New N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts, shown coaching in the NCAA Tournament with UNC Wilmington versus Virginia, has hired former Virginia Tech coach James Johnson and UNCW assistant Takayo Siddle to his Wolfpack staff. AP
By Rob McLamb
Special to the Times
New N.C. State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts is filling out his coaching staff and has made two hires.
The first is a veteran of the Atlantic Coast Conference battles as former Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson will move to Raleigh after spending two seasons as director of basketball operations at league foe Miami.
Johnson was a teammate and then later coached Keatts at Ferrum College in Virginia. While at Virginia Tech, Johnson coached ACC Player of the Year Erick Green, who also led the NCAA in scoring.
“James and I go back over 25 years and my comfort level in his approach, his knowledge of the ACC, and my respect for his ability to teach and develop our student-athletes, makes him an ideal fit,” Keatts said in a statement released by the university. “He is an outstanding addition to our staff and I welcome him to NC State.”
Takayo Siddle joined N.C. State on Tuesday after serving as an assistant at UNC Wilmington for each of the past three seasons under Keatts, who Siddle also played for and coached under at Hargrave Academy.
After moving on from Hargrave, Siddle then went to Gardner-Webb. He played with the Bulldogs from 2005-09 and as a junior was a member of the team that famously defeated Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
Siddle has coached at George Washington under current Butler head coach Chris Holtmann. He is a native of Eden.
The N.C. State men’s basketball coaching staff is not the only one making moves.
The football program announced Wednesday that its recruiting staff would be totally overhauled for the 2017 campaign.
The new director of player personnel is Billy Glasscock, who comes to N.C. State from Minnesota where he served as the recruiting operations director for almost six years. Glasscock will be in charge of directing all recruiting activities and functions.
Will Christopherson is the new assistant director of player personnel after spending last season as a scouting specialist for Nick Saban at Alabama. Christopherson previously worked for Glasscock as a recruiting assistant for two years at Minnesota.
The new assistant director of player personnel/recruit communications is a familiar face to N.C. State fans as Merci Falaise takes over after spending the last three seasons at Tennessee.
Former Appalachian State graduate assistant coach Tyler McEntire is now N.C. State’s director of creative media. Prior to last season, McEntire was the director of high school relations at ASU and he now will be tasked with using video and design skills to attract recruits to Raleigh.
The new quartet joins Henry Trevathan Jr., the son of the legendary Fike High head coach and now N.C. State’s director of high school relations, and Lauren Wilson, who is the current director of recruiting operations
N.C. State will have its annual Kay Yow Spring Game at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m.
Placekicking woes have haunted N.C. State for two seasons but the Wolfpack hopes it has found the man to solve its problems.
Carson Wise, a graduate transfer from Carson Newman, will join N.C. State in 2017 and have two seasons left to play. Wise, a Blacksburg, Virginia native, initially committed to Virginia Tech out of high school and spent one season with the Hokies prior to transferring.
Wise connected on 21-of-31 field goals and was 97-101 on PATs at Carson-Newman .
Last season N.C. State saw several golden opportunities slip away during to the struggles of the kicking game, including a chance at a last-second victory at eventual national champion Clemson.
“I’m excited to have Carson join the family,” Doeren said. “He is a talented player who should be a great addition to our special teams as we look for him to handle our field goal and kickoff duties this fall.”
Rob McLamb has covered NC State Athletics and recruiting for Pack Pride (Scout.com) since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @RobMcLamb.