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N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried will not return as head coach in 2017-18

N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried will not return as head coach of the Wolfpack in 2017-18.

Gottfried will finish the rest of the season as head coach.

“Mark and I met today to discuss the future direction of our program,” said NC State athletic director Debbie Yow. “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.”

His job has come under pressure over the course of the last week due to some disappointing performances capping off a disappointing season. The Wolfpack are just 14-13 on the season and 3-11 in the ACC following a 97-73 loss at home against in-state rival North Carolina on Wednesday night. That loss came on the heels of a 30-point drubbing at Wake Forest.

Gottfried, whose base salary is $760,000 annually plus $1.725 million in supplemental compensation, has three years remaining on his contract.

The next question will be who the Wolfpack look to as a replacement, and the obvious answer is going to be Archie Miller, an alum and one of the hottest young coaching names in the profession. Industry sources do not expect Miller to accept that job, meaning that Yow will have to look elsewhere. Gregg Marshall is a name that’s been mentioned in conjunction with the Wolfpack, although that hire would come at a significantly higher price tag than Gottfried; he makes more than $3 million a year at Wichita State and has turned down the job before.

Butler’s Chris Holtmann and VCU’s Will Wade both coach at good programs outside of the Power 5 structure that may be intrigued by a higher salary and a bigger league, although it’s arguable whether or not they’re at a better job right now. It may also be worthwhile for N.C. State to go after Ben Howland, the former UCLA head coach who is in year two of a rebuild at Mississippi State.

Perhaps the most interesting name that I’ve heard is Tom Crean, the embattled Indiana head coach that is on a hot seat of his own in Bloomington.

Former NBA coach Vinny del Negro, another alumnus, is a name that gets mentioned, as is Xavier’s Chris Mack, whose name we are contractually obligated to put in the mix for any and every high major job that opens up. UNC Wilmington’s Kevin Keatts, a member of Rick Pitino’s coaching tree, would be an interesting addition.

Another name to keep an eye on? Former Indiana head coach and current Houston leading man Kelvin Sampson. He’s from North Carolina and has roots in the state.