New NC State women’s basketball coach Wes Moore announced in July that Rachel Stockdale was joining his staff as the director of high school relations. Stockdale played for the Wolfpack from 2002 to 2006, and returns to NC State after spending the past six years as an assistant at Wake Forest, Elon and East Carolina.
The fall issue of NC State magazine will include a profile of Moore and how he’s preparing his first squad at NC State for the 2013-14 season. In the meantime, we talked with Stockdale about what brought her back to NC State, what her role and responsibilities will be with the women’s basketball program and what she learned from Coach Kay Yow.
How did you end back up at NC State? I loved coaching at East Carolina, but I was in a situation where I didn’t know what path I wanted to take. After graduating from NC State, I completed a yearlong marketing internship with Fox Sports in Florida, and I loved it. So I was thinking about moving back to marketing when Coach Moore and I had a conversation about this new position as director of high school relations. The job is a perfect fit for what I was envisioning as I transition out of coaching. It’ll allow me to still be part of a women’s basketball program, but it’s more of a marketing angle and there are some things I can bring to the table. It was a no-brainer. I love Raleigh. I love NC State. And there’s something about Wolfpack Nation that is very exciting. It’s like coming home.
What will be your role? Coach Moore has stressed the importance of getting to know the high school coaches in North Carolina. I grew up in Winston-Salem, I played high school and AAU ball in the state, and I’ve been coaching in the state for the past six years. I have a pretty good foundation and a lot of relationships already built; it’s just a matter of getting the coaches connected to Coach Moore and the rest of the coaching staff. I’m also trying to get those high school coaches on campus and excited about NC State and the national program we’re building. Outside of that, when recruits are here, I’ll be organizing and coordinating visits with the coaching staff. I’m very detailed and organized, so it plays to one of my strengths.
Will you miss coaching and recruiting? I don’t think people grasp the time that goes into coaching. People think it’s seasonal. But there are a lot of hours that go into it throughout the year, especially from a recruiting standpoint. I’m at a point now that this new position fits perfectly with where I wanted to go. But just because I’m stepping away from having a whistle around my neck, that doesn’t mean I want to be on an island by myself. I still want to be as involved as I can be within the NCAA rules and as much as Coach Moore wants me to be.
Who were your mentors? I had one of the best mentors, Coach Yow. Obviously, she was in an incredible coach, but she taught more about life than anything and that is what has carried through at the places I’ve coached and as I’ve been a mentor. It was from her I learned the importance of how you approach different obstacles and handle adversity. That’s what I hope to instill in these young ladies. The transition to college is tough, and kids go through a lot, but it’s a different journey for every person. You’ve got to take time to get to know each and every individual. What you say to one kid may not be what you say to another kid.
—Cherry Crayton ’01, ’03 MED