SAN DIEGO - MARCH 18: Head coach Mark Gottfried of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to a play during the game against the UCLA Bruins in the second round of the NCAA National Championship on March 18, 2006 at Cox Arena in San Diego, California. UCLA defeated Alabama defeated 62-59. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Mark Gottfried Introduced As New N.C. State Basketball Coach

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Mark Gottfried To N.C. State: Debbie Yow Calls Out Gary Williams At Press Conference

Apparently, press conferences to introduce new head coaches can't just be about the coaches, anymore. Today, Mark Gottfried was introduced as the new coach at N.C. State at a press conference, but rather than concentrate on asking Gottfried about why he took the job or what his vision for the program is, reporters decided to focus on N.C. State director Debbie Yow. Thanks to some back and forth shots between her and University of Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams, who used to work for Yow, reporters asked Gottfried multiple times about Yow's reputation as someone who is hard to work with. Gottfried side-stepped these questions, but Yow felt the need to respond, and she did. Bluntly.

"I don't have a reputation across all men's basketball as being difficult to work with. I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who tried to sabotage the search. Come on. We all know that. So whatever. It's Gary Williams doing his thing, so whatever."  

If I made a list of things I don't want my boss to say at a press conference, "so whatever" would probably only rank behind slurs. It's odd language for an AD to use, and the fact that she felt the need to respond just perpetuates the rumor that she's a piece of work. Hopefully for N.C. State fans and honestly, for any neutrals, this is a made-up media story and things will run smoothly in Raleigh in the future.

(Quote via Terrapin Trail.)

For more on N.C. State sports news, visit Backing The Pack.


Mark Gottfried's N.C. State Basketball Contract Reportedly $1.2 Million Per Year

Mark Gottfried will reportedly be paid $1.2 million per year for five seasons to replace Sidney Lowe as N.C. State Wolfpack basketball coach, according to an Associated Press report. The contract also reportedly incudes an automatic two-year extension if the Pack reach the NCAA Tournament in 2012 or 2013.

That deal is pretty much in line with those signed by just about every other coach so far this offseason, other than Mike Anderson’s at Arkansas. Still, a potential seven-year deal for a coach who’s taken a year and a half off is quite a surprise.

The program will reportedly announce Gottfried at a press conference beginning on campus at 5 pm ET. That’s pretty darn soon. If you can’t catch the live broadcast on Raleigh’s WRAL, Backing The Pack’s open thread should keep you up to date.

For more on N.C. State sports news, visit Backing The Pack.


Mark Gottfried Reportedly To Be Announced As New N.C. State Basketball Coach

The N.C. State Wolfpack basketball program will unveil its new head coach at a Tuesday press conference, scheduled for 5 pm ET in the campus’ Vaughn Towers. It’s scheduled to air live on WRAL in Raleigh. The name flying all over as the reported man of the hour: Mark Gottfried, most recently Alabama Crimson Tide head coach. 

Gottfried led Bama to five NCAA Tournament trips including an Elite Eight, along with a SEC title and three NIT bids before declining a CBI invitation and missing any postseason activity whatsoever in his last complete season. He resigned mid-season in 2009.

Previously he coached at Murray State, dominating the Ohio Valley Conference and making two straight March Madness ventures. He’s also been an assistant at UCLA and played collegiately for the Tide. He has a career record of 278-155.

Early reactions are in, and Wolfpack fans are not ecstatic.

For more on the Pack, visit Backing The Pack.


N.C. State Basketball AD Debbie Yow On Coaching Search: 'The Program Is In Poor Shape'

After at least three college basketball coaches have turned down the very available N.C. State Wolfpack job, athletic director Debbie Yow sent a letter to concerned fans and alumni Monday night. The job, vacated by Sidney Lowe almost a month ago, was considered one of the three or four best available at the start of coaching carousel season.

As the jobs at Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, and Arkansas filled up, and even Missouri was able to hire somebody, the Pack remain coachless. Shaka Smart was Monday’s most publicized spurning, but Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall also said no to Raleigh.

While I think N.C. State should just tell Loyola that the small school can use the Wolfpack nickname if it gives up its hoops coach, Yow should be commended for writing a candid letter that explains why a Tobacco Road program with a successful history is having a hard time finding a new coach:

Dear Wolfpack Family,

I am writing to share with you the status of the search for our new head coach for men’s basketball. There have been telephone conversations with successful coaches that did not develop into meetings – sometimes because we did not wish to pursue those coaches further and sometimes because the coach involved is happy where he is.

The conversations have been candid. We have not tried to sugarcoat the challenge of rebuilding our basketball program. Our absence for 5 consecutive years from the NCAA Tournament was noted by each coach as evidence that the program is in poor shape and will require a special effort to rebuild.

Finding a coach with the fight and fire to do this job has been a challenge. That said, we will find an excellent college coach who shares the vision of what State Basketball can become and is up for the challenge.

I realize there are multiple rumors surfacing about the nature of the search on websites and in newspapers. Once our new coach is hired, I will be in a position to bring perspective to a number of those rumors. But, right now, we need to remain focused on finding a talented collegiate coach who is a fighter, full of confidence and appreciation for the opportunity to lead our basketball program back to national prominence.

That will happen in spite of those who believe this cannot occur.

Wolfpack Basketball is destined for a revival. We will accept no less. Please keep the faith while we continue the search. Your emails and text messages of support have meant everything to me. I am blessed to be your AD.

In the Spirit of the Pack,


For more on the ongoing search for a new Pack leader, visit Backing The Pack.


Sidney Lowe Officially Steps Down As N.C. State Head Coach

Sidney Lowe and Athletic Director Deborah A. Yow announced today the plan for Lowe to leave as head coach after five years at NC State.

“I have been truly blessed by the opportunity to coach at my alma mater,” Lowe said. “I am thankful for this experience. I am excited to follow the path the Lord takes me on as I maintain my relationship with the Wolfpack family for years to come.”

In his five seasons as Wolfpack head coach, Lowe amassed an overall record of 86-78 (.524) and 25-55 (.313) in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately and associate head coach Monte Towe will continue in his current role and lead the program in the interim.

According to Joe Giglio, the top targets are Arizona’s Sean Miller and Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon. Others have intimated that Butler’s Brad Stevens could be targeted as well.

Meanwhile, James Henderson is reporting that Lowe already has an interview with an NBA team lined up already.

For more on Lowe and N.C. State sports, join Backing The Pack.


Sidney Lowe Resigns As N.C. State Basketball Coach, According To Report

Sidney Lowe stepped down Tuesday from his post as head coach of the N.C. State Wolfpack basketball team, according to the Charlotte Observer's J.P. Giglio. A 6 pm EST news conference has reportedly been scheduled.

Lowe went as State head coach. In his five seasons in Raleigh, the Wolfpack failed to reach the NCAA Tournament after five straight March Madness bids under Herb Sendek. Lowe's teams reached the AP top 25 in only one season, peaking at No. 21. If he's stepping down, he's doing so with a 86-78 overall record, 25-55 in ACC games.

One of the key players on N.C. State's 1983 National Championship team, Lowe has maintained throughout his time on campus that returning the program to greatness was his highest goal. He also had a long career as an NBA player and has been an assistant coach for four different NBA teams.

His contract buyout is reportedly $700,000.

For more on Lowe and N.C. State sports, join Backing The Pack.

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