Are You Ready For Some Football?!?

As the month of July is wrapping up, it is time to seriously start thinking about Wolfpack football.  After all, September 4th is only 39 days away!  With all of the excitement already surrounding the upcoming basketball season, what better way to get ready than kicking-off Wolfpack Football?  We have a pretty difficult schedule for the upcoming year, but as always, we Wolfpack faithful can expect an exciting product on the field, and a fun time in the stands.

This blog post will provide you with all the info you’ll need to get ready for the season.  I’m sorry that there are quite a few tables and pictures, but all provide important and necessary information.  Read to the end to see a cool update on Carter-Finley Stadium.

First, take a look at our upcoming schedule, courtesy of GoPack:




Time (EST)



Sat, Sept 04 Western Carolina Raleigh, NC 6 P.M.
Sat, Sept 11 at UCF Orlando, FL 7:30 P.M. CBS College Sports Network
Thu, Sept 16 Cincinnati Raleigh, NC 7:30 P.M. ESPN
Sat, Sept 25 at Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA TBA TBA
Sat, Oct 02 Virginia Tech Raleigh, NC TBA TBA
Sat, Oct 09 Boston College Raleigh, NC TBA TBA
Sat, Oct 16 at East Carolina Greenville, NC 12 NOON CBS College Sports Network
Thu, Oct 28 Florida State Raleigh, NC 7:30 P.M. ESPN
Sat, Nov 06 at Clemson Clemson, SC TBA TBA
Sat, Nov 13 Wake Forest Raleigh, NC TBA TBA
Sat, Nov 20 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC TBA TBA
Sat, Nov 27 at Maryland College Park, MD TBA TBA

** All home games are highlighted in bold**

Now for the students, via TicketReturn, here is the ticket claim schedule:

Game Date Opponent Request Period Claim Period 1 Claim Period 2 On Demand**
09/04/10 Western Carolina 08/27/10 12:01 AM – 8/28/10 11:59 PM 8/29/10 3:01 AM – 8/30/10 11:59 PM 8/31/10 3:01 AM – 8/31/10 11:59 PM 9/1/10 12:01 AM – 9/4/10**
09/16/10 Cincinnati 9/8/10 12:01 AM – 9/9/10 11:59 PM 9/10/10 3:01 AM – 9/11/10 11:59 PM 9/12/10 3:01 AM – 9/12/10 11:59 PM 9/13/10 12:01 AM – 9/16/10 **
10/02/10 Virginia Tech 9/24/10 12:01 AM – 9/25/10 11:59 PM 9/26/10 3:01 AM – 9/27/10 11:59 PM 9/28/10 3:01 AM – 9/28/10 11:59 PM 9/29/10 12:01 AM – 10/02/10**
10/09/10 Boston College 10/1/10 12:01 AM – 10/2/10 11:59 PM 10/3/10 3:01 AM – 10/4/10 11:59 PM 10/5/10 3:01 AM – 10/5/10 11:59 PM 10/6/10 12:01 AM – 10/9/10**
10/28/10 Florida State 10/20/10 12:01 AM – 10/21/10 11:59 PM 10/22/10 3:01 AM – 10/23/10 11:59 PM 10/24/10 3:01 AM – 10/24/10 11:59 PM 10/25/10 12:01 AM – 10/28/10**
11/13/10 Wake Forest 11/5/10 12:01 AM – 11/6/10 11:59 PM 11/7/10 3:01 AM – 11/8/10 11:59 PM 11/9/10 3:01 AM – 11/9/10 11:59 PM 11/10/10 12:01 AM – 11/13/10**

** On Demand Phase will end 6 hours prior to kick-off on game day**

And here is the parking distribution schedule:

2010 Football Student Parking Distribution Schedule

Game Date Opponent Distribution Date Time Notes
9/4/2010 Western Carolina 9/1/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
9/16/2010 Cincinnati 9/14/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM **Thursday night game
10/2/2010 Virginia Tech 9/29/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
10/9/2010 Boston College 10/6/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
10/28/2010 Florida State 10/26/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM **Thursday night game
11/13/2010 Wake Forest 11/10/2010 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

As a reminder, this year we will be beginning the first year of having all students in the lower bowl.  Here is the new seating chart highlighting student sections in yellow.

Having all students sit in the lower bowl, while moving the main away section to the upper deck will allow more sound to be closer to the field, enhancing our home-field advantage!  Students get closer to the action and our increased loudness and rowdiness will definitely pump up the football team.  This move will only help our status as one of ESPNs top 5 most spirited student sections (scroll down to see us) in the US.

Lastly, its exciting to say that the sound system in Carter-Finley is getting a nice (and long overdue) upgrade.  Fans can expect better quality sound and less annoying feedback noise.  Crews have been out working the past couple weeks on the jumbo-tron as well as other speakers around the stadium.  These upgrades should allow Carter-Finley to remain the best venue in NC, and one of the best in the ACC, to watch football.

I’m definitely ready for some football!  Go Pack!


The Trials, Tribulations, and Joys of Building A Memorial

Over the past 11 months I have been working on the construction of a memorial for the late Coach Kay Yow.  Before I delve in and say anything else regarding the project, I have learned so much from working on it, many lessons I’ll never forget.

Now that is said and done, the memorial was truly a wonderful experience which is not quite over… If you are unfamiliar with who Coach Kay Yow is, you must have been living under a rock, but if you really don’t know, just check out her Wikipedia page for the gist of her legacy.  She was the coach of NC State women’s basketball team for 34 years.  Of those 34 years, she spent 22 battling breast cancer.  You can see the long list of honors and awards she received on her Wikipedia or by visiting her WBCA bio, here.

How It All Began

Last year, when I was contacted about becoming our student athletics director at NC State, the current student body president asked me if I would be interested in constructing a memorial for Coach Yow and if I thought it would be a feasible thing that students would want to see done.  Sure, it shouldn’t be too hard to honor someone who meant so much to so many, plus, our student body loved her.  So that day in July 2009 I said yes to taking on one of the biggest projects I have ever worked on.

I gathered my thoughts and came up with a few ideas over the next couple weeks.  I knew it was going to be a large task, so I wanted to get my thoughts together before I did anything.  Then, the first thing I wanted to do was find out some more about her from the people closest to her, so I ventured my way over to the Women’s Basketball Office in Reynolds to see what I could find out, also, I wanted to see if they would help.  I remember the first thing that happened when I walked in the door to that office and told the office admin (who is an extremely sweet and amazing lady) what I was doing… I was on the receiving end of a tearful bear hug.  At that moment, I realized how much this memorial was going to mean.  I had never had the fortune to meet, Coach Yow, one thing that I wish I could have done, so to see first hand how much she touched the lives of those who worked alongside her was special to pushing me to another level in my quest for the memorial to be completed.  One other pleasant surprise that I did get during my visit was finding out that someone had already contacted the office about wanting to construct a memorial and wanting to make a large donation to it.   Great start right off the bat!

Over the upcoming weeks I formulated a plan to construct a memorial honoring Coach Yow in the form of a statue at the entrance to Reynolds Coliseum.  Only the best for the best I thought.  I spoke with a sculptor, who was recommended by the family, and he loved the idea (of course).  So I set about having him draw up some sketches of the statue as I got to work contacting the university’s architect office to find out what I needed to do on their end.  We worked originally to see how it would turn out with the location I had in mind and how we could fit it in with the current landscape.

The Wrench

All was going smooth at the start until the snag came in.  Someone in the upper levels at NC State was not too keen having a looming statue at the entrance to Reynolds.  So…the brakes were applied to the project.  We had to find some other place to put it.  Where else would be a good spot for a larger than life statue to go at Reynolds?  One side is a giant parking lot, the two ends are roads with minimal walk space, and the other side was a walkway by Talley.  Naturally I figured the Talley side would work, and naturally the architect’s office wanted to put it on the parking lot side.  Once more we came to a halt.  Neither side wanted to budge.  So we compromised.  The statue shrank in size to a bust and it was moved to a more prominent location on the Talley side of Reynolds.

This is when the idea for the memorial expanded into the Coaches’ Corner theme.  How could we build one memorial for one coach at a place where several coaching greats had prowled the sidelines?  What about Jimmy V (a national champ), Norm Sloan (another national champ), and Everett Case (grandfather of southern basketball)?  They all stalked the sidelines and produced fabled teams who played in Reynolds.  We must surely honor them as well.  So the idea for a Kay Yow Memorial expanded into the Coaches Corner.  Located on the Talley side of Reynolds, the Coaches’ Corner will play home to the busts of great coaches in NC State history.  However, Kay Yow would be the first and the host.

A settlement had been reached, and approved through all the necessary channels.  As you can imagine, some people were not too happy with the end result, but I believe that it worked out for the best.  Coach Yow would be honored, as well as other great coaches in our history who rightfully should be honored as well.***On a side note, the Coaches’ Corner got me to thinking.  Don’t you find it a bit odd that our great coaches in Reynolds develop some sort of cancer?  Case, Valvano, and Yow? *** Now came the time to get together all the details of design and get to work!

I worked with the architect’s office to finalize a design for the garden while working with the sculptor to design the bust.  Once most of that was completed I got in touch with Coach Yow’s family to let them know what was going on and to show them what we had planned.  Family approval was very important to me.  After I received the go ahead from them, the fund-raising commenced.

This is the Action

As I mentioned earlier, fund-raising got off to a great start.  To me, the key thing we needed to do to raise funds was marketing the project and contacting former players and fans.  So a wrote a nice solicitation letter, requested info on all of Coach Yow’s former players, and then decided to do something which took forever.  I hand addressed the letters in calligraphy.  At first, I thought, no way am I going to be able to write calligraphy.  When I was growing up, my parents would ride me about how terrible my handwriting looked, but to my surprise, my calligraphy turned out pretty well, other than taking an excruciating amount of patience and time.  After I mailed out the letters to former players, fellow students and I sold t-shirts, some donated by Nike and others ordered by us (which are still available for purchase), at basketball games and in the Brickyard.

We also stuffed hundreds of envelopes with general letters, return envelopes, donor info cards, etc to be mailed out to season ticket holders.  Thankfully we didn’t have to address those, as Athletics just ran them through the machine.  We also got our very own Kay Yow Memorial webpage from NC State and we got it up and running with the help of an amazing and beautiful webmaster (my girlfriend).

The money came in through spurts.  We’d get a few donations here and there.  It would slow down, I’d make some phone calls, we would get some press, then we would get a few more donations.  Finally after what seemed like waiting forever, which was actually just a few months, we had enough to begin construction in March 2010.  So with the assistance of our construction manager from the university, contractors were finalized and the job began.  First off was the memorial garden.  We dug out a walkway, installed a drainage system, and laid a stone paved walkway and seating area (formed by the bottom side of recycled granite counter-tops).

Then came the planting.  On Saturday, April 17th at 8am (yes before the Spring Kay Yow Football Game), around 20 students showed up to plant the garden.  Oh how sweet it was to see signs of life in the project site!  It was all coming together in front of my eyes and I couldn’t believe it!  As that finished I just stood back in amazement of how great it looked.  Pink flowering plants forming a boundary around the beautiful stone paved walkway with two benches on which to relax and reflect.  Just one thing missing, the most important piece, Coach Yow’s bust and pedestal.

The Last Piece is Sometimes the Hardest

We had the garden planted with the walkway paved; it had to be all downhill from here.  Wrong.  Little did I know that our contractor for the pedestal would end up making things much more complicated than they needed to be.  Let’s just say that he was not exactly the nicest person and wasn’t doing the memorial work for the right reasons.  Up to that point, every contractor had been honored to be a part of constructing a memorial for Coach Yow.  They would give us their best price and their best work.  That went for everyone except one person.  His original estimate for the pedestal came in WAY over what we estimated it would cost, so after a long series of negotiations and threats to use another contractor he dropped $4,000 off the cost.  Now why it was that high to begin with, I don’t know.  Every other contractor had given us their bottom line cost the first go round, so I had a bad feeling about this guy from the start, but we needed to go with him because the sculptor for the bust always used him.  He later showed his true colors after the memorial was done, but I won’t go into specifics about the trouble he gave me and others at the university.  Let’s just say that he won’t be doing any business with the university ever again.  Finally we had everything figured out and construction of the pedestal got underway as the bronzing of the bust wrapped up.

Finally we reached the day where the pedestal and bust were to be installed.  The project was almost completed.  Myself and a few donors met out at the memorial site and watched as the memorial was installed.  First the pedestal and then the bust.  I couldn’t believe that it was finally done, except for the plaque, but that’s the easy part.  Right before my very eyes all of the hard work and perseverance since last year was paying off.

All that’s left now is to install the plaque, which we’ll do closer to the dedication date, and host the formal dedication of the memorial.  So go ahead and mark your calendars for August 24, 2010 at 3pm.  We’ll be having a formal dedication for the NC State Coaches’ Corner – Kay Yow Memorial with (99% sure) speaking appearances from Chancellor Woodson, AD Debbie Yow, and more.  The dedication shouldn’t last more than an hour though.  The area isn’t very large, so there won’t be much room for chairs, except for the people who have to sit.  All donors, family and friends of Coach Yow, and most importantly, students of NC State, are invited to attend.  We’ll officially unveil the memorial with the newly installed plaque on the front.

Final Thoughts

Even though the project had its up and downs, I could not have asked for a better experience.  The people involved with the project were so awesome that even the downs weren’t really that down at all.  I learned many important lessons that will stay with me through life, most importantly perseverance and compromise.  We all know the famous Jimmy V, don’t ever give up, quote, but it really is true.  When something is important to you, you have to keep pushing.  The more you push, the more that wall will cave and eventually you’ll push through it.  It’s like Randy Pausch said in The Last Lecture, “Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.”  I’d like to think that I was meant to be the one to push through those brick walls.

After the formal dedication I’ll post a more complete version of my finals thoughts since there is still some work to do, but for the meantime, it has truly been a rewarding experience.

Introduction and About Me

My name is Jeffrey Johnson and I am a senior at North Carolina State University.  While I have many ideas and thoughts about things at NC State, I still love everything about it.  I am majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and  I graduate in May of 2011, hopefully ending up working in Athletics or going on to law school.

I am currently working in my second year as NC State’s student athletics director and I am enjoying every minute of it.  I work for student government and the NC State Athletics Dept in all areas that involve students with the three big things that I work(ed) on being:

  1. Student Ticketing:  If you are a student at NC State, I’m sure you remember the S. Carolina game last year.  Demand for tickets exceeded supply and chaos reigned.  My job was to quell the chaos and to make sure that our ticketing system ran as smoothly as possible from there on out.  Through the rest of the football season and through basketball season I crunched numbers and analyzed trends to make sure that our new ticketing system was working the way it should.
  2. Parking/Tailgating:  For football season, we park in the fairground lots off Trinity and for basketball we park in the lots on the Vaughn Towers side of Carter-Finley.  I work with Athletics to make sure we have enough spaces and that we get fair treatment in entrance and egress to and from games.
  3. Promotions:  I work to create promotions and events for students at sporting events and before games.  Last year we worked with pep rallies  (before S. Carolina game, Red Rally at Reynolds, etc), worked with the Whiteout for the S. Carolina football game, started the incentive program to reward student fans who attend the most games, and the residence hall challenge during Wolfpack Baseball’s season.

Last year was my first year working as student athletics director, so I was learning about the job and what all I could do as I went.  I think we had a pretty good year and some great results.  I was happy with the way we got started, especially with the Whiteout for the S. Carolina game.  A big thanks to the Student Wolfpack Club for getting that up and running.  As the year progressed we were able to do a few things here and there and give back to the students in several different ways.  When it became apparent that basketball season was winding down, so did our activities for the most part as an athletics commission.  We did the residence hall challenge during baseball season, but that capped the year off for us.

A few other things I really enjoyed doing:

  1. Campout:  It was an extremely enjoyable experience to be a part of one of the biggest traditions at NC State.  I’ve always participated in Campout, but to be a part of organizing THE event was amazing.
  2. Winterfest:  We worked with NC State Campus Rec to host a tent and bring students out to the Raleigh Winterfest to kick off winter in downtown Raleigh.  The whole event was a blast and the new outdoor skating rink was a hit with everyone.  We went on to host a couple NC State Skate Party which were for NC State students only at the downtown skating rink.  Its awesome to skate in the light of downtown of the backdrop of skyscrapers looming over you as you try not to fall on your face.

Finally to save the best for last, the biggest honor I have had was to direct the construction of the Kay Yow Memorial for NC State on behalf of the student body.  What an amazing experience to honor someone who meant so much to so many people.

Throughout the blog, if you have any ideas or questions about what I’m doing with NC State Athletics or things you’d like to see done, just let me know.  I’m glad to help in any way I can.

Go Pack!