Kevin Keatts Reportedly Named NC State Head Coach, Leaves UNC Wilmington

Mar 18, 2017, 01:18
Kevin Keatts Reportedly Named NC State Head Coach, Leaves UNC Wilmington

Keatts was named coach of the year in Colonial all three seasons at UNC-Wilmington and won more games in three seasons for the Seahawks than the previous eight combined.

Sources have told ESPN that N.C. State will hire UNC-Wilmington's Kevin Keatts as men's basketball coach, replacing Mark Gottfried who was sacked after six seasons at N.C. State.

The Wolfpack find themselves temporarily irrelevant in that same state thanks to two straight sub-.500 seasons, which cost Mark Gottfried his job back in February. UNCW followed with two straight NCAA Tournament appearances, losing to ACC powers Duke and Virginia in the first round but playing both down to the wire. UNC Wilmington lost to Virginia in the first round Thursday afternoon.

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The Wolfpack themselves have had two consecutive disappointing seasons, so it's understandable why they'd pursue a skilled coach like Keatts. Unfortunately, leading scorer Dennis Smith Jr., a freshman, will likely bolt for the NBA Draft.

The 44-year-old from Lynchburg, Va., who played at Ferrum (1991-1995) got his college head coaching break at North Carolina Wilmington in 2014.

Keatts' quick success and turnaround at UNCW should be a promising sign for Wolfpack fans. NC State needed a better coach who can also recruit well, and Keatts could be that guy.

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