State named their new coach on Tuesday, and while Mark Gottfried was not who anyone expected or saw coming, he does fulfill some of Debbie Yow's stated goals:Â he has been a D-1 coach, he has had multiple trips to the NCAA tournament, and broadly speaking, he knows how to run a program.Â But after Debbie Yow's amazing slam of her former subordinate Gary Williams, everyone overlooked the unanswered question, which we'll ask ourselves shortly, with no hope of an answer of course.
At Alabama, Gottfried did get to an Elite Eight and had 'Bama ranked #1 briefly.Â His program declined the last two years along with the health of star point guard Ronald Steele and he resigned mid-season under some controversy after Steele left the team.
He was also at Murray State previously.
His comments were what you'd expect:Â win national championships...blah, blah, blah...team...work with young men...blah, blah, blah...miss working with players...blah, blah, blah...better people...blah, blah, blah...will have great staff...blah, blah, blah...plays hard...blah, blah, blah...shares ball...blah, blah, blah...
Nothing unexpected or unusual, although he did have one very funny moment: when Yow got overly excited and declared that "[m]y goodness. My goodness. We're back. We're in the game."
To which Gottfried said "[s]low down a little, Debbie. Slow down. We're not back yet. We're almost back."
By the way, if we hear Yow say "the stuff" one more time we might lose it.Â But is Gottfried an improvement over Lowe as a college coach?Â Almost certainly.Â And there seems to be a sense of optimism after his hire.Â So on balance, probably a good day for State, particularly after everything that happened Monday.
After Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall and Mick Cronin all turned State down, it looked as if the search had gone all Lee Fowler. Yow said she met with the team just so they'd know someone cared about them.Â They probably weren't expecting a 24 hour solution, though.
As the press conference droned on, Jim Young of ACCSports.com asked about rumors that "coaches were telling them that Debbie Yow was hard to work for...can you talk about your relationship with Debbie and [if you heard any such comments from coaches]."
After Gottfried touched very briefly on it, denying that anyone had spoken to him about Yow, he went back into coach speak.
âI donât have a reputation across all menâs basketball as being difficult to work with," Yow told chuckling reporters. âI have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search. C'mon. We all know that. Okay? So, whatever. Itâs not a reputation, itâs Gary Williams out there doing his thing. Whatever.â
Gary responded thusly: âI havenât talked to anyone â coach or athletic director â connected to the N.C. State search. I donât have any interest in the N.C. State search, since Iâm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program. Anyone who says Iâve had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isnât being truthful.â
Cutting through it:Â Debbie: Gary's a world-class jerk.Â Gary: she's a lying weasel of an A.D.
In her comments, Yow also alluded to a national reporter commenting on Gary Williams. Unfortunately, it was Gregg Doyel, who told David Glenn this:
âWell, he has influence, and not because people think Gary Williams is so brilliant and trustworthy that if he tells me something, dadgummit, it must be true.Â I donât think he has that much influence. I donât want to give that little tiny little petty human being that much credit. And by the way, I e-mailed Garyâs PR director yesterday back and forth three times, saying I want to talk to Gary very specifically about his influence on the N.C. State coaching search. Theyâve not gotten back to me after I made it clear exactly what I want, so itâs very possible heâs gonna duck me, that coward.
âBut in the meantime, the reason heâs had an impact is this: if youâre a good coach at a good school...itâs hard to pull the trigger and say Iâm winning here at Arizona or Texas, or Iâm winning here at VCU, wherever it is that Iâm winning at, and I want to go to N.C. State, where they havenât won the last couple years. It requires a whole lot of confidence. And if you get one person â and that personâs Gary Williams â to say the ADâs not easy to work for, that will allow someone to justify their own [feelings]....Basically, Gary Williams is giving coaches an excuse to do the easy thing, which is stay where they are......Are we done talking about Gary Williams? I want to make this very clear, that if Gary Williams does not return my call, heâs scared of me. And so he can act all big and bad, and he can stand there on his coaching bench and turn around and yell at his assistant coaches, who've done nothing wrong. And when a guy on the court travels, he can turn around and yell at the 12th man on his bench, because heâs a little bit tiny coward runt of a man. He can do all that.
âBut here I am on your radio show, and in an e-mail to his PR guy three times, begging him to talk to me about what heâs been saying behind Debbie Yowâs back and hurting the N.C. State head coaching search. And if he doesnât call me back, then all that means to me is heâs a little bitty tiny coward of a man. Gary Williams, you call me back, or youâre a spineless little...man."
Takes one to know one.
Doyel, most recently seen posing with a hammer as if he were a dangerous man, isn't half the reporter Dan Wetzel is.Â What he basically does is to throw hissy fits.Â He postures and annoys people, and that's about it.Â Not a guy to, say, go up to Gary Williams in person and call him a coward.
Doyel has emerged as the CBS Sports Chihuahua, a guy who yaps and nips to minimal effect.
Yow said Gottfried's contract was $1.2 million for five years with a two-year rollover.
Okay, and the question that no one asked?Â Maybe if tough guy Gregg "Popeye" Doyel, King of the Voice Mail had been there, he might have asked Gottfried about his past, and more specifically about working with Jim Harrick, who was clearly and undeniably corrupt.Â He might have asked him if he had been aware of the corruption in Harrick's tenure at UCLA and more specifically if he had either a) played a part in it himself, or b) tried to put a stop to it.
It would've been a nervy question, just the sort he likes to ask.
At least in voice mail.
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