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It just doesn't look right...


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Rick Kravitz, right, watches the Wolfpack practice with defensive coordinator Steve Dunlap on Saturday.

Staff Photo by Ethan Hyman

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No wonder they shut us out in Charlotte.  Kravitz was passing them our playbook........ ;)

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No wonder they shut us out in Charlotte.  Kravitz was passing them our playbook........ ;)

Or maybe it was the NFLs first round draft pick?

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No wonder they shut us out in Charlotte.  Kravitz was passing them our playbook........ ;)

Or maybe it was the NFLs first round draft pick?

"pick" ?  try picks...

Three in the first round:

1      Houston      Williams, Mario      DE      6-7      294      North Carolina State

22      San Francisco      Lawson, Manny      OLB      6-5      240      North Carolina State

26      Buffalo      McCargo, John      DT      6-2      301      North Carolina State

They had two more defensive players drafted:

116      Tennessee      Tulloch, Stephen      ILB      5-11      242      North Carolina State

192      San Francisco      Hudson, Marcus      FS      6-1      193      North Carolina State

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Wish him the best ... would love to play NC St again - SOON !

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http://www.newsobserver.com/122/story/469726.html

RALEIGH - In December, Rick Kravitz was trying to scheme up a plan to beat N.C. State in a bowl game.

This year, he'll do all he can to help the Pack win another one.

Such is the nature of being an assistant coach in college football: here today, there tomorrow. In Kravitz's case, it meant moving from Jim Leavitt's staff at South Florida, where he helped build the Bulls' program from scratch, to State as safeties and special teams coach for Chuck Amato.

Leaving USF, where Kravitz was assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator, wasn't an easy decision. He's a Florida native who has spent much of his coaching career in the state and has family there.

To say Kravitz was dedicated to USF football and his players may be an understatement. Consider that in July 2004 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, yet decided to delay his surgery until after the season.

"I didn't think it was fair to the guys who had worked their butts off, and I didn't see myself being in any kind of jeopardy," he said. "I know [Leavitt] and everyone who knew about it were kind of upset with me for doing it, but I felt I owed it to the team."

Kravitz was Leavitt's first hire when the USF football program was created in 1995. He likes to joke about the early days when the football office was a trailer and the coaches didn't have a remote for their first VCR.

"I was the only assistant, so I had to punch the button," Kravitz said, chuckling.

The Bulls won from the start. They moved to Division I-A and into Conference USA, then to the Big East Conference. In December, they landed the first bowl bid in school history: the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.

USF's opponent? N.C. State.

Kravitz had a few connections to the Wolfpack staff. He knew Amato. He also was friends with defensive line coach Todd Stroud, who played for Kravitz in high school. When Stroud was head coach at the University of West Alabama in the mid-1990s, Kravitz was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

The Bulls held the Pack to 14 points in the New Year's Eve bowl, only to have the Pack's defense pitch a shutout. Not long after the bowl, Manny Diaz left the State staff to become defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State and Kravitz later agreed to take Diaz' job.

Kravitz joked that State coach Chuck Amato and Stroud "recruited" him a couple of times before, and Amato doesn't disagree.

"Yes, we've chatted," Amato said. "I've known Rick a long time. He's a real good recruiter and really a good coach.

"We saw what we were going to get when we watched 11 of their games before playing them in the bowl game."

Kravitz, 52, was chosen one of the five toughest assistants to replace by ESPN the Magazine. He was an active recruiter in the Florida Panhandle, with many high school contacts. He's considered an excellent teacher, and USF's defenses ranked among the nation's best, finishing first in takeaways (22 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries) in 2002.

Kravitz, who had an annual salary of $104,000 at USF, earns $115,000 at NCSU. He will continue to recruit in Florida.

Financially, the move to N.C. State made sense for Kravitz. So did the timing, personally. Kravitz, who is fully recovered from the cancer surgery, was remarried in February. His wife, Jo Ann, was seeking a job with a pharmaceutical company, and there were opportunities for her in the Triangle.

The transition -- to Raleigh, to State -- mostly has been a smooth one, Kravitz said.

"I do get lost all the time," he said with a grin. "Every road I take takes me to Durham."

Then there was the recruiting trip to Boone in the spring.

"My wife asked if I was taking a jacket," he said. "I'm a Florida boy. I say, 'A jacket? It's May.' I get to Boone and it's 38 degrees. Stopped at Kmart for a jacket."

Kravitz said he hopes to continue the Pack's tradition of blocking kicks and making a difference in games with its special teams. He also praised the amount of talent at the safety position, with starters Garland Heath and Miguel Scott backed up by DaJuan Morgan, J.C. Neal and freshman Jevon Walker.

"Defense-wise, we're still the same, so it's hasn't been that big a switch for us," said Scott, a junior from Miami. "Coach is pretty laid back. He gets to the point. He doesn't scream at you, but he does make sure you fix your problems."

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Kravitz is a helluva guy, He'll be head coach somewhere, someday.

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Art and I really miss Rick and JoAnn and going out to dinner with them and just hanging out and talking.  Hopefully his career will really take off and we wish him nothing but the best. :)

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