Mark Gottfried was fired today by NC State. The pressure had become too much for the university to let things ride out any longer. At the start of the season, optimism was high with a highly touted roster that featured potential lottery pick, Dennis Smith, as well as landing five-star Omer Yurtseven. In addition to those two guys Gottfried landed Markell Johnson, Ted Kapita, and Darius Hicks. The new guys paired with in-house guys Terry Henderson, Torin Dorn, Maverick Rowan, Malik Abu, and Beejay Anya had things trending up.
It all proved to be a mirage at this point as NC State finds itself at 14-13 and 3-11 in ACC play. Defense and a general lack of heart have doomed the Pack to the cellar of the ACC. In the midst of a six-game losing streak AD, Yow decided that they needed to go in a different direction as a program but will allow Gottfried to finish the season.
Mark Gottfried did help NC State University. He found a way to get the program back to the NCAA Tournament four straight times after not making an appearance in its’ previous five seasons. Coach Gottfried afforded me a great opportunity allowing me to be a student manager his first two years at NC State. He knew us all by name and treated us with great respect and for that I am thankful. Gottfried and his staff worked hard to bring NC State resources and talent to compete in the ACC.
NC State has a rich basketball history. Mark Gottfried came into NC State and displayed that history throughout the practice facility with renovations worthy of that tradition. The training room was top-notch with resources to help players recover and heal quickly. At the PNC he helped renovate the locker rooms as well as the training rooms to reflect an ACC program. Gottfried also didn’t back down from the two schools to NC State’s west. He was savvy with the media helping NC State gain more national exposure with features on ESPN as well as ESPNU that gave inside looks to practice.
NC State has a lot to offer Mark Gottfried’s successor. The fanbase, facilities, tradition, greatest conference in the country, competition, and potentially a decent roster for next season. Things did not reach the heights many wanted for NC State; however, Mark Gottfried did provide some great memories. We beat UNC and Duke. Two Sweet Sixteens including knocking off the one seed Villanova. There is no reason to dwell on his shortcomings at this juncture. He made the most of his opportunity upon his arrival. He injected some much-needed life into the NC State Basketball program and for that, I am thankful for his service. I will be applauding him this Saturday and I hope others will too.