Gottfried Justifiably on the Hot Seat

After last season’s 5-13 conference record, the ACC media and fans of NC State were expecting this year’s team to compete in the top half of the ACC and at a minimum make the NCAA tournament. Some people(me) had even higher expectations like spending most of the season ranked in the top 25 and competing for a top 6 seed come Selection Sunday. Afterall, this was year 6. Gott has his assistant coaches in place and his roster stocked with his guys.

Unfortunately, the season hasn’t gone as expected. Heading into tonight’s game against FSU, the team sits at 3-8 in conference play. We have 7 games left on the schedule and we are likely underdogs in each game(Kenpom). There is a distinct possibility that we won’t see another win this regular season. There has been “hot seat” talk on various NC State message boards, but generally there hasn’t been much discussion of Gottfried’s future at State elsewhere. But having gone 8-21(.275) in conference play over the last two seasons it got me thinking how that compares to previous NC State coaches who were all under major pressure at similar stages of their tenure at NC State. Would the data suggest/justify discussion of whether Mark Gottfried should get a 7th season as the NC State head coach?

The following numbers are the conference records of Les Robinson, Sidney Lowe, Herb Sendek, and Mark Gottfried for what I consider comparable timeframes to Gott’s last two years:

-Les Robinson(Year 5 & 6): 7-25 (.219)
-Herb Sendek (Year 4 & 5): 11-21 (.344)
-Herb Sendek (Year 5 & 6): 14-18 (.438), 1 NCAA
-Sidney Lowe (Year 4 & 5): 10-22 (.313)
-M. Gottfried(Year 5 & 6): 8-21 (.275)

-I picked two different time frames for Sendek because everyone can remember the pressure he was under during year 4 & 5, but I also wanted to put his record up for year 5 & 6 to see how each coach compares after having 6 years to build the program.

-The good news for Mark Gottfried is that even if he loses the final 7 games this year, his 8-28 record and .222 winning percentage would surpass Les Robinson’s final two years. What a relief!

-If Gottfried goes 7-0 down the stretch, then his ACC record of 15-21(.417) will still be worse than Herb Sendek during his 5th and 6th season.

-Gottfried must go 4-3 the rest of the way to finish 12-24(.333) to exceed Sidney Lowe’s final two seasons. Is that going to happen?

-Gottfried needs 5 wins(13-23, .361) to do better than Herb Sendek’s 4th and 5th season. Remember how much pressure was on AD Lee Fowler to fire Herb Sendek? Only a 5 player recruiting class(with at least 4 of them committed in the Fall) that included a program changing recruit in Julius Hodge kept that from happening. How is Gottfried’s recruiting class looking?

Based on those numbers, I think it can be justified that Gottfried’s job is in serious jeopardy. But wait…what about Gottfried’s 1st 4 seasons? Should’t that buy him some more time?

-Sendek was 46-34(.575) over his final 5 seasons. Gottfried currently sits at 38-45(.457) over his last 5 seasons.
-Sendek had 5 NCAA bids and 1 Sweet 16 over his final five seasons. Gottfried has 3 NCAA bids currently(maybe a 4th this year) and 1 Sweet 16 over each coach’s last 5 seasons.
-Sendek finished T-3rd, 4th, 2nd, T-6th, and 4th in ACC play. Gottfried has finished T-4th, 7th, T-6th, 13th, and ? over his most recent 5 years.

For Sendek even with a better overall winning percentage than Gottfried, more NCAA bids, and better conference finishes the pressure continued to mount over his final 5 seasons in Raleigh. After spending much of his final season in the top 25(will Gott ever do that?) a late season collapse convinced Herb Sendek to reset his clock in the desert at Arizona St. It made sense for everyone involved. In my opinion, Sendek’s seat was justifiably hot after his 10th season despite better results than Mark Gottfried.

Now for those supporters of Coach Gottfried that are going to point out that I didn’t include Gott’s 1st year in the Sendek most recent 5 year comparison, I would argue that his first year results on the backs of multiple all-ACC players(3 to be exact) he inherited aren’t a great measure of whether Gottfried should continue as our head coach. But if you insist on including his 1st season, then let’s look at a comparison of overall records:

-Sendek’s overall ACC record was 72-88 (.450). Gottfried’s currently stands at 47-52 (.474). The two rosters the coaches inherited were nowhere close to equal however setting Sendek is a major hole his first 3 years.
-For Gottfried to finish his 6th season with a better conference record than Sendek, he must go at least 1-6 to finish 48-58(.453). In other words, Gottfried’s conference winning percentage is nearly identical to Sendek’s winning percentage that had him underfire for the most of the last 1/2 of his career at State.

But for both coaches…aren’t the more recent seasons more telling as far as determining whether or not each coach should have been fired?

-Sendek went 17-15 (.531) in ACC play, made the NCAA tournament twice winning 3 games, and reached 1 Sweet 16 in his final two seasons in Raleigh.
-Gottfried currently sits at 8-21(.276). At this point, it appears extremely unlikely he will have a single NCAA bid let alone advance in the NCAA tournament.

These numbers and comparisons suggest that Gottfried has a lot on the line over the final 7 games of the season. His horrible records over his final two seasons have overshadowed the success he had early in his tenure and in my opinion have Gottfried’s seat scorching hot. I didn’t want this to be an emotional entry after a devastating loss, but instead a look at the situation based on performance and how similar performances by previous coaches would have been viewed/handled by our fans and the leaders at NC State. Hopefully this puts the data from previous years into perspective and will add to the discussion of Mark Gottfried’s future at NC State beyond this season.

16-17 Basketball General Mark Gottfried NC State NC State Baseball

Home Forums Gott Justifiably on the Hot Seat


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    Here are the question marks for your candidates:
    1) Has coached up his squad defensively but the offense reminds me a bit of a certain coach year 1….Still I agree he should be primary candidate. He has done an excellent job at Dayton and I would be ecstatic if he is our guy.

    2) Hoiberg – defensively his teams were average. Great offensive mind though and had excellent results at Iowa state. (Think about that.)

    3) Cronin – very little NCAA success. Good bloodlines, but I don’t know if his teams are good enough offensively.

    4) Randy Bennett – a) he’s a Sendek dopplegagger b) he’s a perpetual bridesmaid. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t able to get us past the Bubble range here in Raleigh.

    5) Vinnie Del Negro – much more NBA success than Lowe. We could do much worse. Still, there will be a learning curve and it will likely be steep. Who knows how he will recruit and handle the day to day


    I’m almost positive Yow won’t do anything until after end of season but I do think she’s got the balls to fire Gottfried then. If were Yow I wouldn’t protect him because I hired him, I would cut his nuts off after I deep fried them and have them for lunch. He has caused her untold grief and aggravation. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (or fvcked over as is the case here.) Gottfried was given the opportunity of a life time to coach in what was at the time — before he helped drag it down — the premier basketball conference in the nation. She and NC State have given him everything he needed to succeed and he failed. Don’t be surprised if she takes it personally.

    Fowler was previously the AD from Middle Tennessee State or something like that who was in over his head at NC State. I don’t know why Mary Ann Fox hired him but I’d bet it was and interim solution to something with no expectation of leading us to prominence in the ACC. The professor who succeeded her was just that a professor with little care about athletic excellence and Fowler stayed on in a job he was ill prepared to succeed in. Not the case with Debbie Yow.

    We will never know nor should we know but I’d bet that she is doing what we are doing — vetting the coaches we are interested in and talking to agents of those coaches to find those who are mutually interested. Some time after the coach we settle on is eliminated from the NCAAT, we will hire our next coach. Meanwhile expect her to publicly support Gottfried. It will be annoying but it’s the way the big boys play the game.


    If it were my position to select the next coach and it’s obviously not, I would search out and find a coach who as a player played hard-nosed defense.

    I agree with your comments on character, but not so much with this requirement. What the next coach did in college (student vs athlete) is not important to me. What he did after moving into coaching is important. I want to see success in the W/L record, worth ethic and hustle on the court, and a distinct lack of players ending up in the local newspaper’s headlines.

    Two coaches back, we had a defensive-minded coach, good character, and instilled that into his kids. But it didn’t turn out so well. The next coach’s resume needs to demonstrate that he can get good results on both ends of the court.


    Meanwhile expect her to publicly support Gottfried. It will be annoying but it’s the way the big boys play the game.

    I would have considered this to be obvious…but it clearly need to be stated.


    there was talk that the buyout would be done today (but not disclosed till end of season). any words out of the Dail Center?


    Just some quick info on the data for some of these candidates…

    1) archie’s 5 year average is much better than previous 5 years at Dayton offensively. That same 5 year span is a little worse defensively. It should be noted that his last 3 years is significantly better defensively, but that appears to be at the expense of the offense (which is a 95 average the last 3 years….But still an improvement of the last 5 years and last 3 years before he got there.)

    My main concerns with him at this point are offensive…His teams remind me a bit of the first 5 years of Sendek, but then again – he is winning and his career is showing solid improvement.

    2) Hoiberg’s teams were great offensively, but mediocre defensively though much better on D than Gott’s teams here.

    3) Looking at Gott’s career at Bama – for a span there he had solid defenses, then it just got worse and worse. He may be a guy who is good at fixing stuff but lousy at running them after it’s fixed.


    Greywolf wrote:
    If it were my position to select the next coach and it’s obviously not, I would search out and find a coach who as a player played hard-nosed defense.

    I agree with your comments on character, but not so much with this requirement.

    Senior moment, brain fart. Of course you are correct. The coach needs a history of coaching defense or hiring an assistant who coaches good defense. Not playing good defense is an excellent way to lose by 20 to 50 points — or so it seems this season.

    I think of it this way. Baskets that are a result of defense are 4 to 6 point baskets — 2 or 3 points denied plus 2 or 3 points gained. Baskets scored on offense are 2 and 3 point baskets. Looking at it this way makes it real easy to see why playing good defense wins games.


    I would throw the bank at Chris Collins. He is winning at Northwestern. We need someone with ACC ties. He may be waiting for K to leave but waiting at Northwestern has it’s own risks. I’d sure as hell call him, same as Arch and Marshall.


    there was talk that the buyout would be done today (but not disclosed till end of season). any words out of the Dail Center?

    I am not sure why they would do that already. Heck if the rumors are true spend $500 on a detective and use the information to lower his buyout.


    No coach is a lock to win at NC State but any coach who learned under Coach K is worth checking out. (See my comments on baskets cause by defense are worth twice what baskets scored on offense are worth.)


    So what about Nate McMillan? Seemed he did a good job as an NBA coach and was well-liked by his players. Wouldn’t he be just as good as Vinny?

    Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy. Mao Zedong


    Arch clearly gets the first call, but I would kill to have Hoiberg here. Absolutely LOVE his style of play.


    I would throw the bank at Chris Collins

    Came here to say this.

    Duke owes us for Vic Bubas.


    chop: I think any candidates come with caveats. There’s no name that can be rolled out (short of resurrecting JimmyV himself) that there wouldn’t be counter points to. I get that you’re looking through things thoroughly, so here are some thoughts on your points:

    1) Arch: Biggest concern if one sorts through the data is pace of place. The defense has significantly improved every year he’s been there, seemingly at the expense of offense but I think more at the pace of play. Will he run out or just pack it in like Bennett? The data suggests similarities to HWSNBN’s early years, but I’ve watched Dayton play quite a bit. They’re playing a very solid motion offense where the ball moves with the pass. HWSNBN played what I called a “four man stone” offense. Dayton is small and they don’t rebound that well, but they’re not conceding the offensive rebound (like HWSNBN’s Princeton offense teams did). But, by not getting those rebounds they don’t get a lot of those secondary attempts that are often higher percentage because the defense is out of position, which also results in fouls. Regardless, there’s enough there with the eye test, pedigree, data, etc. that this has to be the #1 target. I’d love to see what he could do with top level talent.

    2) Hoiberg: I think you made the point that he did it at Iowa State. That’s like when Bennett did it at Wazzou. Those are some of the toughest Power 5 jobs. I think his style of play would be well received by NC State fans. I’m just not convinced he’s in play.

    3) Cronin: I think you raise legitimate concerns about offense being the weakness and that becomes tougher in the tournament. Could he get better players here? I tend to think that answer is yes. He’s also had a lot of seasons where they were seeded in that 8-10 range, which makes for a tough second round game with a low predicted winning percentage. I like his toughness though. His teams aren’t going into Cameron or the Dean Dome and rolling over. They may start a fist fight, but they’re not laying down. We have lacked mental and physical toughness since V and that wouldn’t be a problem with Cronin.

    4) Bennet: What he’s working with at St. Mary’s vs what any power 5 team is working with is night and day different. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer Few and have now since before we hired Sid. Few’s winning percentage against ACC teams is staggering. When we hired Sid, Few is the guy I’d have courted hard, but Few’s not leaving Gonzaga. He’s king of the campus and doesn’t have to deal with boosters. He’s not leaving despite every Pac 10 team coming after him. What Bennet has done year in and year out has been impressive (at least to me). If Few weren’t over there, he’d be ruling that league. It’s likely moot because he’s a West Coast guy, but he is someone I like and is a sleeper pick if one wants to go far afield.

    5) Vinny: This is your “we’re lost in this search” level candidate. I personally don’t think we’d get past #3 on that list, but let’s say we did and Yow handles this one as badly as last time. We could do much worse than Vinny. Someone else asked why not Nate, and I’d prefer Nate, but he is coaching at the Pacers. Vinny is not currently a head coach. There are similar risks with them both, but I actually think Yow’s well positioned to put the team around a Vinny to help make him successful.

    statered44: I like Collins best out of all the former K assistants. His dad was a great coach too and I think he has it in the blood. I think he or Brey is the next coach at Duke though, and there’s no way that Collins is taking any job that might take him out of the running for that. He’s got 2-4 more years of low pressure ball at Northwestern and maybe he shows enough to get that Duke job. I’m also not convinced given his love for Duke that he’s really going to go compete with them head to head very hard (or as hard as is needed). Collins at Duke and Arch at State would make the Tobacco Road interesting for years to come. Those stories just write themselves.


    There is NO WAY I would give Chris Collins the chance to turn us down. Blech.


    Name a Duke assistant that has been long term successful. Many have had a brief run of success but none have been able to maintain.

    And Collins? The only whiner I could not stand more than Collins was Paulus. I would take Hurley before Collins anyday.

    How about though we stay away from Dookies.


    Chris Collins has not done jack at Northwestern.

    The search starts and ends with Archie. If we need to gove Marshall a call, so be it. If we swing and miss on both of those guys – let’s call it a day and join the Sun Belt.


    Collins won at Wisconsin last night. 19-6, 4th in Big ten currently.


    The Big Ten is HORRIBLE this season. No teams in the top 16 (per the seedings). Only three in the top 25.


    Archie Miller has taken Dayton to the tourney three straigh years (about to be 4). About to be five 20+ win seasons. One Elite Eight. If you want to compare Archie to Chris freaking Collins, I’m sorry, but there is no comparison. Collins may turn out to be a fine coach – who knows. But Archie is doing it, and he’s done it. And, he’s one of ours. It’s a no contest.


    I’m comparing Collins to others who would have no clue what they are getting into as far as the ACC is concerned. I prefer Archie as well.

    NW hasn’t had a winning conf. record since 1968. NW has NEVER been to the NCAA tourney and had their first 20 win season LAST YEAR. You need to keep what Collins is doing in perspective. NW is the worst program in the P5.


    Yup, the search needs to begin and end with Archie. Make em an offah he can’t refuse. Mortgage whatever needs to be mortgaged. Cancel the title 9 sports. Raise tuition. Build a wall. Do whatever needs to be done.

    Prowling Woofie

    ABC11 reported on the 6:00 broadcast tonight that two independent sources have confirmed that Gottfried will be fired at the conclusion of the season, and that it almost happened after Saturday’s fiasco. Feelers have reportedly been sent to Archie Miller’s camp to gauge interest. NCSU is, of course, denying the report….


    I’m comparing Collins to others who would have no clue what they are getting into as far as the ACC is concerned. I prefer Archie as well.

    Archie has said clue. If it isn’t us that is able to snag him, it will surely be somebody else. And it won’t be freaking Northwestern. It will be a big time job. He has earned his stripes and it is high time for him to cash in.

    Yea, the Northwestern job stinks. And up to this point he hasn’t finished better than 9th in the Big Ten. Color me unimpressed.


    He’s apparently gone. NOW.

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