Kevin Keatts will get a significant raise as N.C. State’s new basketball coach.
Keatts has agreed to a six-year contract with the Wolfpack worth $2.2 million annually. He was hired by N.C. State on Friday.
Keatts made about $600,000 this season at UNC-Wilmington. He led the Seahawks to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Keatts has a $200,000 buyout in his contract with the Seahawks. UNCW athletic director Jimmy Bass joked on Friday night he should have put a clause in Keatts’ contract that the school that hired him had to play in Wilmington next season.
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Bass, who hired Keatts in 2014, had nothing but praise for Keatts in an interview on Friday night after N.C. State made the hiring official.
Bass thanked Keatts, who went 72-28 in three seasons at UNCW, for turning the program around. The Seahawks had six straight losing seasons before Keatts was hired from Louisville before the 2014-15 season.
UNCW won at least a share of the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title in each of Keatts’ three season and won the CAA tournament the last two years. The Seahawks’ last NCAA appearance was 2006 before Keatts took them to the first round the last two years.
“He left his mark on this program and he left us in great shape to hire his replacement,” Bass said. “We have a very attractive job now because of Kevin’s hard work.”
UNCW (29-6) lost to Virginia, 76-71, in Orlando, Fla. in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio