It’s not that often that coaches will receive a contract extension after just one season.
However, when you’ve had instant success, both on the court and on the recruiting trail, things become a little clearer. This is exactly the case for North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried.
The school announced the extension on Friday, raising Gottfried’s annual salary to $1.96 million per for the next six seasons. For the Wolfpack, the move was necessary and one that sheds light on their support of N.C. State basketball.
Basketball in Raleigh had been competitive prior to Gottfried, but the Wolfpack were seemingly stuck in neutral and unable to take the next step. Gottfried’s quick turnaround has changed all of that.
In his first season as head coach, Gottfried led the Wolfpack to 24 wins, a bid in the NCAA Tournament and a surprise run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed. In addition, Gottfried hasn’t been shy on the recruiting trail either, bringing in three top-100 prospects this season, including the recently cleared, Rodney Purvis.
Just last weekend, Gottfried landed top-10 prospect and 2013 recruit, Anthony Barber, once again bolstering the future of the Wolfpack’s back court.
Last season’s appearance in the Big Dance was the school’s first trip since 2006 and while that now remains in their past, the future continues to brighten. Duke and North Carolina have dominated the ACC in recent memory, and while each of the powers will once again be a threat within the conference, a new dog has all the potential to finish atop the standings.
The return of C.J. Leslie was key for N.C. State, but so too are the veteran presences of Scott Wood, Lorenzo Brown, and Richard Howell. Throw in Purvis and fellow freshmen Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren and Gottfried has a roster that has the talent to make a stab at the Final Four in 2013.
The timing was right by the university’s Board of Trustees to extend and raise the contract of Gottfried. N.C. State has moved into the limelight and national spotlight in one short season under his guidance and entering year number two, expectations are soaring.
The only question at stake heading into 2012-13 is, how will the Wolfpack handle the hype? They will be expected to win and compete for an ACC title this season, but there shouldn’t be much doubt that this roster is up for the challenge.
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