Gottfried new leader of Wolfpack
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 7:28 pm
By AARON BEARD
AP Basketball Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former Murray State skipper Mark Gottfried said all the things North Carolina State fans wanted to hear: He plans to contend for a national championship, be a fixture in the NCAA Tournament and go toe-to-toe with the Wolfpack’s highly ranked rivals.
Now he’s got to deliver.
“Every job in America has different challenges, obstacles, those things that make the job difficult,” N.C. State’s new men’s basketball coach said Tuesday. “I’m not backing down from anybody here, period. We want to win.”
Gottfried, 47, looked right at home, sporting a red N.C. State tie and lapel pin on his gray suit during his introduction. But he knows there’s a lot of work to do at a program that struggled in five seasons under Sidney Lowe. High on that list is avoiding repeatedly disappointing finishes in the Atlantic Coast Conference and beating Duke and North Carolina a little more often.
Athletic director Debbie Yow said Gottfried, who has broadcast for ESPN in recent years, will receive a five-year contract with a guarantee of $1.2 million annually, a deal that includes an automatic two-year extension if he leads N.C. State back to the NCAA Tournament in either of the next two seasons.
Gottfried has a career coaching record of 278-155 in 14 seasons at Murray State and Alabama.
He took seven teams to the NCAA tournament, including a run of five straight at Alabama from 2002-06 that also featured an appearance in the Phoenix Regional final in 2004. He also led the Crimson Tide to its first-ever No. 1 ranking during the 2002-03 season.
“That ain’t enough for me,” Gottfried said, turning to face the current Wolfpack players attending the news conference. “I’m here today because I want to play for a championship. That’s got to be your goal. You come to work every day, you come to practice, you better come with that in mind because that’s what we want to do.”
The hiring comes exactly three weeks after Lowe resigned from the program he led to a national championship as a player in 1983. He had an 86-78 overall record, but went just 25-55 in ACC play.
He never finished higher than ninth in the league and managed a 3-16 record against Duke and North Carolina.
Gottfried was in his 11th season as head coach at Alabama when he resigned in January 2009 amid criticism of the team’s performance and the departure of star guard Ronald Steele.
Published in The Messenger 4.6.11