North Carolina State basketball coach Mark Gottfried was notifed this week he will be fired at the end of the season. That’s a decision that doesn’t sit well with Kentucky coach John Calipari, who went on a passionate rant following Saturday’s 82-77 win at Georgia.
Calipari suggested that coaches safeguard themselves against mid-season firings by adding clauses into their contracts. He also defended Gottfried, who led the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament in his first four seasons.
“Here’s what bothers me about this profession right now… we’re firing coaches in midseason,” Calipari said, via SEC Country. “Are you s—ing me? We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know I’m putting in my contract? You can fire me at midseason, but you’re gonna have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you? There’s a new one that’s going to be in the contract, DeWayne (Peevy, deputy AD at UK). You can fire me midseason, but you’re paying me. Why would I even have to think of that? Now every coach in the country: Put it in your contract.”
Gottfried’s first year, ended a six-year tournament drought. The Wolfpack did not reach the postseason last year and are just 14-14 this season.
“What if Mark Gottfried goes on a run and gets in the NCAA Tournament, which he was in four out of five years?” Calipari continued. “Two Sweet Sixteens, which is not done at N.C. State. What happens now if he goes and he wins and he gets another team (in)? He has good players, but they’re young. They’re like my team. It’s hard to do this with young guys.”
Calipari’s young guys are 22-5, just a tad better than Gottfried’s group.