Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NC State gets Gottfried

Mark Gottfried is the new men's basketball coach at NC State.

This may not sound like the sexiest hire in the world, and that's because it isn't. Gottfried has been out of the coaching game for over 2 years, resigning his post at Alabama in January of 2009. Since then, he had been working as a TV analyst for ESPN. Factor in the reported interviews, offers, and subsequent refusals of some name guys like Sean Miller, Rick Barnes and Shaka Smart, and on the surface, the Gottfried hire sounds like he was the only guy that actually wanted the job.

That may be true, however, some of the names that said no also got some nice extensions and pay bumps from their current schools. Basically, if you're a decent college coach and NC State wants you, you want to take the call, because somehow, some way, your salary is about to increase. Wonder if the Pack have my number....but I digress.

That led me to wonder aloud on Sports Night, just why is the NC State coaching job considered to be radioactive? The aforementioned coaches aren't exactly slouches in their profession, and the ACC is certainly in the top 3 leagues (historically) in all of college hoops. NC State has tradition and history. So what made this job look so unattractive to so many "name" coaches?

I don't have the answer, of course, I am just asking hypothetically. Is it because Duke and North Carolina are the two tough guys on the block, and no one at NC State, in at least my 16 years of experience, has come remotely close to turning the tables and dominating them? Is it because Duke and UNC are simply that much better at what they do? Is it because of Wolfpack fans who are charged with running off Herb Sendek after he made 5 straight trips to the NCAA tournament?

It could be any of those factors, and then again, it could be none of the above. Again, I don't profess to have the solution to this riddle, but I will say this. The NC State job IS, in fact, a very good job to have. It's a school in a premiere league, with a first class arena to play home games in. Facilities are not the problem. Competition is not the issue, because, it's still darn good.

There is no doubt the job has a dark cloud hovering over it. There is some reason that so many coaches passed on the opportunity to lead this particular ACC school. The job now for Gottfried, and Director of Athletics Debbie Yow is to remove the stigma attached with coaching there. That can only happen by becoming a factor in the league.

I have said this to colleagues, and I believe this to be true: The ACC is a better league when all four member schools in North Carolina are competitive. NC State hasn't been competitive (overall) in my time in the state. I have watched the Pack go through a good man in Les Robinson, another good one in Sendek, and one of their favorite sons in Sidney Lowe. All three have one thing in common. They didn't win enough of the time to make the Pack a factor in the league.

That is the mission for Gottfried and his staff. They have to get the Pack back into the upper tier of the ACC. That's the place Duke and UNC call their own personal playground, while the remaining schools struggle to consistently find a spot alongside them. Maryland had their moments when they fit in with dueling blues. Wake and even Georgia Tech enjoyed a cup of coffee with them. The time for NC State to make that move is now.

And the Pack are banking on Gottfried to get them there.

Mike Solarte


balaji @ Dominos India said...

Nice update, we are most interesting cricket updating. Please update the cricket score is more viewers increasing. Bye….

Door Hangers said...

Great day today. I had news exact search from you site. I really impress to read that article. I openly I said your site will go in peak. Thanks Bye.