Jeff Gravley

Kevin Keatts agrees to 6-year deal at NC State

Posted March 17
Updated March 18

— Kevin Keatts will be the next head men's basketball coach at NC State.

Keatts, who earned $600,000 per season at UNC-Wilmington, agreed on a six-year deal Friday that will pay him $2.2 million annually. The contract also has built-in incentives for reaching certain milestones. His buyout for an early departure from UNCW is $200,000.

A two-time CAA Coach of the Year, Keatts guided the Seahawks to three consecutive Colonial Athletic Association regular-season titles and two CAA postseason crowns in three seasons. His record at UNCW was 72-28.

"I have an incredible respect for the history and tradition of NC State University, and am honored by the opportunity to lead the Wolfpack," said Keatts. "There is an unbelievable commitment to basketball in Raleigh, and I share a vision with Debbie Yow and Chancellor Randy Woodson on what NC State can achieve."

Keatts sat down for a face-to-face interview with NC State Athletics Director Debbie Yow Friday, one day after UNC-Wilmington lost to Virginia 76-71 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Before landing the head coaching job at UNC-Wilmington, Keatts was an assistant for Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2011-2014. He grew up in Lynchburg, Va., and has coached at Hargrave Military Academy as well as Marshall University.

Keatts replaces Mark Gottfried who was fired after six seasons with the Wolfpack. Gottfried took NC State to four NCAA Tournaments, including two Sweet 16s while posting a 123-86 record in Raleigh.

He will be introduced at a press conference at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Reynolds Coliseum.


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  • Jim Frei Mar 18, 7:38 a.m.
    user avatar

    Six years? At $2.2 Million? Are you kidding me? Not the best choice, Debbie.

  • Elizabeth Anne Wells Mar 17, 11:18 p.m.
    user avatar

    Until NCSU is willing to fork out the money for good recruiting and coaching staff, they will never be able to compete with the likes of Duke or UNC. Debbie Yow needs to go, I guess the administration thought it would be good to have another Yow on staff after Kay died; but, comparing Debbie Yow to Kay Yow is like comparing apples to oranges. State needs an AD who truly understands how to turn the program around.

  • Mike Smith Mar 17, 9:04 p.m.
    user avatar

    I doubt he will last as long as Gottfried.

  • Doug Bogard Mar 17, 7:39 p.m.
    user avatar

    I wish I could say nice hire.
    Mrs. Yow has again out done herself.
    To compete against 2 coaching legends you bring in someone from a in state mid major? I hate it for State fans, Mrs. Yow is single handedly killing the basketball program.

  • Russ Austin Mar 17, 6:53 p.m.
    user avatar

    Is this the right hire for NCSU? Not sure. Did we rush the decision? I'm somewhat disappointed. I'm hope I'm wrong.

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