The Wolfpacker

March 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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64 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER W hen Press McPhaul became NC State's golf coach last summer, he had to pinch him‑ self. McPhaul played golf at NC State from 1991‑96 and returned to his alma mater to be Hall of Famer Richard Sykes' assistant from 1998‑2000. For the past 11 seasons, McPhaul has been the head coach at East Carolina, quali‑ fying for four NCAA Regionals and one NCAA Championship. When he got the call to replace the legendary Sykes at NC State, McPhaul felt a sense of exhilaration. However, when he interacted with former players, including some old teammates, McPhaul soon learned this would be more than a dream come true. "That exhilaration leads to a sense of re‑ sponsibility," he said. "Not a burden type of responsibility but just the kind of a respon‑ sibility that is akin to the foundation Rich‑ ard has built, and akin to the responsibility that NC State has invested in over time and wants to see that grow and wants to see that developed and wants to see that flourish." McPhaul and his assistant, Van Williams, decided that the best way to begin the tran‑ sition was to be patient. "Coach Williams and I just decided to take a methodical and slow approach," McPhaul noted. "We wanted to spend a lot of time observing, a lot of time evaluating and a lot of time getting to know the guys personally. We wanted to get to know them better before we started changing too much. I think the team and the coaches have bene‑ fited from this patient, methodical process." It might have also helped that McPhaul had quite a bit of familiarity with about half of the golfers on the roster. The coach esti‑ mated that he recruited four of them hard to join his program at East Carolina. One of those was junior Stephen Fran‑ ken, who McPhaul noted had a "fantastic" fall. "We knew how good a player he was," McPhaul said. "He's been a sensational competitor." ■ PREVIEW MEN'S GOLF As a sophomore during the 2016-17 season, Stephen Franken had the fourth-best strokes per round average in school history at 71.17. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS A SMOOTH TRANSITION Press McPhaul Takes Over For Legendary Richard Sykes As NC State's Head Coach

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