A View of the Search from the Cheap Seats

I don’t author much here on SFN and there’s a good reason for that. I’m not an insider. I don’t have any inside sources. I don’t pretend to. And when I am given a nugget of info from well connected friends, I don’t go and spout them off on the interwebs.

What I saw and felt is probably a lot what you guys experienced. All the stages of grief being experienced on a daily basis. One of the worst rollercoaster rides of all time…


Sid’s gone. Man, we almost had A-listers in the bag last time around and we had Fowler running the joint – this is a no brainer. Rick Barnes would be nice, but we could do better. How about some Sean Miller.

And Then…

Miller’s out of the tournament and he’s not in Raleigh… Ok, I guess Rick Barnes isn’t all that bad. Let’s grab him! He’ll surely want to come! And if he doesn’t, no problem. We’ve got a lot of B-Listers who would chomp at the bit. That Shaka guy is in the Sweet 16!

But wait!



He’s not coming either… why don’t we have a coach yet. Gregg Marshall will surely come… that Shaka Smart guy is attractive but he’s still coaching… Let’s just nab a B-Lister and get this show on the road.

Who wrote that letter?

That’s a rather odd letter from Debbie Yow… doesn’t sound good.


Mark Gottfried – gotta check Wikipedia. I have no idea who he is.

Many of us may not know a lot about Gottfried, but the more I learned, the more I’m starting to think that we’ll be ok. But this is what we know.

  1. Assistant UCLA (1987 – 1995); National Champions (1994).
  2. Head Coach Murray State (1995 – 1998); record 68 – 24; NIT (1996), NCAA Tournament (1997, 1998); Ohio Valley Champions (1996, 1997, 1998).
  3. Head Coach Alabama (1998 – 2009); record 210 – 132; NIT (1999, 2001, 2007), NCAA Tournament (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006); NCAA Tournament Elite 8 (2004); AP #1 (2003); SEC Champions (2002); SEC Coach of the Year (2002)

He has experience which Debbie Yow Promised. He was the Flavor of the Month candidate while coaching Murray State, widely considered a top mid-major school at the time. His tenure in Alabama ended with controversy though and, to be honest, he posted a sub stellar SEC record of 84 – 83 playing a bunch of football schools (and Florida).

I’m optimistic though. After I got through the shock of “Who?” and began to take a deep look at Gottfried, I became a bit more comfortable with the hire. No doubt this hire could be considered a failure comparing Mark to Sean Miller, Billy Donovan, and Rick Barnes. Regardless, he’s the coach now and we’ll hope for the best.

Adding to the optimism is the word around town that Dino Gaudio may join the staff as an assistant. This would be an AWESOME way to spend funds that are left unspent hiring Gottfried at $1.2 million a year. That has yet to happen – and you know how Internet rumors go. So hold on tight and keep the hope.

Welcome Coach Gottfried and GO PACK!

Debbie Yow Mark Gottfried

93 Responses to A View of the Search from the Cheap Seats

  1. NCStatePride 04/05/2011 at 9:59 PM #

    Waiting for the rumors of Bruce Pearl joining as an assistant. Wait, it’ll happen…

  2. WolftownVA81 04/05/2011 at 9:59 PM #

    A very good synopsis less all the BS tweets that kept popping up. While not thrilled at the moment, I hope to see what Debbie saw in him. I remain cautiously optimistic. Welcome coach Gottfried and Go Wolfpack.

  3. albunde6 04/05/2011 at 10:21 PM #

    I want to see what staff looks like. What does WPC do for MT. We have to let this play out, then evaluate after year 1.

  4. Khan 04/05/2011 at 10:22 PM #

    I just want to say that all of the people with “inside sources”, your sources absolutely SUCK. You will never have any credibility with the inside source “done deal” “so and so is in Raleigh”, etc. again. Don’t even try it. Nobody knew nothing. It all seems so silly now.

  5. lastmanstanding 04/05/2011 at 10:31 PM #

    Really? An 11 season SEC conference record of 83-82, with only 3 of 11 seasons featuring a winning conference record above .500, in a pre-dominantly football conference. And this was a good hire? I’d have rathered taken a chance on a nobody by comparison.

    And the reason he resigned mid-season at ‘Bama? Rumors were an affair with a student (or recent student).

    What this actually smells of is a bit of nepotism and a lot of frustration.

  6. Wolfman 9806 04/05/2011 at 10:33 PM #

    Great synopsis. Solid hire. Very pleased.

  7. BureauOfMines 04/05/2011 at 10:39 PM #

    “Who wrote that letter?

    That’s a rather odd letter …”

    That’s an understatement.

    Never have I seen any email sent to my alumni address with my address in all caps. The return path, [email protected], doesn’t match the From address, [email protected] and it is a strange address. X-Barracuda squawked about the MIME headers having been stripped. It doesn’t look like anything else I’ve gotten from NC State.

    And then there’s the content which said the coaches were concerned because we had not been to the NCAA in 5 years, that our program was in bad shape. Uhhhh, yeah. That’s why we were looking for a new coach. So basically they are put off because we needed a new coach?

    And why send a letter like this one day before announcing a new coach?

    Has anyone contacted the university to verify the authenticity of this letter?

  8. tuckerdorm1983 04/05/2011 at 10:40 PM #

    Can him make CJ Leslie stop taking those wild ass shots from outside?

  9. ncsu05mit10 04/05/2011 at 10:41 PM #

    I think this is why none of us are AD’s. Of course when the question comes up “Who should we hire?” the only names that seem good enough are Miller, Barnes, or Donovan. Then we argue which one of the 3 we’d rather have.

    So then when they’re not at all a reality, we turn to the “flavor of the month” candidates. This reactionary and short-sighted thinking can be dangerous.

    I’m cautiously optimistic with Gottfried. He had success at Alabama that 5 years ago would have been considered a “homerun hire.” His flaming out there is worrisome, and this is where we just have to trust Yow. She makes a living off knowing these things. I don’t.

  10. ringo 04/05/2011 at 10:42 PM #

    Happy to have Mark Gottfried after worrying all last night. He seems in control and like a no nonsense guy. Very authoritative when speaking, looks you in the eye. I like how he needs to rehab his image somewhat…we are in the same boat. He will be hungry. He is young. He has 270+ division 1 wins in his book. He is a knock out recruiter. He will bring an A+ staff. He communicates well. He has taken time off to reevaluate his career and made the choice to step up and take on our challenge when others ran off like little girls. The Pack is Back!

  11. bmamba101 04/05/2011 at 10:46 PM #

    YES, an official at State said Yow wrote the letter. Old news.

  12. Lumpy 04/05/2011 at 10:46 PM #

    Somebody wake me up when he wins his eighth ACC game of the season.

  13. Manu Ginobili 04/05/2011 at 10:47 PM #

    Barnes’ coaching record is not much better than Gott-fried (awesome name), IMO. Good hire, not great, but besides Miller and Donovan, none of the other candidates had a much better record and experience combined. A guy just won his first national title after coaching 26 years in woman’s bball, so who knows what can happen.

  14. JT 04/05/2011 at 10:48 PM #

    Getting Gaudio on the staff would be fantastic. And it would stick it to Wake for their dim decision to can him… Bonus.

  15. wolfpacker 04/05/2011 at 10:50 PM #

    If anyone thinks Smart was a better candidate, they are dreaming. Flavor of the month with 2 years experience and he’s scared, who wants a scared coach? Let him stay in his comfort zone where he can win. We needed someone who was looking for a challenge, we got it. Someone was looking out for the Wolfpack over the past few days.

  16. jbwbubba 04/05/2011 at 10:53 PM #

    Okay hire but very beige.
    .500 conference record is troubling.

    Embrace average that’s best you can expect

  17. hoop 04/05/2011 at 10:54 PM #

    Ya know, we could have ended up with Bzdelik.

  18. FunPack 04/05/2011 at 10:58 PM #

    “Somebody wake me up when he wins his eighth ACC game of the season.”

    LOL. I didn’t want to laugh at that, but I had to. Thanks Lumpy.

    I suspect most of the unhappiness expressed in various comments has much more to do with our own self-created expectations not being met, not because of realistic expectations that weren’t met.

  19. DC_wolf 04/05/2011 at 11:17 PM #

    tobaccordshow, you need to post more – that was good stuff. And the Billy Donovan charade WAS an annoying pain in the @$$.

    Welcome Coach MG – glad to have you on board! Though when I 1st heard the news I was like “huh, Wahhh??” But now that I’ve read more about you & heard some of the press conference I’m becoming cautiously optimistic. Everyone on this board wanted someone with @ least more coaching experience than Sid & we got that. Give us some wins & we’ll go to war for you… There is strength in the PACK.

  20. RememberV 04/05/2011 at 11:18 PM #

    The original post made me laugh out loud (yes I spelled the whole thing).

    With SFN down we all did the same thing, headed to the interwebs and straight for Wikipedia. This is what was happening down in the Wikipedia server room.

    Tech 1: Hey, odd, Mark Gottfried has gotten 500,000 hits in the past hour.

    Tech 2: Is that a lot?

    Tech 1: Yep, he only had 4 all last week.

    Tech 2: 400,000?

    Tech 1: No 4.

    Tech 2: hmmmm must have landed the State job.

    Tech 1: Yep

  21. packalum44 04/05/2011 at 11:19 PM #

    For those that truly believed the selling points of NC State, listen up. This guy took AL to the elite 8. We have much better facilities and enjoy a strong recruiting advantage to AL. All else equal, we should logically expect him to exceed the elite 8 ceiling he hit and make a Final Four. Just as if you put Tom O’Brien at AL, the reverse can be said about Gottfried.

  22. blpack 04/05/2011 at 11:19 PM #

    We all wanted a HR hire. This is a solid double. I think it has potential to work out well. How much has he learned in his time away? Who will be on his staff? Can he get a good class in Raleigh in 2012? It all seems do-able for Gottfried. I liked the presser. Welcome Coach!

  23. tann84 04/05/2011 at 11:23 PM #

    Anyone who is unhappy with this hire needs a reality check. 24 hrs ago we were at full panic mode.

    We wasn’t likely to get Barnes or Miller but we had to swing. This the next best thing. Only hiring Stevens, Barnes, or Miller would have been better. This is a better hire than Smart by far who’s run in the NCAA could be contributed to just his team getting hot from the 3 point line. Not to say that I wouldn’t have taken him if he came to us.

    Seriously look at his resume, elite 8, had a #1 ranked team, won the SEC regular season, was consistent in making the tourney and all this at a non-basketball school in a non-basketball conference.

    Compare that to Sendek’s resume when he got here… 3 years at Miami (OH) with 1 NCAA appearance?

    Heck some are even arguing that Barnes isn’t that much of an upgrade from this guy, he is def. younger.

    To me after looking back at it, this is an A-/B+ hire. Stevens/Barnes/Miller would have been an A+. But we could have done way worse and not much better. Now its time to get some results on the court.

  24. gotohe11carolina 04/05/2011 at 11:25 PM #

    this more of a single through the infield. may not be a homerun but we’re on base and we’ve got a little speed. if he makes the tourney next year we just stole second and third…

    btw techs at wikipedia bit made me lold.

  25. ryebread 04/05/2011 at 11:32 PM #

    Good synopsis of the ride. I never believed any of the BD junk. If there was any conversation there at all, I believed it was just to vet Smart.

    I’m a bit less optimistic though about the final hire. The key will be the assistants. We’d better hire some good ones who are also strong recruiters.

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