NC State fires Mark Gottfried; coach will finish season

Amid reports about the future of Mark Gottfried's employment, the NC State athletics department issued a statement emphasizing that Gottfried will remain the head coach of the NC State basketball team this season.

"It has been a privilege to serve as head coach of NC State and I'm proud of what we have accomplished during my time here", Gottfried said in a press release.

So far this season, NC State is 14-12 and ranks 13th in the ACC with a 3-10 record in the conference.

The announcement comes a day after NC State was blown out 97-73 by in-state rival North Carolina. The Wolfpack had no less than 22 wins in each of the four seasons and finished tied for fourth-place in the ACC twice.

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was expected to guide a talented roster that included star freshman Dennis Smith Jr.to another NCAA Tournament and contend for the ACC title. According to Decourcy, the program considered firing Gottfried after its fifth straight loss on on Saturday, an 88-58 defeat to Wake Forest, but decided the timing wasn't right. Gottfried, apparently, asked AD Debbie Yow if he could finish the season as part of the responsibility to his players. "I haven't had any discussions with anyone at NC State about that".

Yow said the Wolfpack will begin searching for new head coach immediately.

N.C. State has continued to struggle despite the play of Smith, who is averaging 19 points and 6.7 assists after finishing with 27 points and six assists against the Tar Heels.

Gottfried, 53, played high school basketball at UMS-Wright in Mobile and was point guard at Alabama in the late 1980s.