Pack picks Western Carolina’s Harper to lead Wolfpack Women

From the Associated Press – North Carolina State has chosen Western Carolina’s Kellie Harper to replace Hall of Famer Kay Yow as the Wolfpack’s women’s basketball coach, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The search committee will forward Harper’s name to the university’s board of trustees for approval at its meeting later this week. The person spoke on condition on anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been made, though the school has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon to announce the hiring of a new coach.

Harper has spent the past five seasons at Western Carolina, compiling a 97-65 record while leading the Catamounts to two NCAA tournament bids and a pair of Southern Conference championships. Harper also played under Pat Summitt as part of Tennessee’s three straight national championship teams from 1996-98.

The decision will be a sensitive one for many surrounding the Wolfpack program, which Yow led for more than three decades before her death in January after a long fight against cancer. Yow had hoped that the school would designate longtime assistant Stephanie Glance as her successor, but athletics director Lee Fowler said the school had to conduct a thorough search for a replacement.

Glance served as the interim coach when Yow took leave from the team in January. She also guided the Wolfpack when Yow was forced to step away for health reasons during the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons.

Glance, an assistant to Yow for 15 seasons, interviewed with Fowler for several hours in late March. She did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.