campaign. He spent the next three years in the Continental Basketball Association, helping lead the Tampa Bay Thrillers to CBA titles in 1986 and 1987 and then doing the same for the Albany Patroons in 1988. He began the 1989 campaign with the CBA's Cedar Rapids Thrillers before being called up by the Charlotte Hornets. In his first game playing back in North Carolina, Lowe received a rousing ovation from a crowd of more than 23,000 Hornets' fans. After seeing action in 14 games in Charlotte that season, he joined the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1990, playing 80 games in that team's inaugural campaign. Overall, Lowe played in 193 NBA contests.
Following a season serving as a television analyst for the 'Wolves, Lowe began his NBA coaching career in 1992, when he joined the Minnesota staff as an assistant coach. One year later, he was named the head coach of that squad midway through the 1993 season, leading Minnesota to a 13-30 record under his leadership. The following season, his first full campaign as head coach, the Timberwolves went 20-62. In 1995, he left that post to serve as an assistant under Mike Fratello with Cleveland. He spent five years on the Cavalier sidelines, helping that squad compile a 248-212 record, including four NBA playoff appearances. He rejoined the Timberwolves as an assistant coach for the 2000 campaign.
Lowe was named head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies on June 1, 2000. During his inaugural season (2000-01) with the team, he turned a struggling squad into a record-setting one, guiding the team to franchise-best (at the time) record of 23-59. The next year (2001-02), Lowe and the Grizzlies moved to Memphis with one of the youngest teams in the NBA. That season, he coached the NBA Rookie of the Year (Pau Gasol), and led the team to another 23-59 campaign, setting franchise marks for wins in the months of December (6), March (4) and April (4). He coached the first eight games of the 2003 campaign.
In 2004, Lowe rejoined the Minnesota staff, serving as an assistant under Flip Saunders for two seasons, before Saunders was named head coach of the Pistons prior to the current campaign.
Lowe helped lead the U.S. to a gold medal at the 1981 World University Games, twice making key plays at the end to defeat the Soviet Union, once on a 70-foot, last-second jump shot and the other on a driving layup over a 7-5 player. He played his prep ball under the legendary Morgan Wootten at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. He was a high school All-American on the hardcourt, while also playing football.
Born January 21, 1960, Lowe and his wife Melanie have three children: Sidney, Jr. (20), and twins Lindsay and Lantzen (7). His parents, Carrie Lowe and Willie Gwyn, also reside in Raleigh.