Dereck Whittenburg, who achieved national prominence as captain and star guard on NC State’s 1983 national championship team, returned to his alma mater in the fall of 2013 as Senior Assistant to the Head Coach/Director of Player Development. In that role he serves as a mentor to the Wolfpack and assists with player development. In the two seasons since his return, Whittenburg has helped the Pack to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and a 44-28 record that includes the team’s Sweet 16 berth in 2015.
He brings to the Wolfpack nearly 30 years of college basketball coaching experience. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at NCSU under the late Jim Valvano (1985-86). He went on to continue his coaching career at George Mason (1986-87) and Long Beach State (1987-88) as a full-time assistant before returning to Raleigh for a three-year stint (1988-91) as an assistant coach once again under Valvano. He was also an assistant coach at Colorado (1991-93), West Virginia (1993-94) and Georgia Tech (1993-99) before beginning his career as a head coach at Wagner College and Fordham University.
As head coach at Wagner College, Whittenburg led his team to two postseason appearances (2002 NIT and 2003 NCAA) in a four-year stint. His 2002-03 Wagner team won the NEC regular season and tournament championships and made the school’s first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. He was also named 2003 NEC Coach of the Year. As head coach at Fordham, Whittenburg inherited a program with no previous success since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1995. In 2005 he managed to lead his team to an 18-12 record (10- 6 in A-10) and a fourth place league finish. In his 10 years as a collegiate head coach at the two schools, he became known for running an organized program with no major violations while graduating better than 80 percent of his players who stayed for four years.
Most recently he served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN from 2011-13 and was a regional scout for the Utah Jazz in 2013. He was also the executive producer of the network’s acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary, “Survive and Advance,” the only two-hour production in the series. “Survive and Advance” has become one of the most watched pieces of ESPN’s famed documentary series which won an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary Series in May 2014.
Whittenburg will forever be remembered for his standout playing days for the Wolfpack. He was named to the ACC Basketball Championship All-Tournament Team in 1983. That same season, he was picked to the NCAA All-West Regional squad as well as the All-Tournament team for the Final Four. His 24 point effort in the 1983 NCAA West Regional Final propelled NC State to the Final Four. He scored 14 points and assisted on the game winning dunk that gave NC State its second national title, a 54-52 win over Houston’s vaunted Phi Slamma Jamma squad. Whittenburg scored 1,272 career points and stands second at NC State in career 3-point shooting percentage (.476). His honored No. 25 Jersey hangs in the rafters of PNC Arena.
Personally appointed by Coach Valvano as the only member from the 1983 Championship Team, Whittenburg has actively served on the Board of Directors since the inception of the Foundation. Over the last 22 years the Board has worked tirelessly to raise more than $130M for cancer research.
A Washington, D.C. native and graduate of basketball powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School, he played for the legendary Morgan Wooten and was inducted into the DeMatha Catholic Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a member of DeMatha’s first national championship basketball team in 1978. Whittenburg, a third-round selection of the Phoenix Suns in the 1983 NBA Draft, earned a B.S. in Business Administration from NC State in 1984. He is married to the former Jacqueline Williams of Raleigh.