Gottfried firing: N.C. State students react, coaching hunt begins

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Students on N.C. State's campus reacted Thursday to news of Mark Gottfried's firing.

Shockwaves spread through the N.C. State community on Thursday, when the university made it known publicly that it had indeed decided to fire basketball coach Mark Gottfried, as ABC11's Mark Armstrong first reported Monday.

NCSU initially called ABC11's report "incorrect and blatantly irresponsible," but ultimately, the university took the action that had been expected all week: Gottfried won't return, but he will serve out the remainder of the season.


Players were reportedly told at a Thursday afternoon meeting, and there was virtually no reaction from current Wolfpack players.

But at least one former Wolfpack player, Jordan Vanderberg, weighed in on Twitter, thanking the coach for his efforts to make him a better player.

Students had mixed feelings. Some felt the change was needed, yet felt sad that it came to this.

"Everybody's excited but me. I'm not," said N.C. State sophomore Douglass Bullock. "I sort of like Gottfried, and I don't think the offense is the problem, it's the defense. So, I'm not super-thrilled about it."


Michaela Rose, an N.C. State sophomore, felt it was time for a change.

"I think they kind of need a new start," Rose said. "I think it might help actually with the team because they have a lot of talent so people anticipated they would do better this season."

Indeed, many expected the Wolfpack, led by 5-star freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr., to be in the upper half of the ACC this season. Instead, the Wolfpack has suffered through a season of frustration and humiliation, going 3-11 in conference play before Director of Athletics Debbie Yow made the announcement to pull the plug on Gottfried.

"Yeah, I blame most of it on Gottfried," said David Hursey, an N.C. State senior. "I mean his coaching ability is sub-par at most. And, considering how much talent he's had, he should be performing at a much higher level... I expected a lot more."

WATCH: State's Abu, Smith on coaching situation after the loss to UNC
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Malik Abu and Dennis Smith Jr. spoke about the coaching whispers Wednesday night after the loss to UNC.

The Wolfpack stands at 14-13 after being dismantled at home Wednesday night by rival North Carolina, 97-73. And it's not just the losses that have rankled fans; it's the manner in which the Pack has lost too many games this season -- in blowout fashion.

Since winning at Duke 84-82 on January 23 -- the Pack's first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 22 years -- State has lost six in a row by an average of 19.2 points per game.

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State was also blown away by middle-of-the-road Wake Forest, 88-58 on February 11, giving the Demon Deacons their first sweep of the Wolfpack in a dozen years.

Still, some felt the blame wasn't all on Gottfried.

"It's not entirely Gott's fault that the team isn't all together because the talent is there," Bryson Patyk, an N.C. State junior said. "And he definitely brought us into the spotlight from where we were a couple of years ago."

As for the coach himself, he understandably did not speak to media on what was certainly a difficult day. He did host his regularly scheduled radio show Thursday night, however.

Gottfried reiterated his fondness for the university and his desire to help his players finish what's left of the season on a positive note.

WATCH: Listen to a clip of Gottfried's comments Thursday night in the video below.
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Mark Gottfried didn't speak to reporters but still had his radio show to do Thursday night.

Gottfried had a 122-82 record with the Wolfpack, including NCAA Tournament trips in his first four years that included two Sweet 16 appearances.

Yow said the search for a successor will begin immediately.

WATCH: Mark Armstrong profiles a couple of possible coaching candidates
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Former Wolfpack player and current Dayton head coach Archie Miller is the hot name on everyone's list.

The Wolfpack has five games left, four in the regular season, beginning with Saturday's game vs. Notre Dame at PNC Arena.

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