The importance of a good application letter

March 1, 2011

Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert (center) beat out several other candidates, including former N.C. State head coach Chuck Amato, to become the Charlotte 49ers' first football coach.

The Charlotte 49ers announced today that Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert will be the school’s first football coach when the team debuts in 2013.

Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose admitted that she’d never even heard of Lambert before getting his application letter three weeks ago. Rose said:

“I read his letter of application and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, who is this guy?’ It was not your cookie cutter letter. No, it talked about growing up on a farm in Kansas, work ethic and what he would do as coach. So I started making phone calls.”

This is an important lesson for you soon-to-be college graduates out there: A good cover letter is crucial when applying for any job.
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N.C. State’s greatest quarterback*

February 16, 2011

Russell Wilson's place in N.C. State history is loftier than you think.

If you’re still reading this, you’re at least slightly open to a little heresy. And suggesting that anyone other than Philip Rivers is N.C. State’s all-time best quarterback qualifies.

When he graduated in 2003, Rivers held nearly every N.C. State and Atlantic Coast Conference passing record. He is the all-time conference leader in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. He’s second in quarterback rating and adjusted yards per passing attempt, according to Listing Rivers’ NCSU records would take up more space than the Internet allows.

Russell Wilson built a more humble legacy. It appears that he’ll leave N.C. State sharing the conference and school single-season records for touchdown responsibility, with 37 last year. He’s sharing that record with, of course, Rivers. Wilson also holds the school records for single-game completions (38 against Boston College in 2010), single-season pass attempts (527 in 2010) and single-season total plays (670 in 2010).

Rivers has a far deeper statistical footprint. But before you dismiss the idea that Wilson was in the same league, consider Quarterback A and Quarterback B: Read the rest of this entry »

Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 11

November 13, 2009

Three weeks from now, Team IoT will meet face-to-face in New York City. One of us will be buying a grossly overpriced steak for the other.

This weekly picks column will determine whose wallet gets lighter in The Big Apple. Right now, I’m holding a two-game lead on Jeremy. As has become our custom, we differ on two games this week: Miami at North Carolina and Boston College at Virginia.

Four of six ACC games Saturday will occur in central North Carolina. The corpse of Florida State, beheaded last week by the needless loss of quarterback Christian Ponder, is traveling to Winston-Salem to play Wake Forest. Duke hosts Georgia Tech, the ACC’s last hope for national relevance. Miami visits Chapel Hill to play North Carolina. And N.C. State hosts C.J. Spiller and Clemson. A warning to the Wolfpack: I’ll be in the stands this week. State hasn’t won a game I’ve attended in five years.

A tangent: at Carter-Finley, I’ll be wearing my T.A. McLe … er, my Levar Fisher jersey. A funny story: at the last home game of the 2002 season, McLendon and Phil Rivers jerseys were both on sale for $20. “Why get a #17 that will only be useful for another year,” I thought. “You’ll be able to wear that 44 when Touchdown Anytime wins the Heisman in 2004! And hey, how about Kelly Rowland? Beyonce will rue the day she split with THAT hitmaker.” Way to be, Jimmy. Way to be.

Elsewhere, Virginia hosts Boston College, while Virginia Tech travels to College Park to play Maryland.

Jimmy’s Picks (53-23) Jeremy’s Picks (51-25)
Georgia Tech
at Duke
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
at N.C. State
Clemson Clemson
Florida State
at Wake Forest
Wake Forest Wake Forest
Virginia Tech
at Maryland
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
at North Carolina
North Carolina Miami
Boston College
at Virginia
Boston College Virginia

Russell Wilson’s encore

September 3, 2009
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Wolfpack Nation is drenched in optimism these days.

N.C. State fans are (somewhat uncharacteristically) seeing the bright side of things. They see the N.C. State football team as the squad that closed 2008 with four straight wins and a narrowly lost bowl game, not the one that lost six of eight to start the season.

They see a team whose health can only improve after the catastrophic string of injuries that undid last year’s team.

Above all, they see a quarterback who’s only scratched the surface of what he can do.

Are they right?

Last year, then-redshirt freshman Wilson had one of the unlikeliest great seasons we’ve seen in the ACC. In the preseason, he won a three-man battle for the starting quarterback’s position. A concussion felled him in the season opener against South Carolina, and a knee injury shelved him midway through the Bowl against Rutgers.

In between, Wilson had one of the more extraordinary debut seasons in ACC quarterback history. He was named to the All-ACC first team, the first freshman to earn that honor in the conference’s 57-year history. State was a markedly better team when he was on the field.

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