NC State reportedly reached a deal with Kevin Keatts to become its new head men's basketball coach Friday, meaning he will depart UNC Wilmington.
He replaces Mark Gottfried, whom the Wolfpack fired just before the end of this season and then had coach out the final stretch of the year as a lame duck. Before taking the job at UNC Wilmington, Keatts was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2011 to 2014. ESPN.com named him the No. 3 recruiter in the country in 2013 for his efforts. Keatts earned two CAA coach of the year awards for his efforts, becoming the first coach in league history to win the award in consecutive years (2015-2016).
The 44-year-old Keatts will now have to battle against the likes of Duke and North Carolina on a consistent basis.
Suffice to say, losing Keatts would be a massive blow for UNCW and a huge hire for NC State. UNC Wilmington's three straight regular season titles helped him accumulate a 41-13 league mark.
Gottfried was sacked earlier this month after the Wolfpack failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, including a 15-17 (4-14 ACC) record this season. In addition, freshman center Omer Yurtseven has announced his intention to the test the NBA Draft waters.