Detroit Detroit Pistons assistant coach Sidney Lowe will return to North Carolina State to coach the team he led to a national championship under Jim Valvano.
N.C. State, which has searched for a successor to Herb Sendek for the past month, will introduce Lowe as its new coach over the weekend, a person within the Pistons organization told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school planned to make its announcement Saturday.
Lowe was the point guard on the Wolfpack's 1983 national championship team under Valvano and ranks second among the school's all-time assist leaders and third in steals. Lowe, 46, declined comment when asked whether he had interviewed for the opening.
"Right now, my focus is right here," Lowe said Wednesday night as he walked onto the court while the Pistons were warming up.
He said earlier this week he would be interested in the job, but wasn't focusing on it as Detroit chases a second NBA title in three years. The Pistons concluded their first-round series against Milwaukee on Wednesday and will play the winner of the Cleveland-Washington series.
The hiring was first reported by The News & Observer of Raleigh and ESPN.com.
N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler and Pistons coach Flip Saunders did not immediately return phone calls Thursday afternoon.
Saunders said most coaches, including Lowe, think about what it would be like to coach where they went to college.
"He's always kept in close touch with the program," Saunders said Wednesday.
The Wolfpack's top two targets - Texas' Rick Barnes and Memphis' John Calipari - reportedly turned down offers of about $2 million a year to replace Sendek, who went 191-132 in 10 seasons before leaving for Arizona State last month.
Last week, two more names linked to the job - former UCLA coach and TV analyst Steve Lavin, and West Virginia coach John Beilein - issued statements saying they would remain in their current positions.
Sendek led N.C. State to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, tying the late Valvano for the best run in school history. But Sendek was criticized in recent seasons despite that success.