ACC MBB: N.C. State announces Gottfried will not return as head coach

David Kehrli, Triangle Sports Network
Let 'em know
David Kehrli, Triangle Sports Network

David Kehrli

RALEIGH, N.C. – N.C. State announced Thursday that head men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried will not return following the 2016-17 campaign, but will finish the season with the team.

Gottfried is 122-82 overall and 47-55 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during his six years leading the Wolfpack.

“Mark and I met today to discuss the future direction of our program,” N.C. State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow said of the decision to move on from Gottfried.

“While it has long been my practice to evaluate the body of work at season’s end, in reviewing the overall direction of our program, we believe a change in leadership is necessary moving forward. Our focus now remains on supporting our student-athletes and staff over the final weeks of our season.”

The Wolfpack (14-13, 3-11) entered the season with its highest expectations under Gottfried.

Freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is a projected top-5 2017 NBA Draft pick, and freshman center Omer Yurtseven has appeared in the first round of numerous mock drafts.

State has yet to come close to the expectations the majority of fans had for the team heading into the season.

Gottfried led the Pack to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first four seasons, making him only the third ACC coach ever to do such.

Last year N.C State went 16-17 (5-13), followed by this season’s disappointment, likely making it back-to-back years without NCAA Tournament appearances.

“It has been a privilege to serve as head coach of N.C. State, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished during my time here,” Gottfried said.

“N.C. State is a special place and I appreciate the opportunity to finish the remainder of the season.”

ABC11 WTVD’s Mark Armstrong first reported Tuesday that N.C. State had decided to fire Gottfried at the conclusion of the season.

According to N.C. State’s release, plans for the search process for a successor will begin immediately.