WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One day after his team’s loss during the first round of the NCAA tournament, UNCW Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts has been hired to coach NC State.
The Wolfpack officially announced the move in a news release this evening. UNCW has named Takayo Siddle, an assistant under Keatts, as interim head coach for the Seahawks.
“When we set out to hire our next men’s basketball coach, we wanted to identify someone with the pedigree, vision and plan to serve as the architect of NC State basketball,” NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow said in the release. “Kevin quickly emerged as the perfect fit in each of these areas. His history of success in building programs, of competing at a championship-level in every stop of his career, his commitment to player development and priority in academics make him a tremendous hire for us. We welcome Kevin, his wife Georgette, and two sons K.J. and Kaden to the Wolfpack family.”
Keatts replaces Mark Gottfried, who just finished a six-year stint in Raleigh.
UNCW players gathered on campus for a team meeting at 8 p.m.
Keatts has long been rumored a candidate for the Wolfpack’s head coaching vacancy. WWAY asked Coach Keatts about the NC State job when rumors were flying last month, but at the time, he said he was only focused on the Seahawks.
“I have an incredible respect for the history and tradition of NC State University, and am honored by the opportunity to lead the Wolfpack,” Keatts said in a statement. “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.
“From incredible fan support to high-level academics, first-class facilities and the ability to recruit at the highest level, everything is in place at NC State to build an elite program. My family and I are honored to become a part of Wolfpack Nation, and I look forward to adding to its storied history.”
UNCW captured three straight CAA regular season titles under Keatts and won the last two CAA Tournaments and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. He finishes his stay in Wilmington with an overall record of 72-28.
“We are extremely grateful for the work Coach Keatts has done to rebuild our Men’s Basketball program over the past few years,” UNCW Chancellor Zito Sartarelli said in a statement Friday night. “Trask Coliseum has come alive again under his leadership of a talented team of young men. While we are very disappointed to lose Coach, we understand his decision to join a tradition-rich ACC program, and we wish him continued success. We are already working hard to secure a worthy successor, but Coach will always be a Seahawk to us.”
This afternoon UNCW athletic director Jimmy Bass declined comment to the StarNews on whether Keatts was meeting with state, but did confirm that Keatts has met all the requirements of his contract, which includes talking with school officials before interviewing for another job,
Stay with WWAY for more on this story as it develops.