Mark Gottfried fired as NC State basketball coach

NC State coach Mark Gottfried has been fired Thursday, a source told ESPN.

The Wolfpack has lost five ACC games by at least 20 points this season, including a 51-point "disaster", as Gottfried called it, 107-56 at UNC on January 8.

Gottfried, 53, is 122-82 in six seasons at the school, and has a below-.500 mark (47-55) in ACC play.

But this season, State is 14-13 and 3-11 in conference play even with potential National Basketball Association draft lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr.

Now in his sixth season, Gottfried led State to four NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16s. N.C. State is 14-13 overall, and likely to miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

"Mark Gottfried remains our head coach and we are all focused on our next opponent", N.C. State associate athletic director Fred Demarest said in a statement, according to the News & Observer's Joe Giglio.

After signing Gottfried to a five-year deal in 2015 worth at least $2.48 million per year, the Wolfpack decided that his work in the following season and change was not promising enough to keep him around until 2020. Since then, the Wolfpack have sprinkled in three wins, including a one-off against Duke before it chose to actually play basketball again.

And after a slow start to the 2016-17 season, including six consecutive losses and three by 20 or more points, the Wolfpack have made a decision to move on from Gottfried. The Wolfpack are among the worst units in all of college basketball, ranking 328th in points allowed per game at 80.5, per SportsReference. They finished 13th in the ACC with a record of just 5-13. N.C. State could still make the NCAAs if it wins the ACC tournament.

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