Mark Gottfried Fired as NC State Basketball Coach, Will Finish Rest of Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2017

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 08: Head coach Mark Gottfried of the North Carolina State Wolfpack coaches against the North Carolina Tar Heels on January 08, 2017 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 107-56. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
Peyton Williams/Getty Images

North Carolina State University announced on Thursday that head basketball coach Mark Gottfried will not be retained following the 2016-17 season, according to Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer:

Andrew Carter @_andrewcarter

N.C. State makes it official: Mark Gottfried won't return next season. Statement from State: https://t.co/Y4jjoqt66x

Gottfried took over at NC State in 2011 following the resignation of Sidney Lowe. The former Murray State and Alabama head coach produced consistent results during his first four years in Raleigh, guiding the team to at least 22 wins and an NCAA tournament berth in each season.

That run of success included two trips to the Sweet 16. Alas, that initial prosperity raised expectations for the storied program, which won national titles in 1974 and 1983, in a major way moving forward, which probably played a role in the 53-year-old coach's quick fall from grace.

The Wolfpack posted a lackluster 16-17 record in 2015-16, which marked Gottfried's first losing campaign since 1999-2000 with the Crimson Tide.

Any hope of an immediate bounce-back year began to fade midway through 2016-17 as NC State (14-13) continues to hover around the .500 mark.

An extended losing streak starting in late January led Jeff Goodman of ESPN to report the veteran coach had landed on the hot seat. Sources said athletic director Debbie Yow became frustrated with the team's lack of effort, a stance backed up by an ACC counterpart.

"They have more than enough talent to get to the NCAA tourney," an ACC coach told ESPN. "They just don't play hard at all."

At the same time, Gottfried tried to downplay the immense speculation concerning his job status and attempted to shift the focus back to a late-season rebound, per Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com.

"[I] still believe in our team," he said. "I believe we've shown at times how good we can be, and my hope is we can turn this around and figure out how to get into the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in six years. That's where I am; that's where I am personally."

Ultimately, North Carolina State decided it was time to move in a new direction. Although it would be fair to argue he deserved a little more leeway, given the success over his first four years at the helm, there's no doubt the team had become stagnant.

Gottfried sports a 122-82 record with the Wolfpack. His overall record now stands at 400-237, good for a .628 winning percentage across three stops and two decades as a head coach at the collegiate level.

Looking ahead, his track record is strong enough to receive another opportunity. It's unclear when that may arise, however, as he needed to wait more than two years to take over at NC State after stepping down at Alabama.


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