Gottfried’s buyout is $3.75 million

We discussed the media-generated rumors that Mark Gottfried will be a candidate at UCLA in this entry yesterday. Today, Joe Giglio highlights that pursuing Gottfried would be very expensive for the Bruins.

If UCLA is interested in N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried to replace Ben Howland, it would cost the Bruins.

Gottfried, who led N.C. State to the NCAA tournament in his first two seasons, has a $3.75 million buyout in his contract.

UCLA is expected to pursue Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens, according to the Los Angeles Times, but Gottfried has multiple connections to the Pac-12 power.

Gottfried spent eight seasons as an assistant to Jim Harrick at UCLA, including the 1994-95 season, when the Bruins won their last national title — and only one since the legendary John Wooden retired in 1975.

Gottfried also had a student-mentor relationship with Wooden, while Gottfried was an assistant to the Bruins, and has implemented the principles of Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” at N.C. State.

UCLA fired Howland on Sunday, a move that will cost the school $3.5 million in a buyout, according to the Times. Howland went 233-107 in 10 seasons at UCLA with three trips to the Final Four.

There have been problems inside the program, as detailed in a Sports Illustrated story last February, and also with attendance. The financial reasons are one of the primary motives UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero made the decision to dismiss Howland.

UCLA spent $138 million to renovate Pauley Pavilion and the average attendance this season was 9,549, about 4,200 less than capacity. Only five of the 18 homes games attracted more than 10,000 fans.

Howland brought in one of the top recruiting classes last season, and played a more up-tempo style in going 25-10 and winning the Pac-12 regular-season title, but his best teams were known for a grinding, defensive style.

“We will look for someone who plays a fun brand of basketball,” Guerrero said, according to the Times. “We don’t want to bring in a coach who averages 50 points per game.”


It’s unclear if UCLA will pursue Gottfried or if his connections to Harrick will be viewed as a positive or a negative. Harrick’s the only UCLA coach, other than Wooden, to win a national title but he was fired before the start of the 1996-97 season after setting off an NCAA investigation that concluded his program provided improper benefits to players, recruits and a club team coach.

Gottfried still has a close relationship with Harrick, who lives in California but attended a handful of N.C. State games the past two seasons, including last Friday’s loss to Temple in Dayton, Ohio.

Two members of Gottfried’s N.C. State staff, Larry Farmer and Jeff Dunlap, also have UCLA connections. Farmer, Gottfried’s director of player development, was a star player for Wooden in the early 1970s and was UCLA’s head coach for three seasons in the early 1980s. Dunlap, N.C. State’s director of operations, played for Farmer at UCLA.

Gottfried’s contract with N.C. State was reworked last September and extended through the 2017-18 season. The buyout calls for the amount of his base salary ($750,000) for each of the five seasons remaining on his contract.

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43 Responses to Gottfried’s buyout is $3.75 million

  1. LRM 03/25/2013 at 2:03 PM #

    It’s interesting how much differently “West Coach” jobs are perceived.

    UCLA should be a dream job for a guy like Shaka or Stevens, but it’s abundantly clear that you need the proclivity — or stomach — for managing all the outside factors around the program.

  2. WolftownVA81 03/25/2013 at 2:04 PM #

    “We will look for someone who plays a fun brand of basketball,” Guerrero said, according to the Times. “We don’t want to bring in a coach who averages 50 points per game.”

    I can see the financial reason to make a move but the statement above shows no class.

  3. Adventuroo 03/25/2013 at 2:06 PM #

    Giglio is 100% correct. Coach’s income is as follows:

    Annual Salary – $750K

    Supplemental Compensation – $1,200K
    NOTE…..this was increased from $450K to $1,200K in Sept, 2012…..i.e., he got a nice raise.
    Competitive Bonus POTENTIAL – $750K
    Academic Bonus POTENTIAL – $750K

    So, Coach has 5 years left….buyout is for Annual Salary ONLY or $3,750K as long as Coach’s contract is in effect.

  4. 1.21 Jigawatts 03/25/2013 at 2:10 PM #

    “We don’t want to bring in a coach who averages 50 points per game.”

    Guess this rules out the future UCLA Fighting Sendeks.

  5. wufpup76 03/25/2013 at 2:21 PM #

    So, no to Bo Ryan and Tony Bennett … You’re limiting your candidate pool Dan Gurrero!

    Andy Enfield goes from the Credit Union to LA and takes his smoking hot wife with him.

    Doubt it … But you never know …

  6. Astral Rain 03/25/2013 at 2:43 PM #

    I see no problem with not wanting boringball. We have enough of that infecting college ball as is.

    (some of it is due to too many D-I programs)

  7. primacyone 03/25/2013 at 2:49 PM #

    It’s going to be a shocker: Gregg Marhsall

  8. Hawkeye Whitney 03/25/2013 at 3:09 PM #

    If Shaka passes on this one, then he really is in love with VCU, and that school is incredibly fortunate to have him. The same goes for Brad Stevens, who I do not think wants to be anywhere else.

  9. primacyone 03/25/2013 at 3:30 PM #

    Shaka is holding out for the UNC gig.

  10. Rick 03/25/2013 at 4:31 PM #

    “We will look for someone who plays a fun brand of basketball,” Guerrero said, according to the Times. “We don’t want to bring in a coach who averages 50 points per game.”

    That rules out Smart. He has that boring, defense first and chunk up threes style.

  11. TMD11 03/25/2013 at 4:58 PM #

    UCLA isn’t interested, and Gottfried isn’t interested…so what is the purpose of this post…..??

    Create discord and false rumors…?

  12. 13OT 03/25/2013 at 5:23 PM #

    I seriously doubt that a few million dollars would be a stumbling block for a major school located in the richest area of Los Angeles. Regardless of what you read about California budget problems, there is money, and PLENTY of it in Southern California. West Virginia it ain’t.

    I can’t say what’s best for a storied program like UCLA, but I’d want somebody with some West Coast connections in terms of recruiting. Shaka Smart may be the best coach out there if they’re looking at “up and coming” guys, but does he have a network for that part of the country?

  13. highstick 03/25/2013 at 5:24 PM #

    Shaka Khan will not sniff UnC…That would be funny!

    Marshall, maybe. With the “mousse”, he could be the next Pat Riley!

  14. JohnGalt78 03/25/2013 at 5:53 PM #

    Agree TMD11. Annoyed by the post and the rumor BS. Why don’t we all sit in a circle and knit a quilt while we’re at it.

  15. Wulfpack 03/25/2013 at 6:14 PM #

    I love Gregg Marshall but they didn’t fire Howland to hire him. They are looking for a splash. I think this has Shaka written all over it. He would be amazing there.

  16. partialqualifier 03/25/2013 at 6:30 PM #

    I hope Coach Gott sticks around. I know some of us can be hard on a coach now and then (myslef included), but he has done a good job so far. He has at least earned the common decency of appreciation.

    I dont think UCLA will find a lot of coaches anxious to jump. The landscape of college basketball has changed so much that I just dont see a lot of movement from top-tier coaches.

    As for Shaka Smart, if he is gonna move, he better do it soon. Every year a new “hot coach” comes along and your weaknesses as coach make you less attractive. Outside of other teams in the A-10, Smart does not have a particularly strong record against top 25 opponents, and his recruting isnt blowing anyone away either.

  17. WolftownVA81 03/25/2013 at 6:41 PM #

    “I see no problem with not wanting boringball. We have enough of that infecting college ball as is. ”

    Me either. I just think after all Howland acheived at UCLA there’s a better way to say what he envisioned for the program. Maybe it’s just me.

  18. Tau837 03/25/2013 at 7:04 PM #

    According to a UCLA poster on another board who seems to generally have good inside info:

    1. UCLA’s first tier is Stevens, Donovan, and Pitino. Smart is their next candidate. The list goes no further at this point.

    2. Money is not an issue that will stop them from getting any candidate they want. UCLA is flush with cash right now due to the Pac-12 TV contract and because they are finally allowing donors to pay coaching salaries (which they did not do prior to Jim Mora coming on as football coach).

    Personally, I would be surprised if any of Stevens (holding out for IU, Duke, or maybe UNC), Donovan (East Coast guy, makes a lot already, comfortable, arguably has better program), or Pitino (60 years old, makes a lot already, comfortable, has better program, basketball is king) took the job. So it may come to Shaka.

    I view Shaka as a major risk, although he comes with huge upside given his age… if successful, he could be there for 30 years. But he has never won his own conference, and I’m not convinced his “havoc” system will work at a power (e.g., will elite recruits want to work that hard and share minutes?). He also hasn’t been a big recruiter, but I suspect it’s pretty easy to recruit the West Coast for UCLA, so that wouldn’t likely be an issue.

    It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  19. Alpha Wolf 03/25/2013 at 7:29 PM #

    I doubt Mark Gottfried will leave us. But, stranger things have happened and his name has been mentioned.

    Thing is, that’s a sign of success, and you better get used to it if your coach is doing well. That applies to Coach Gott, and if Dave Doeren has a couple solid years on the gridiron, it will happen with him too. It’s just the way it goes.

    The best way to combat these things from a personal standpoint is to make sure you’re a member of the Wolfpack Club, that you make whatever contribution you can to help your team pay its good coaches and to hire better ones when a poor one is replaced.

  20. bluelena69 03/25/2013 at 7:35 PM #

    “We don’t want to bring in a coach who averages 50 points per game.”

    So I take it they aren’t interested in Tony Bennett?

  21. WTNY 03/25/2013 at 8:06 PM #

    “… Howland brought in one of the top recruiting classes last season, and played a more up-tempo style in going 25-10 and winning the Pac-12 regular-season title …”

    Won the regular-season and was fired? Wow.

  22. eas 03/25/2013 at 8:07 PM #

    Although I don’t think Gott is a top candidate at all for the UCLA job you have to be realistic and assume there is a chance he would leave. Think about it, was he our top pick? No but I’m glad it worked out. The reality is all programs shoot for the stars but go to a back up plan if it fails.

    If their top 4-5 coaches say “no thanks” where do they go from there? That’s right….Tier 2. At that point they need a solid hire to prevent chaos and they will/can shell out money to make it happen. This is where I think Gott comes in to the mix. If the search drags out or the candidate pool shrinks it is certainly a possibility. A slim one I would think but a possibility for sure.

    I don’t think Gott is going anywhere unless 2 things happen.
    1. All the top choices bail out and UCLA comes calling with big money and a very long contract.
    2. CJ and Lo (both) return next year leaving Gott worried about attitudes and expectations that he may not achieve due to player issues. Based on his recent comments after the Temple loss about the season I really think he wants to deal with team players next year without the drama.

  23. Wulfpack 03/25/2013 at 8:11 PM #

    Three final fours too, WTNY. A sign of the times.

    Pitino, Donovan and Smart? Now this search is really starting to take an NCSU flavor. Love it!

  24. Wulfpack 03/25/2013 at 8:17 PM #

    Great point, eas. Gott wants no part of Leslie and Brown returning. He was not able to get through to them. His team next year if he isn’t in Westwood.

  25. eas 03/25/2013 at 8:31 PM #

    It is pretty easy to tell he wants no part of the player drama. That’s why I do think we may need to be worried a little if the UCLA search turns south. That is exactly how we hired Gott in the first place. Lets hope the LA boys already have their guy locked up. It’s not like we aren’t paying Gott very well either but hey it’s all money in the end. Of it weren’t no great coaches would ever leave.

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