After a disappointing and embarrassing loss, Mark Gottfried just coached his last game at NC State. NC State hasn’t been much of a threat this year which would give headline as to why Gottfried is losing his job. Gottfried was notified just three weeks ago that his services would no longer be needed on the NC State sideline. Gottfried was able to draw a top NC prospect in NC with Dennis Smith, but it wasn’t enough to soothe over the front office.
During the after game press conference, it was inevitable, the questions flew in concerning his exit. The room was somber and Gottfried answered the media for the final time.
“Well, it’s sad for me. I came to NC State hoping to be here for the rest of my career. That was my goal. So I’m sad.I look at Malik, a lot of these young guys on this team. I wish I was the guy that was going to get to coach them next year. I think there’s a lot of potential. I’m proud of our guys. I thought they kept playing hard. But it hurts. You move on in life. Things happen. But proud of our accomplishments. We’ve had a ton of them. Obviously this past year and this year have been hard. But I got all kind of thoughts. I got everything running through my mind. Deep down, just disappointed.”
Coaching at NC State isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you’re within 20 miles of Duke and UNC; two schools you hate to be third to. But what’s notable about Gottfried’s demeanor is that he wasn’t emotional about losing his job or even concerned about the ill will towards State, but his concerned was geared towards his players and his disappointments as a coach.
I loved coaching our guys. We got caught this year. We were really young. We’re playing against a really good conference, league, that just kind of the way it falls have a lot of veteran teams. You start going team by team by team, you see a lot of veteran players. Herein lies where we sit right now. So that’s a little bit hard for me. Here’s what you got. It’s a great place. NC State is a wonderful place. Different than every other job in this league. You look around all these banners, all these other schools, nobody else is compared daily the way our guys and our program is to North Carolina and Duke. They’re just not.
It’s unsure who NC State will place as Head Coach, but one thing for certain is that they have a tough battle. NC is an extremely competitive state concerning hoops, and any coach coming into the ACC better get ready.
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