Would UCLA's Pursuit of North Carolina State Head Coach Mark Gottfried Even Be Worth It?

By Paul Seaver
John David Mercer-USA Today Sports

It is looking more and more like Shaka Smart will remain at VCU and Brad Stevens will stay at Butler, so where will the UCLA Bruins now turn to replace Ben Howland?

The latest name to be connected to the Bruins is North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried.

According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, the UCLA boosters are more than interested in Gottfried. You see, his name is pretty common at the university as Gottfried spent eight seasons as an assistant coach under Jim Harrick from 1987-1995. The interest in this situation would surely be mutual, but there’s a price.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that UCLA would have to pay a $3.75 million buyout for Gottfried. That obviously does not include the actual contract that they would have to offer him in Los Angeles. So the Bruins better be absolutely sure and sold on Gottfried as their guy if that’s the path that they choose. Considering the SNY.tv report, the boosters are on board, so is this the direction that UCLA is headed in the coming days/weeks?

Gottfried has been the head coach at N.C. State for the past two seasons now and has guided the Wolfpack to a 48-24 mark in that span with back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament under his belt. Gottfried has done a pretty good job, even despite the Wolfpack failing to live up to preseason expectations this season.

Prior to taking the position at North Carolina State, Gottfried had spent two years working as an announcer for ESPN after 11 seasons as the head man at Alabama.

Gottfried has been a successful coach, notching a 327-178 record in his career, but ironically enough his teams have only made the Sweet 16 twice (Alabama – 2004 & N.C. State – 2012). Howland took UCLA to three consecutive Final Fours and many analysts have recently come out and say the Bruins won’t find anyone to match his potential.

So, is Gottfried worth the money?

The connection to UCLA is there. The support for Gottfried is there.

Yet can he take UCLA to the heights that they desperately want?

We will surely find out soon enough.


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS


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