Mark Gottfried answers questions during his press conference following his introduction as N.C. State's new basketball coach. ROBERT WILLETT - firstname.lastname@example.org
RALEIGH – Minutes after being formally introduced today as N.C. State’s new coach, Mark Gottfried said he is ready to uphold the school’s tradition in basketball.
“This is a great place,” Gottfried said at this afternoon’s news conference. “You have great tradition here at North Carolina State. I’m very familiar with it, understand it, and I want, together with the fans, cherish it together.”
Gottfried, 47, coached Alabama for 11 seasons and was formally introduced as N.C. State’s basketball coach at a news conference in the Vaughn Towers suites at Carter-Finley Stadium.
He led the Crimson Tide to the NCAA tournament five times in 10 seasons between 1998 and 2008, coming within a game of the Final Four in 2004. He resigned in Jan. 2009, 19 games into his 11th season. He has a career record of 278-155, with 210 wins at Alabama, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation during the 2002-03 season.
Gottfried has served the past two years as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He was named the Wolfpack's coach after a three-week search for a replacement for Sidney Lowe, who resigned after five seasons.
“He shares our vision of returning State to national prominence,” Yow said. “In a word, he’s fearless.”
The fighter in Yow also came out during the news conference after she was asked about N.C. State’s problems in securing a coach. One night earlier, she had sent a letter to Wolfpack Club members asking for patience with the search because candidates had expressed concern that the program hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament in five years.
Yow bristled when asked if she has a reputation of being difficult to work for.
“I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search,” she said. “. . .It’s Gary Williams out there doing his thing, so whatever.”
Gottfried will be paid $1.2 million per year over five seasons. He will earn an automatic, two-year rollover if N.C. State reaches the NCAA tournament in 2012 or 2013.
He also can earn a potential $1 million in incentives; $750,000 of those are for on-court performance. There are $250,000 in academic incentives.
Prior to coaching Alabama, Gottfried coached Murray State for three seasons, directing the Racers to three Ohio Valley Conference titles and posting a 29-4 record in his final season there. Gottfried spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA; he was on the staff there when the Bruins won the 1995 NCAA title under coach Jim Harrick.
He played basketball at Alabama and is the son of a former basketball coach, Joe Gottfried, who served as athletic director at South Alabama for 28 years.
Mark’s uncle, Mike Gottfried, is a former football coach who serves as a college football analyst for ESPN.
Gottfried and his wife, Elizabeth, have five children. The oldest is son Brandon, who plays football at Stanford.
Gottfried said he invites the challenge of competing with college basketball heavyweights Duke and North Carolina in his backyard.
“Every job in America in athletics has different challenges, obstacles, those things the make the job difficult,” he said. “I’m not backing down from anyone here. We want to win, period.”
email@example.com or 919-829-8942
Video: Mark Gottfried accepts the position of head men's basketball coach, Tuesday, April 5, 2011 during a press conference at N.C. State. Video by Travis Long, The News & Observer