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Originally published Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:12 AM

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NC State athletic director Lee Fowler steps down

North Carolina State athletic director Lee Fowler is resigning next month, ending a 10-year run with the school.

The Associated Press


North Carolina State athletic director Lee Fowler is resigning next month, ending a 10-year run with the school.

Fowler will step down June 30.

In a release from the school, chancellor Randy Woodson said he spoke with Fowler on Monday and the two "agreed that now is the appropriate time to make a change." Woodson will name an interim director before Fowler's last day to lead the department until a national search finds a replacement.

N.C. State said it will honor Fowler's contract, which expires Sept. 20, 2013, and pays him $280,000 per year.

"Naturally I am disappointed that I will not see firsthand the fruits of 10 years' work," Fowler said in a statement, "but I have the greatest confidence that with the caliber of facilities and coaches we now have, along with a talented and dedicated administrative staff, the athletics program is poised for great success going forward."

Fowler, 58, directed the drive to upgrade facilities for the 23-sport athletic department, most notably with the $98 million worth of work to bowl in Carter-Finley Stadium as well as building the Murphy Center to house the football program and Vaughn Towers with luxury suites and club seats.

He also had to make a coaching move in football and men's basketball, the Wolfpack's two major sports programs. After Herb Sendek left to take over Arizona State's basketball program in 2006, Fowler conducted a monthlong search that missed on big names like Rick Barnes and John Calipari before settling on former Wolfpack player Sidney Lowe.

Later that year, Fowler fired Chuck Amato and lured Tom O'Brien away from Boston College to lead the football program.

Last year, Fowler also hired Kellie Harper to lead the women's basketball program after the death of Hall of Famer Kay Yow.

Wolfpack fans have been particularly frustrated with Lowe, who inherited a program that had been to the NCAA tournament five straight years but has yet to go as he heads into his fifth year. O'Brien, meanwhile, has had a slow and injury-plagued start in three seasons. Harper's first team had a surprise run to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship game and reached the NCAAs.

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