Doherty has joined the likes of Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Florida's Billy Donovan in a youth movement that has made distinguishing a coach from his players increasingly difficult.
This movement has also trickled down to some of the most successful mid-major programs in the country. Winthrop's Gregg Marshall and Tulsa's Buzz Peterson, who have already faced North Carolina, are both younger than the 38-year-old Doherty.
And they are both leading programs that made the NCAA tournament last season.
That streak continues tonight when 34-year-old Houston Fancher leads Appalachian State against the Tar Heels.
"I don't know if the game is changing, but the coaches have changed," Doherty said. "These young guys have done a pretty good job."
The Mountaineers host North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. in Fancher's head-coaching debut.
Tonight's contest is the first game that will be played at Appalachian State's new 8,300-seat Seby Jones Arena. It also marks the first pregame sellout in Mountaineer basketball history.
If the Tar Heels' first appearance in Boone in 40 years wasn't enough to heighten emotions, Appalachian State will be playing in its first game since the death of shooting guard Rufus Leach.
Leach, Appalachian State's leading scorer last season at 16.4 points a game, drowned this summer when he suffered leg cramps while trying to swim from an anchored boat to a dock off the Watauga Lake in Tennessee.