Gottfried will be allowed to coach the remainder of the season, in which the Wolfpack have limped to a 14-13 record overall and just a 3-11 mark in ACC play.
With Gottfried out, it’s time to turn the focus to who could be next at NC State.
Here are six candidates who could be in line for the job:
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Archie Miller, Dayton head coach
This is the pie-in-the-sky dream for every NC State fan. Miller is an NC State alum (he played there from 1998-2002) and also served as an assistant coach in Raleigh from 2006-08. Since then, he has become one of the hottest young coaches in the sport; at just 38-years-old he has led Dayton to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight run in 2014. It seems almost certain the Flyers will again make the tournament in 2017.
While that all sounds good on paper, all indications are that Miller will wait for a bigger job to open up. Indiana and Ohio State are the obvious choices. Miller has roots in Columbus where he served as an assistant from 2007-2009.
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Kevin Keatts, UNC-Wilmington head coach
The general consensus is that if Miller turns down the job, Keatts is the man NC State should go after. And with good reason. His backstory is incredible, as just six seasons ago he went from high school coach to breaking in with Louisville, and then taking the Wilmington job three seasons ago.
He has continued to thrive at Wilmington, winning two straight CAA regular season titles and making the NCAA Tournament last year. He has the Seahawks in position to make the Big Dance again in 2017 with an overall record of 22-5.
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State head coach
You’re going to hear Gregg Marshall’s name associated with the job because Gregg Marshall’s name is associated with every opening at a Power 5 school. And NC State should reach out, just to see if – after a decade in Wichita – he has an interest in jumping. He also has ties to the area, where he was the head coach at Winthrop from 1998-2007.
It’s important to remember that Marshall is making over $3 million a year a year at Wichita State. So to come to Marshall, he not only would have to be interested, but NC State would have to fork over a LOT of money.
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Chris Holtmann, Butler head coach
The Indianapolis Star already jumped the gun on this, naming Holtmann a candidate before Gottfried was even fired. In his third season at Butler, Holtmann has taken the Bulldogs to two NCAA Tournaments and has them primed for a third straight this year. He also has ties to the area, as he previously served as head coach at Garner-Webb, a Big South school located in North Carolina.
But you’ve got to wonder if NC State is really an “upgrade” over Butler. Holtmann has a good thing going in Indianapolis and it’s hard to see him jumping at this job just for the sake of it.
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Will Wade, VCU head coach
Wade picked up right where Shaka Smart left off in Richmond last year, leading VCU to the NCAA Tournament, where they beat Oregon State in the first round before losing to Buddy Hield and Oklahoma. At 21-5 this year, it seems almost certain that he'll get the Rams back to the tourney again.
Keep in mind, Wade actually had some interest from major programs at this time last year. It will be interesting to see if he'll listen, if NC State decides to call.
Vinny Del Negro, former Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers head coach
After two failed stints as an NBA head coach, Del Negro – an NC State alum - probably wouldn’t be a popular choice with fans (especially after NC State crashed and burned with fellow alum Sidney Lowe prior to Gottfried).
But we’ve seen a couple of schools (St. John’s with Chris Mullin and UConn with Kevin Ollie) use alums to try and revitalize their programs, so this isn’t totally out of the question. Considering he’s unemployed and at 50, still relatively young, you’d have to think that Del Negro will listen if he’s approached for the job.
LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central head coach
Moton is one of college basketball’s quiet success stories, a guy who took North Carolina Central from Division I independent to the NCAA Tournament back in 2014. And at 19-6 and atop the MEAC at 10-1 in league play, he has them primed for another tourney run as well.
Moton probably won’t be the first choice for Pack officials. But to be blunt, they could do a lot worse.