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N.C. State hires ex-Alabama coach Mark Gottfried

RALEIGH, N.C. - Former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried has reached a deal in principle to become North Carolina State's next head coach, school officials confirmed Tuesday.

Gottfried will receive a five-year deal with a guarantee of $1.2 million annually, a source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school has yet to make a formal announcement. The person also told the AP that the deal includes an automatic two-year extension if he leads N.C. State back to the NCAA tournament in either of the next two seasons.

Gottfried is expected to attend a news conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

He replaces Sidney Lowe, who resigned last month after five seasons on the sideline for the program he led to an improbable national championship as a player in 1983.

Gottfried, 47, inherits a program that hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since Herb Sendek's final year in 2006. Lowe had an 86-78 overall record, but went just 25-55 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, never finished higher than ninth in the league and managed a 3-16 record against highly ranked rivals Duke and North Carolina.

Gottfried has a career coaching record of 278-155 in 14 seasons at Murray State and Alabama. He took seven teams to the NCAA tournament, including a run of five straight at Alabama from 2002-06 that also featured an appearance in the Phoenix Regional final in 2004.

He was in his 11th season as head coach at Alabama when he resigned in January 2009 amid criticism of the team's performance and the departure of star guard Ronald Steele.

Gottfried's hiring comes a day after the school learned that VCU coach Shaka Smart — who had led the Rams to a surprising Final Four run — would remain there after receiving a new eight-year contract. Later Monday, Wichita State's Gregg Marshall — another name linked to the opening — announced on his radio show that he would remain with the Shockers.

The search earlier missed on apparent top target of Arizona's Sean Miller, the former Xavier head coach who also worked as an assistant to Sendek with the Wolfpack for five seasons. His father, John, said his son had declined to be interviewed.

N.C. State spent weeks searching for Sidney Lowe's replacement before settling on Gottfried. Sources told that many candidates decided to pass on the opportunity to work under athletic director Debbie Yow, whose reputation within the coaching community hindered her ability to make the type of home run hire she and her fan base desired.

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