NC State hires Kevin Keatts

Doyle BarkerMar 18, 2017

NC State has reached an agreement to hire UNC Wilmington's Kevin Keatts to replace Mark Gottfried as men's basketball coach, sources told ESPN. But he's widely considered to be a rising star in the business - someone who took UNC-Wilmington to consecutive NCAA Tournaments. While it was his third straight loss to an ACC opponent with UNCW, Keatts is open to the challenge in Raleigh. Keatts was interviewed Friday and has verbally accepted the job, multiple sources said.

NC State reportedly has found a replacement for head coach Mark Gottfried.

Making a move would make sense for Keatts, though. N.C. State announced in February Gottfriend would coach to the end of the season and not return.

Keatts led the Seahawks to the NCAA Tournament each of the last two seasons. That comes after winning one regular season title in the previous 11 years before Keatts arrived. UNCW athletic director Jimmy Bass, who previously worked at NC State and the Wolfpack Club, hired Keatts to resuscitate a downtrodden program that had fallen to 9-23 overall and 3-13 in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013-2014. But with a lot of basketball potentially left to play for some of the Wolfpack's top targets, this coaching search might be far from over.

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