WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — March has been a bit maddening for UNCW basketball fans. It’s been a month with high expectations. It’s been a month with a few reality checks, as well.
Let’s backtrack for a moment to clear it all up, as we try to see how we got to this point in the coaching search at UNCW.
To get the proper perspective, madness for Seahawk basketball fans actually began in mid-February. That’s when Mark Gottfried was told he would not be retained as the head coach at NC State. It’s a two-hour drive from Raleigh to Wilmington, and who knew at the time that the Gottfried decision would have such a big impact in the Port City.
“I have been so locked in with this team that I have not spoken with anybody (at NC State)” UNCW coach Kevin Keatts said on February 22 outside Trask Coliseum, “nor do I plan on speaking with anybody, because my focus is obviously on UNCW. Compliment or a distraction? It’s not going to be a distraction. ”
On March 6 Kevin Keatts and the UNCW Seahawks punched a ticket to the Bi.g Dance for the 2nd year in a row. The Seahawks beat the College of Charleston in the CAA Championship game, and Seahawk Nation was on top of the world, and for good reason.
This leads us to Selection Sunday. There were high expectations, and the Seahawks drew the Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament. UNCW gave UVa a run for its money, but for the second year in a row, it turned out to be a first-round exit for the Seahawks.
The loss to Virginia hurt. The loss on the next day may have hurt worse. Keatts agreed to become the new head coach at NC State.
It did not take long for Seahawk fans to develop high expectations in regard to the replacement for Keatts, but it’s been a long two weeks.
Will UNC Tar Heel assistant coach C.B. McGrath be the next Seahawks head coach? He’s currently tied up at the Final Four. Perhaps Arizona associate coach Joe Pasternack? He has more ties on the west coast, than the east coast, or perhaps Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley? He’s familiar with the area. Dooley actually used to be the head coach at East Carolina.
Late Thursday C.B. McGrath emerged from the pack (not the Wolfpack). Nothing is official yet, but McGrath appears to be the next UNCW men’s head basketball coach. Perhaps the hiring of the Tar Heel assistant will end the madness, or not. After all, it’s March!